LSU Football Receives Praise for Academic Scores Among Bowl Teams
BATON ROUGE – Much like its performance on the field, LSU received high rankings in the classroom in a study released Monday, Dec. 5, of the 70 Football Bowl Subdivision schools that will participate in the upcoming college football bowl season.
LSU ranks eighth among the 70 bowl teams in Graduation Success Rate and tied for 12th among all bowl teams in the Academic Progress Rate.
The report by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport notes an overall Graduation Success Rate, or GSR, improvement from 67 percent to 68 percent for students on the 70 bowl teams. LSU’s GSR this year is well above average at 77 percent.
LSU’s mark of 77 ranks second among all Southeastern Conference schools behind only Vanderbilt.
Also, for the second straight year, 99 percent of schools in bowl games received a score higher than the target 925 on the NCAA’s four-year Academic Progress Rate, or APR. Teams with a four-year APR of 925 or below face penalties including loss of scholarships. LSU’s APR this year is 966, its highest score since the NCAA began compiling the data in 2003-04.
"If I was an advisor of athletes on a college campus, I would feel good about myself overall," said primary study author Richard Lapchick. "One of the things about the report is that if you do well, it helps you stand out. If you don’t do well, hopefully the motivation is to continue to do better."
Lapchick pointed out that, unlike past years when BCS title game teams often had less than stellar academic credentials, both of this year’s participants — LSU and Alabama — rank high, with APRs of 966 and 963, respectively. LSU graduates 77 percent of its players, and Alabama graduates 69 percent of its players.
Lapchick said that, based on the poor overall record of bowl teams a decade ago, he wouldn’t have thought that the teams competing in the national championship would have such strong academic credentials this fast.
"That brought a big smile to my face," he said.