Dec. 11, 2008

ORLANDO - Notre Dame and Navy have the highest graduation rates for student-athletes among the 68 programs participating this year in college football bowl games, according to a study released this week by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.

"If there were a national championship for Graduation Success Rates (GSR) among bowl teams, Navy and Notre Dame would have played for the national championship," said Richard Lapchick, director of TIDES and author of the study.

The U.S. Naval Academy and Notre Dame rank first and second among Football Bowl Subdivision schools (formerly known as Division I-A) with GSRs of 95 percent and 94 percent.

The GSR data show the percentage of student-athletes earning a degree within six years. The NCAA developed the GSR four years ago to account for transfer student-athletes and others not tracked by the graduation rate methodology developed by the U.S. Department of Education. The GSR captures about 37 percent more students than the federal rate, resulting in a more accurate assessment of the academic success of student-athletes.

The 2008 national GSR for FBS schools is 78 percent. The data is based on entering classes from 1998 to 2001.

The GSR should not be confused with another recent NCAA initiative, the Academic Progress Rate, which uses a series of formulas related to student-athlete retention and eligibility to measure the academic performance of all participants who receive a grant-in-aid on every team at every NCAA Division I college and university.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport is part of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program in the University of Central Florida's College of Business Administration.

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Irish Football Graduation Rate No. 2 Among Bowl Teams

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