The University of Georgia Bulldogs have won their way to the top of the college football rankings this year. But academically, the Bulldogs have been heading the other direction.
UGA football was dead last among SEC schools in the NCAA’s annual “graduation success rate” report cards this year. The NCAA released its annual report this month.
Created by the NCAA as an alternative to federal rules for calculating graduation rates, the graduation success rate, or GSR, counts athletes who leave school in good academic standing the same as if they’d graduated. The federal rate counts only those who actually do graduate within six years of enrolling, statistically treating a top athlete who left school early in good standing to play professional sports or transfer to another school the same as someone who flunked out.
For the class that entered in 2010-11, Bulldog football’s GSR was 53, which isworst among the SEC’s 14 universities. Its federal graduation rate, 41 percent was also the league’s worst. The six-year measuring period for that class ended with this spring’s college graduations.
The top-ranked University of Alabama football team tied Mississippi State for the league’s third-best football GSR with 84 percent, behind Vanderbilt at 90, and South Carolina at 98.
UGA’s overall GSR, counting all the NCAA scholarship sports, was also below average. Only three schools in the SEC were below UGA’s all-sports score of 83.
The national GSR for all NCAA athletes was 87 percent. Black athlete’s GSR reached an all-time high of 77 percent, according to the NCAA.
UGA’s graduation success rate for black athletes was 62.
UGA’s cellar finish in football completed a descent from four years ago, when UGA tied Vanderbilt for the SEC’s best score.
UGA’s football GSR last year, 60 percent, was only slightly higher than this year’s 53.
Most other UGA sports posted higher GSR numbers than football, particularly women’s sports.
Men’s basketball and women’s swimming and diving were at 100 percent for the third consecutive year. Women’s gymnastics was 100 percent for the ninth year in a row.