Oct. 25, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Tuesday afternoon for student-athletes who first enrolled in school during the 2004 academic year and the University of Southern Mississippi compiled a GSR of 81 percent, which is right at the national average in Division I athletics.
The most recent national GSR data shows that 81 percent of all freshmen student-athletes who entered into an NCAA Division I college or university nationally in 2004 earned their four-year degrees.
The NCAA developed the Graduation Success Rate to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The rate holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.
Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. The outgoing transfers are included in the receiving institution's GSR cohort.
The most recent Division I Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering classes from 2001-2002 through 2004-05. The NCAA began compiling these figures with the entering freshmen class of 1995.
The sport of tennis had the highest men's team GSR for Southern Miss with a perfect 100. Baseball was at 93 percent, followed by track and field at 78, football at 78, golf at 63, and basketball at 42.
On the women's side, three squads held perfect 100 scores with golf, softball, and tennis leading the way. They are followed by soccer at 96, volleyball at 85, cross country and track with a 77, followed by basketball at 67.
"These numbers you see today are very good," said Jason Gray, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Student Services. "What this shows is that basically more than eight out of ten of Southern Miss student-athletes are earning their degree while competing athletically at the highest level.
"We are going to keep working to improve our numbers until we reach ten for ten and all Southern Miss student-athletes earn their degree."
Earlier this month, the men's athletics program recently captured the 2011 Halbrook Award for Academic Achievement among Athletes for having the best graduation rate of any of the eight public universities in the state of Mississippi. It was the eighth consecutive time that they have received this award and ninth overall award for the athletic program.