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Latest NCAA Graduation Success Rates: Discussing Syracuse Football and Basketball Figures

Another useless measure instituted by the NCAA is out! I'm not just saying it's useless because Syracuse's basketball program does not look great according to this. Seriously.


Today, the NCAA released its latest Graduation Success Rates (GSRs), which give you a look at how student-athletes have fared trying to graduate in a six-year time period. While that sounds nice to give athletes six years to earn a degree (so this year's figures stretch all the way back to students who stepped on campus in 2004, apparently?), it -- like most of these sorts of things -- is also deeply flawed. In particular, the GSR's biggest issue is penalizing institutions for transfers who aren't in good standing. As we've seen in the past, schools also get dinged for students who do well during their respective athletic season, then spend the end of the year not attending class and basically getting ready for the NFL/NBA draft.

The ACC was nice enough to put some facts together about the conference's overall success here, so you can go ahead and look at that at your own leisure. But some of the basics:

  • Overall, ACC schools had an average graduation rate of 88.1 percent, well above the national average of 82 percent
  • Just over half (eight of 14) ACC football schools finished with a GSR above the Division I average of 71
  • 11 of 15 ACC basketball schools finished above that 71 percent figure, however

More importantly for our purposes here, though, you'll want to know about Syracuse and its performance (and in some cases, lack thereof). Those numbers, for your perusal:

(Overall: 88 percent -- right in line with the ACC's average)

  • Men's Soccer: 100
  • Men's Track: 100
  • Women's Lacrosse: 100
  • Women's Soccer: 100
  • Women's Tennis: 100
  • Women's Volleyball: 100
  • Women's Track: 96
  • Women's Rowing: 95
  • Field Hockey: 94
  • Women's Ice Hockey: 90
  • Softball: 87
  • Women's Basketball: 83
  • Men's Lacrosse: 79
  • Football: 78
  • Men's Basketball: 46

Overall numbers: Good. Basketball and (to a much lesser extent) football? Uhhhh... Like I said, not the best way to measure things, so you shouldn't be surprised by those figures for basketball in particular. Given the number of recent Orange hoops players who have gone off to the NBA a couple years or more early, this largely makes sense. The small number of players on a basketball team also makes one such instance a much bigger deal for these numbers than the football team, where they're one of many, so the percentage is lower.

And yes, this could definitely be something brought up later this week when Syracuse gets their day(s) with the NCAA. Not sure to what extent, but when you're being looked into for academic violations, an academic figure like "Graduation Success Rate" probably gets brought somewhere near the forefront. We make light of the GSR here, but that's only so we can avoid talking to much in-depth about the possible doom awaiting SU basketball in particular come Thursday/Friday.

So, read into this info if you want. Or don't. I won't make claims that it matters or doesn't all that much. And if you want to mess around with the numbers a bit, here you go.