Southern Conference excels in annual GSR data
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 11/16/2016
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Courtesy: Southern Conference

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference placed among the top half of Division I in the NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) scores released Tuesday. Conference teams combined for a GSR of 87, tied for 12th among the 31 NCAA Division I conferences. SoCon football programs tied for second in the nation with a combined GSR of 85, up two points from last year.

Six of eight SoCon men’s sports beat or tied the national average, while six of seven women’s teams did so.

All 10 Southern Conference member schools had at least one program with a 100-percent GSR for the 2006-09 cohorts. Additionally, nine of the league’s 10 schools had multiple programs report a perfect score. The Southern Conference GSR for the 2006-09 cohorts met or exceeded the Division I GSR in 12 different sports (baseball, men’s basketball, men’s cross country and track, football, men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s cross country and track, women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball and women’s tennis).

Sixteen men’s programs turned in scores of 100, while 29 women’s programs achieved the perfect mark. Samford led the league with 10 perfect scores (four men’s programs, six women’s programs). Wofford was second with nine (four men’s programs, five women’s programs).

Eight of the nine SoCon baseball programs beat the Division I average, while eight of 10 men’s basketball programs did so. Seven of the eight league women’s basketball programs and women’s tennis programs beat the DI average, with the women’s tennis programs combining for an average of 99 with seven programs earning perfect scores of 100.

Developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative, the GSR is used to assess the academic success of student-athletes. The GSR measures graduation rates at Division I institutions and includes students transferring into the institutions. The GSR also allows schools to subtract student-athletes who leave their institutions prior to graduation as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete had they remained.


The Graduation Success Rate was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately measure the success of Division I student-athletes.

• The GSR takes into account the many different academic paths followed by today’s college students.

• Unlike the federal graduation rate, the GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.

• By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the GSR increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by approximately 37 percent.

• Under the GSR calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. These outgoing transfers are essentially passed to the receiving institution’s GSR cohort.

• The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes, because it is the only rate to compare student-athletes to the general student body.

• This year marks the 15th year of GSR data that have been collected. The NCAA began collecting GSR data with the entering freshman class of 1995. The latest entering class for which data are available is 2009.

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