Nov. 18, 2009
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati football team ranks atop the current Bowl Championship Series Top-10 in academic rankings, according to the latest Graduation Success Rates, released by the NCAA Wednesday.
The No. 5 Bearcats (10-0, 6-0 BIG EAST Conference) checked in with a 75 percent NCAA graduation rate and a 71 percent federal government rate, the only team in the BCS top-10 to surpass the 70-percent plateau on both lists.
The graduation rates are for student-athletes entering college in 2002-03, meaning they earned their diplomas within six years.
NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams came in at 67 percent (NCAA) and 55 percent (federal).
Texas, which is third in the standings, and Georgia Tech, which is seventh, had the lowest scores. Both came in at 49 percent (NCAA) and 41 percent (federal).
And half of the top 10 teams in the BCS standings - Florida, Texas, Boise State, Georgia Tech and LSU - failed to reach 50 percent in the federal report.
The NCAA's latest graduation numbers show nearly four out of five student-athletes earn their diplomas on time, an all-time high, and federal statistics show athletes are still more likely to graduate on time than other students.
NCAA statistics show 79 percent of all freshmen entering school in 2002-03 graduated within six years, matching last year's record high. The four-class average, for students entering college between the fall of 1999 and the fall of 2002, also was 79 percent, a 1 percentage point increase over last year's record.
The federal numbers are lower, 64 percent for athletes, but still 2 percentage points higher than the general student body. Federal statistics do not include the performance of transfer students.
NCAA graduation rates at a glance
NCAA graduation rates of Top 10 teams in BCS standings, based on freshman classes entering school from 1999 to 2002 (graduation rate of federal government listed in parenthesis. Unlike NCAA, does not factor in transfers):
-Information from the Associated Press was used in this article
1. Florida 69 percent (42 percent)
2. Alabama 67 percent (62 percent)
3. Texas 49 percent (41 percent)
4. TCU 65 percent (59 percent)
5. Cincinnati 75 percent (71 percent)
6. Boise St. 58 percent (48 percent)
7. Georgia Tech 49 percent (41 percent)
8. LSU 60 percent (42 percent)
9. Pittsburgh 68 percent (56 percent)
10. Ohio State 62 percent (58 percent)