Oct. 14, 2008
For the third straight year, Baylor University has produced the Big 12 Conference's highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) score according to figures released Tuesday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
"We are proud to once again lead the Big 12 Conference in graduation success rate," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "This success is a credit to the dedication of our student-athletes, academic commitment of our coaches and the outstanding work of the student-athlete services staff. Moreover, Baylor's faculty members play a key role in the academic success of our student-athletes and are to be commended for the outstanding job they do in the classroom."
Baylor's 2008 GSR score of 84 percent was six points higher than the national average of 78 percent and three points better than second-place Colorado in the Big 12 Conference. Baylor also produced the Big 12's highest overall GSR score in 2006 and 2007 with marks of 88 and 87, respectively. Following Baylor and Colorado among Big 12 schools were Kansas State (77), Nebraska (76), Oklahoma State (75), Texas (72), Texas A&M (72), Iowa State (71), Missouri (71), Texas Tech (71), Kansas (70) and Oklahoma (69).
In addition, Baylor registered the highest male student-athlete score in the Big 12 Conference with a 77 percent mark, while its female GSR score of 92 percent was the league¡¦s second-best score. Both of those marks were well-above the Division I national averages of 71 percent and 87 percent, respectively.
The Baylor baseball team led the Big 12 with a GSR score of 84 percent and was one of four BU programs with a composite GSR score of at least 80 percent, joining women's basketball (88), women's track and field (90) and men's track and field (82). All four of those programs, along with the Baylor football team (78, which tied Nebraska for second and was just one point behind No. 1 Texas Tech), produced GSR scores above the national NCAA Division I average.
"Our student-athletes take a great deal of pride in accomplishing their academic goals," said Baylor Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Services Bart Byrd. "They consider it a tradition to not only excel on the courts and fields but in the classroom as well. We continue to lead the Big 12 in academic achievements because of a total team effort from our student-athletes, coaches, administration, academic staff, tutors and faculty members."
The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) was developed in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflect the mobility among college students today. Both rates improve on the federally mandated graduation rate by including students who were omitted from the federal calculation.
The GSR measures graduation rates at Division I institutions and includes students transferring into the institutions. The GSR also allows institutions to subtract student-athletes who leave their institutions prior to graduation as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete had they remained.
The most recent Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering freshmen classes in Division I from 1998-99 through 2001-02. There are nearly 100,000 student-athletes in the most recent four-class GSR methodology, compared to just over 72,000 in the federal rate. This year¡¦s report marks the sixth year that GSR data has been collected by the NCAA.
The NCAA also released its 2008 federal graduation data on Tuesday. Baylor, which has led the Big 12 Conference in overall student-athlete graduation rates five times and finished second on three occasions, ranked ninth in the most-recent report with its 56 percent rate. Baylor's 4-year average graduation rate of 58 percent was seventh in the Big 12. Baylor has graduated at least 60 percent of its student-athletes in 11 of the Big 12's 13 years.
For the sixth time in Big 12 Conference history, the Baylor football program led the league with its 67 percent graduation rate (Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas State and Texas Tech also had marks of 67 percent).
Baylor's exhausted eligibility graduation rate of 91 percent was third in the Big 12 Conference behind Nebraska (93 percent) and Texas Tech (92).
Long-recognized as a national leader in student-athlete academic success, Baylor student-athletes achieved the following in the classroom during the 2007-08 academic year:
Baylor student-athletes continued their winning classroom ways, as a school-record 87 individuals were selected to 2007-08 Academic All-Big 12 teams, including a school-best 69 first-team honorees.
Sixteen of Baylor's 17 programs which compete in the Big 12 Conference produced at least two Academic All-Big 12 performers and 13 had multiple first-team honorees, led by women¡¦s track & field, which had 13 first-teamers among its 15 overall selections, and women¡¦s soccer¡¦s 10 first-team picks among 12 honorees. All-told, women's track & field (15), football (13) and women's soccer (12) all recorded double-digit Academic All-Big 12 honorees.
A school-record 449 Baylor student-athletes were named to the fall 2007 (235) and spring 2008 (214) Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Rolls, including 69 with 4.0 grade-point averages. Baylor established school records for fall, spring and total Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll selections during the 2007-08 academic year.
Thirty (30) Baylor student-athletes achieved perfect 4.0 grade-point averages during the fall 2007 semester, while 39 recorded 4.0 marks for the 2008 spring semester.
A total of 80 Baylor student-athletes, including 11 who earned master's degrees, graduated during fall 2007 and spring 2008 commencement exercises.
Baylor had 10 teams register a cumulative grade-point average above a 3.0 in 2007-08 and the cumulative grade-point average for all teams was a 2.97.
For the fall 2007 semester, 51.6 percent of Baylor's student-athletes registered a term grade-point average of at least 3.0. In the spring, that number jumped to 52.3 percent.
A school-record 137 Baylor student-athletes earned 2007-08 Dean's List recognition.
Six Baylor student-athletes earned CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors, including four first-team honorees¡ Joe Pawelek (football), Beckah Brady (women's soccer), Alex Colyer (softball) and Nicole Wesley (softball). Baseball's Shaver Hansen was a second-team pick, while volleyball's Anna Breyfogle received third-team honors.
Baylor also had six student-athletes selected 2008 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars¡XRalph Rodriguez (football), Desmond Jenkins (football), Trey Harts (men's track and field), Brittany Devereaux (women's track and field), Kayla Smith (women's track and field) and Nichole Jones (women's track and field).
Football's Michael Machen joined teammates Ralph Rodriguez and Desmond Jenkins on the second annual National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame's Hampshire Honor Society list.
Baylor men's basketball player Mark Shepherd was recognized for his excellence in academics when he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2007-08 Honors Court.
Baylor men's golfer Bill Allcorn was one of 96 NCAA Division I student-athletes recognized as a 2008 Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America. He becomes just the fourth BU golfer in school history to earn consecutive Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar honors, joining Chris Nickens (1996-97), Worth Williams (2000-01) and Chase Thomas (2006-07).
Morgan Chambers and Kristen Hendrix were named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar Team. A total of 402 women's collegiate golfers for Divisions I, II and III, were recognized by the NGCA.
Lauren Hagans and Nichole Jones were named to the 2007 NCAA Division I USTFCCCA Women's All-Academic Team selected by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. In addition, the Baylor women¡¦s cross country team was named a 2007 USTFCCCA Division I Women¡¦s Cross Country All-Academic Team. The Lady Bears compiled a team GPA of 3.69, the nation's seventh-best mark. Baylor had the highest GPA of any school competing at the 2007 NCAA Championships, eight spots better than the next highest team (West Virginia, 15th). It is believed that this was the first time in school history that any Baylor team recorded the highest GPA of any team nationally qualifying for postseason competition.