BATON ROUGE - LSU posted the second highest graduation rate in the Southeastern Conference in the sport of football according to the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate data that was released on Tuesday.
LSU football's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 77 trails only Vanderbilt's mark of 86. The only other SEC football program with a GSR above 70 is Florida at 76.
"It is a significant achievement when a program that currently sits atop the BCS rankings on the field can say it is meeting its goals in the classroom as well," said Joe Alleva, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. "It is a tribute to the perseverance of our student-athletes, the support of Les Miles and his staff and the dedication of our academic support staff when a balance is struck between athletics excellence and academic achievement."
LSU football's score of 77 is well above the national mark of 67 for all Football Bowl Subdivision schools. The NCAA began calculating the GSR in 2006 and the LSU football program has shown improvement with each year's report, going from 51 in 2006 and 2007 to 54 in 2008, 60 in 2009 and 67 in 2010.
In other sports, LSU women's basketball tied for first in the SEC with seven other schools with a perfect mark of 100. Other sports with scores of 80 or above were volleyball at 91; women's golf, women's swimming and women's tennis at 89; gymnastics at 85, soccer at 81 and men's tennis at 80.
"Graduation is a team effort, and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated team whose priority is to graduate our young men and women," said Kenneth Miles, executive director of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes. "This includes our CCACSA's staff, Academic Affairs, schools and colleges, coaches, and the athletic administration. We are fortunate to work with such a conscientious group as we strive to be the premiere resource for LSU student-athletes."
The NCAA developed the Graduation Success Rate to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The rate holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.
Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. The outgoing transfers are included in the receiving institution's GSR cohort.
The most recent Division I Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering classes from 2001-2002 through 2004-05. The NCAA began compiling these figures with the entering freshmen class of 1995.