NCAA graduation report card: Duke No. 2, Carolina above par

Oct. 24, 2013 @ 11:05 PM

Duke’s athletes graduate at the second-highest rate of any school that competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Duke’s Graduation Success Rate, released by the NCAA on Thursday, is 98 percent, second nationally only to Notre Dame’s 99.

North Carolina posted a GSR of 86 percent, five percentage points above the national average.

The latest NCAA data covers incoming freshmen classes between 2003 and 2006. The GSR reflects the percentage of those players who graduated within six years of matriculation.

Duke’s 98 percent covers athletes in all 22 of its sports. The GSR doesn’t count athletes who left school in good academic standing prior to graduation against a school’s GSR.

The national GSR for athletes at all NCAA schools is 81 percent.

Duke had 17 teams that earned perfect scores of 100 in the GSR, including the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The other 15 Duke teams with perfect GSRs are: baseball, men’s fencing, men’s golf, men’s soccer, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, men’s cross country/track and field, women’s fencing, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, women’s cross country/track and field and volleyball.

The national average for men’s basketball is 70 percent. That’s also the national average for football at the FBS level.

Duke’s football team recorded a 92 GSR.

The only Duke team with a GSR lower than the football team’s 92 was women’s golf with a score of 83, which is still higher than the national average.

In men’s basketball, Duke and Notre Dame were among six schools from the BCS level conferences to record perfect scores. The others were Kansas, Penn State, West Virginia and Illinois.

North Carolina’s latest GSR was 86 percent, five percentage points higher than the national average. The averages for men (80) and women (93) were both five points higher than the average.

UNC had 10 varsity teams that scored a perfect 100 percent and 19 teams that scored 80 percent or better.

The two lowest-performing sports were football (65), which has been implicated in widespread academic fraud that resulted in NCAA violations, and women’s soccer (67), which won the most recent NCAA championship.

The football team ranked ninth in the ACC and the women’s soccer team placed last among the 12 schools that were in the ACC last season. North Carolina’s men’s basketball team was tied for second with a rate of 90, while the women were 10th with a rate of 79. The baseball team was tied for fourth with a GSR of 94.

“We want every student to graduate from Carolina and today’s results indicate that our student-athletes are working hard toward reaching that goal,” athletic director Bubba Cunningham said. “There’s always room to improve and we are working closely with the provost, the Academic Support Program and faculty to develop outstanding strategies in all the areas that touch our students’ academic lives to help them reach those goals.”