Thursday, October 12, 2006

Graduation Rates - Kudos to SU

It looks like the NCAA has made a move in the right direction on at least one thing: evaluating the graduation rates of schools. While I understand the need for the NCAA to have very rigid rules… if they did not, schools, coaches, and boosters would be taking advantage of every loophole they could to get around them… it is good to see some common sense come into play.

To punish a school for graduation rates because a player, in good academic standing, left early to go pursue a multi-million dollar career in the NBA is ludicrous. Likewise, similar consideration needed to be taken for players who transferred. Yes, some players transferred because they were academically in trouble; others transfer because the coach ‘runs him out’. But many transfer simply because they are not enjoying the lack of playing time they are getting or they are homesick and want to go to school closer to home. In the later two cases, schools were being punished for their graduation rates, when it was an apples and oranges comparison.

Syracuse is doing pretty well now under the new standards, at 75% graduation rate (Post Standard Article, September 29, 2006). That’s not to suggest that Syracuse is now an Ivy League school, or even giving high academic standards to their athletes… but they at least are giving them a good sound education and helping them get to their degree. And for 99% of the players out there, that is what they’ll need following college.

Embarrassing is the graduation rates for UConn and Louisville. I know you really need to look at each individual player’s situation case by case to really understand what is going on, but given the more lenient standards being used by the NCAA, having graduation rates of 30% and 33% respectively is flat out terrible.

By the way, I’ve seen chatter on places on the internet inquiring if Syracuse was ever invited to be in the Ivy League. I know from my research into the newspaper archives, that they were denied in the early 1900’s because of a conflict with Cornell. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find that story; if I do, I will post it. Back at that time, the Ivy League was not ‘official’; that wasn’t until 1954. But the current schools in the Ivy League were known as such, and Rutgers, Navy, and Army were included in that grouping. Syracuse athletically was involved in football, basketball and crew extensively with those schools, and that is why the opportunity was there (you must remember that in the early 1900’s, Crew was probably the biggest sport of those three, and Syracuse had one of the best programs). Anyhow, if … when, I find the article, I will post a link to it. If anyone wants to help, please do.


No comments: