KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Graduation rates among all college athletes stayed about the same from last year, but numbers among the major sports are improving, according to numbers released Wednesday by the NCAA.
The NCAA tracks six-year Graduation Success Rates (GSR) among student athletes, with the latest numbers detailing those who entered school in the 2003 school year.
The latest freshman class hit 79 percent, tying the record mark set each of the past two years.
The 2009 numbers among Football Bowl Subdivision programs jumped 3 percent from 2008, up to percent, while in basketball, the number remained unchanged at 69 percent.
Traditionally, student-athletes have graduated at higher rates than the overall student body and this year was no different. According to federal numbers, student-athletes had a 64 percent graduation rate compared with 63 percent of all students.
The numbers differ because the NCAA includes transfer students in its calculation. The federal rate does not, and NCAA officials maintain their numbers are more accurate.
But NCAA President Mark Emmert highlighted a significant increase in GSR among black basketball players, from 66 percent in 2008 to 69 percent in 2009. This year’s number is 14 percent higher than 14 years ago, when the NCAA first began tracking GSR.
Additional data shows grad rates at 18 of the top 25 schools in the BCS football standings were at least 60 percent under the four-year measures. Stanford (86 percent), Miami (81 percent), Iowa and Virginia Tech (79) and Missouri (71) posted the best scores.
In the Big 12, Missouri leads football programs with a 71 percent GSR (the only Big 12 football program with a number above the national average) and Oklahoma leads Mens’ Basketball programs with a 92 percent graduation rate.
In football, Texas (49) and Oklahoma (44) round out the bottom of the list as the only two programs with under 50 percent.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said the low numbers were partly a result of having 16 players taken in the NFL draft in 2005 and 2006.
"It automatically reduces the rate if you may have good graduation with whoever's left, you're never really going to make up for he person that left," he said. "Once they leave, you can't really get that back."
In basketball, Baylor (38) and Iowa State (35) complete the tail end of the list, but five more schools (Mizzou, Texas Tech, Colorado, Texas & Kansas State) fall below 50 percent.
Here’s a list of the Big 12 programs’ graduation rates in football and basketball:
University of Missouri 71%
Kansas State University 69%
Texas Tech University 69%
University of Nebraska, Lincoln 68%
Baylor University 64%
Iowa State University 64%
University of Colorado, Boulder 59%
Oklahoma State University 59%
Texas A&M University, College Station 57%
University of Kansas 56%
University of Texas at Austin 49%
University of Oklahoma 44%
Oklahoma State University 92%
University of Nebraska, Lincoln 82%
University of Kansas 80%
Texas A&M University, College Station 64%
University of Oklahoma 55%
University of Missouri, Columbia 44%
2003 Texas Tech University 44%
University of Colorado, Boulder 43%
University of Texas at Austin 42%
Kansas State University 40%
Baylor University 38%
Iowa State University 35%