Nov. 19, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for student-athletes who were enrolled in school during the 1999 through 2002 academic years and the University of Southern Mississippi compiled a 85 percent Graduation Success Rate over a four-year term.
The most recent national GSR data shows that 79 percent of freshmen student-athletes who entered college nationally in 2002 earned their four-year degrees.
The NCAA also released the Department of Education's Federal Graduation Rate data for the 2002-03 class. The Southern Miss athletes outperformed the general student body in the government report, the graduation rate for all students at Southern Miss was at 43 percent and the four-class average for that study was at 46 percent, compared to a 70 percent and 66 percent rate for Golden Eagle student-athletes, respectively.
"It is a testament to the hard work our student-athletes, academic staff and faculty continue to put in each and every semester for our outstanding graduation rates," said Southern Miss Athletics Director Richard Giannini. "One again, we did very well across the board and for the second-straight year were 20 points higher than the general student body. It shows that our athletes are students first and their earning a degree from Southern Miss is most important and a very high priority."
The sport of men's tennis led the way for the men's programs 100 percent GSR, while baseball was next at 90, following by football at 84 percent, golf at 80 percent and basketball at 61 percent.
The men's program also recently captured the 2009 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.
On the women's side, golf, softball, tennis and volleyball each tallied a GSR of 100 percent, while soccer was 90 percent, cross country/track at 79 percent and basketball 77 percent.