Oct. 14, 2008
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Tuesday (Oct. 14) its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for student-athletes who entered school during the 2001-02 academic year and the University of Southern Mississippi compiled an 82 percent graduation rate over a six-year term.
The most recent national GSR data show that 79 percent of freshmen student-athletes who entered college in 2001 earned their four-year degrees.
The 2001-02 graduation rates for all students at Southern Miss were at 48 percent and the graduating average of the last four classes were at 47 percent, compared to a 67 percent and 65 percent rate for Golden Eagle student-athletes, respectively.
"Once again I congratulate our student-athletes, academic staff and faculty for our outstanding graduation rates," said Southern Miss Athletics Director Richard Giannini." We did very well across the board and were 20 points higher than the general student body. It demonstrates that our athletes are students first and their earning a degree from Southern Miss is most important and a very high priority."
The sports of football and track led the men's side with a graduation success rate of 80 percent, followed by baseball at 79 percent and men's basketball at 75 percent. The other men's sports, which included golf and tennis, combined with a GSR of 94 percent.
The men's program also recently captured the 2008 David M. Halbrook Award for Academic Achievement Among Athletes having the best graduation rate of any of the eight public universities in the state of Mississippi. It was the second time the University has won the award for its men's program, finishing this year with a 77 percent graduation rate.
On the women's side, women's basketball tallied a GSR of 80 percent, while women's cross country and track were at 71 percent. The other women's sports, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball, compiled a collective GSR of 90 percent.