Oct. 20, 2008
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa football team extended its Big Ten Conference winning streak to two games Saturday with its dominating 38-16 win over Wisconsin at historic Kinnick Stadium. However, that modest but important streak isn’t the only winning streak the UI’s intercollegiate athletics program and Iowa’s football program in particular are enjoying these days.
Last week, the NCAA issued its annual report on the academic achievement of the 322 NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics programs, and the UI and its student-athletes are on a nice roll in this competition as well. The report gives graduation information about students and student-athletes entering in 2001. This is the most recent graduating class for which the required six years of information is available.
The “Graduation Success Rate” (GSR) for the UI’s student-athletes was 86 percent – a mark that is eight points better than the national average, two points better than Iowa’s number a year ago (84 percent) and five points better than its 2006 number (81 percent).
The upward trend in the GSR for the UI is mirrored in the numbers for the Iowa football program. The NCAA reported a GSR of 75 percent for student-athletes in the sport of football – a mark that is eight points better than the national average (67 percent), two points better than last year (73 percent) and 10 points better than its 2006 number (65 percent).
“First and foremost, credit goes to our student-athletes. They are seizing the academic opportunity that is available to them and enjoying great success and that is simply fantastic.”
UI Director of Athletics
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. Iowa ranked third in the Big Ten Conference among its football peers behind only Northwestern (92 percent) and Penn State (78 percent).
Iowa also ranked third among its peers in the Big Ten when comparing the GSR for all student-athletes – 86 percent and behind only Northwestern (97 percent) and Penn State (89 percent).
“First and foremost, credit goes to our student-athletes. They are seizing the academic opportunity that is available to them and enjoying great success and that is simply fantastic,” said Gary Barta, director of athletics at the UI.
“I also want to give credit to our coaching staff and our administrative staff in our academic support areas. Academic success by student-athletes at the UI is not new. We have had success for years and we will for many, many years to come,” added Barta.
“We have this success because of the commitment our coaches and support staff. They work each day to provide the very best opportunities and experiences for the young people in our program both athletically and academically. One of the many by-products of this effort is the numbers in these reports.”