NCAA: UConn has lowest grad rate among Top 25 teams

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The NCAA is reporting that UConn's men's basketball team has a graduation rate of just 20 percent, by far the lowest among the teams in the preseason Top 25.

The numbers count the players who came into the program between 2005 and 2008 and graduated within six years.

It's actually an improvement for UConn, which reported a 17 percent graduation rate last year and an 8 percent graduation rate just two seasons ago.

The national average for all sports is a graduation rate of 86 percent. In men's basketball, it's 77 percent.

The UConn women's basketball team had a 100 percent graduation rate, according to the NCAA.

University spokesman Mike Enright says that because the rate includes players who started at the Storrs campus a decade ago, the men's rate is still reflecting the academic problems that caused UConn to be banned from the NCAA tournament in 2013.

That ban stemmed from another academic measurement, the Academic Progress Rate, which measures academic eligibility.

UConn was barred from both the 2013 Big East tournament and the NCAA tournament based on the APR scores from the 2007-08 through 2010-11 academic years.

The program has submitted perfect APR scores for the past two years.

"We anticipate that our graduation report, which still reflects those older numbers, will see a similar improvement over the next few years," Enright said.

Over the past several years, UConn has put in changes in an effort to boost the scores and graduation rates.

Players also are required to attend at least nine hours of summer school each year and adhere to a "graduation plan" created to ensure each player is on a path to graduate, even if they leave school early for the NBA or other opportunities.

There also are mandated sanctions for any player who misses three or more classes during the academic year and daily checks of course work for student-athletes who have a grade-point average of 2.3 or lower.

The next-lowest graduation rate among the preseason Top 25 in basketball is California at 54.5. The lowest among the Top 25 football teams is Houston at 55.8.