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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Memphis Tigers student-athletes at all-time high for academic achievement

The NCAA released its Graduation Success Rate report Monday, with the University of Memphis at 93%.
Credit: Memphis Tigers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the sixth year in a row, University of Memphis Athletics posted an all-time high in academic achievement, as the NCAA released its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report Monday.

In the report, the University of Memphis GSR improved from the year before, with the University graduating 93% of its student-athletes for the 2013 cohort (2010-13). Last year Memphis’ GSR was 92% (2009-12), and for the 2011 cohort (2008-11), the GSR was 90%.

“The consistent improvement of our GSR is a direct reflection of the hard work of our student-athletes, as well as the diligent care and guidance by our Center for Athletics Academic Services (CAAS) staff,” said Memphis Director of Athletics Laird Veatch. “These metrics prove that University of Memphis student-athletes continue to succeed in the classroom while also winning at the highest level in their arenas of competition. This is a testament to the dedication our student-athletes put into their areas of study, as well as the support they receive from our coaches and staff.”

The Tigers’ Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) increased four percentage points from 61 last year to 65 this year for the same cohort (2010-13). The FGR accesses only first-time, full-time freshmen and only counts them as an academic success if they graduate from their institution of initial enrollment within a six-year period.

The GSR differs from the FGR in that it adds transfer students, mid-year enrollees and non-scholarship students (in specific cases) to the sample. This allows the GSR to more accurately look at student-athlete success by taking into account the full variety of participants in NCAA Division I and tracking their individual outcomes.

The GSR for all NCAA Division I institutions was 89%.

Tigers Tidbits on GSR

  • Memphis’ overall GSR (93) was above the national GSR (89).
  • Since the first NCAA cohort in 1998, Memphis' GSR has improved all but two of the 16 years (1998-2013). The other two years Memphis' GSR remained the same.
  • Fourteen of the Tigers’ fifteen programs had GSR bove the national average in their respective sports for the 2013 cohort (2010-13).
  • Among the the State of Tennessee, Memphis’ overall GSR (93) tied with the Middle Tennessee for the highest public institutions. Overall, Memphis trailed only Belmont and Vanderbilt in the state.
  • Memphis’ overall GSR tied for the second highest GSR in American Athletic Conference, behind only Cincinnati. Memphis was tied with Tulane.
  • Memphis’ overall GSR was tied or ahead of 12 of the 14 institutions in the Southeastern Conference.
  • Memphis’ overall GSR was ahead of 9 of the 10 institutions in the Big 12 Conference, trailing only Baylor.
  • Four programs improved their scores from the previous year - football (82 to 90), volleyball (92 to 100), women’s basketball (86 to 93) and men’s soccer (93 to 94).
  • Five programs – rifle, women’s golf, volleyball, men’s tennis and women’s tennis – recorded 100% GSR for the 2013 cohort.
  • Six programs equaled its GSR of last year, including women’s golf, rifle, men’s tennis and women’s tennis – all of which had 100 GSR. Men’s cross country/track (93) and women’s cross country/track (97) also equaled its GSR from a year ago.