College Sports

Sacramento State, UC Davis post stellar NCAA athlete graduation rates

Sacramento State student-athletes posted the highest graduation success rate score in school history and UC Davis student-athletes continued to lead the academically rigorous Big West Conference in statistics released on Tuesday by the NCAA.

The Sac State rate for freshmen who enrolled in the fall of 2009 or spring of 2010 and received athletic aid in their first year of college was 77 percent compared to 75 percent in 2008-09. It is a 17 percent improvement dating to 2001-02.

UCD has a rate of 88 percent, matching the previous two years, in leading the Big West Conference – which also includes UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine and Cal Poly – for the fifth consecutive year.

Now in its 12th year, the graduation success rate was viewed as a better way to evaluate student-athlete success by including transfers in or out. It is calculated over a six-year period.

Sac State basketball led the way in men’s sports at 79 percent. Baseball was at 77 percent and football at 75 percent.

Women’s tennis and volleyball had rates of 100 percent and women’s track and cross country was 97 percent. Women’s basketball had an 87 percent rate.

At UCD, baseball led all men’s sports at 87 percent, a Big West high. Football was 85 percent, tops among Big Sky Conference schools for the third consecutive year. Men’s basketball was 78 percent.

Three women’s sports – field hockey, gymnastics and tennis – had a 100 percent rate. Basketball was 92 percent.

Sac State’s freshman-cohort graduation rate also climbed two percentage points from the previous year. The rate measures only students who complete a degree from their initial school and counts all transfer students as academic failures even if they eventually earn a degree at another school. Sac State athletes also graduated at a 21-percent higher rate (67 to 46) than the general student body for those who enrolled in 2009-10.

UCD’s freshman-cohort rate dipped slightly from 79 percent to 78 for 2009-10 for the previous year. The UCD-wide rate of 83 percent for 2009-2010 was three percentage points higher than for athletes.

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP