College athletes are graduating at a record pace nationwide, continuing an upward trend that dates to the early 2000s, according to data released Wednesday.
That number represents a 1 percentage point bump over last year and was pushed upward by an increase of 3 percentage points for African American athletes across all sports.
Football players at big-time Football Bowl Subdivision schools graduated at a 76% rate. The rate for men's basketball players at that level was 77%.
The Graduation Success Rate was created to account for athletes who leave school early while in good academic standing. Under the traditional federal graduation rate, such students are counted as failures. The NCAA measurement also gives teams credit for athletes who arrive as transfers and succeed in the classroom.
“As colleges and universities, we have a responsibility to prepare our students to excel both on and off the field of play,” said John J. DeGioia, president of
Among local universities, the
Both schools were below the overall Division I average of 78% in men's basketball. UCLA reported 44% and USC 50%.
Pepperdine had an 89% overall rate, with UC Irvine reporting 88%.