Hokies Fare Well in New GSR Grad Rate Calculation

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The NCAA recently released their Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data for every
university, and Virginia Tech matches up very well when compared to other ACC
schools. While the common perception might be that the Hokies don’t do well in
the classroom when compared to their ACC brethren, this latest NCAA study shows
that 72% of football players and 88% of men’s basketball players go on to
receive their degrees from Virginia Tech, which compares very favorably with the
rest of the ACC.

The GSR is a new system that was created by the NCAA to deal with changing
times in intercollegiate athletics. The federally mandated method of calculating
graduation rates counts player transfers against the graduation rate of the
school they transfer from. It also does not give credit to the school the player
transfers to, if the player goes on to earn a degree. The GSR does not penalize
a school for a player transferring somewhere else, provided the player was in
good academic standing upon leaving.

This new system benefits many schools, including Virginia Tech, that have had
numerous player transfers throughout the years. Tech’s graduation rates have
hurt them on the recruiting trail, but that shouldn’t be as much of a problem
in the future. Here is how the Hokies stack up against the rest of the ACC.

ACC GSR Graduation Rates

School

Football

Men’s Basketball

Boston College

89

60

Clemson

94

75

Duke

87

50

Florida State

52

56

Georgia Tech

53

31

Maryland

63

30

Miami

67

75

UNC

64

82

NC State

50

78

Virginia

74

64

Virginia Tech

72

88

Wake Forest

96

100

Student athletes that enrolled in college from 1995-98 are included in these
rankings. As you can see, the Hokies are doing well. Tech ranks sixth in the ACC
in football graduation rates and second in men’s basketball. They narrowly
trail in-state rival UVA in football, and blow the Cavaliers off the map when it
comes to basketball.

A few things stand out when looking at each team. First, the Wake Forest
Demon Deacons rank first in both football and men’s basketball, graduating all
of their players in basketball. That is an amazing statistic, even more amazing
when you consider the high quality basketball that is played in Winston Salem.

Georgia Tech, Maryland and Florida State are lagging behind the rest of the
conference. The Yellow Jackets graduate barely half their football players and
not even one-third of their basketball players. Florida State finishes
next-to-last in football graduation rate, and ninth in basketball. The Maryland
Terrapins have the worst men’s basketball graduation rate in the ACC, narrowly
edging out Georgia Tech for that dubious honor.

Now let’s take a look at the football and basketball figures separately,
with the federal calculation included for comparison. First, the football grad.
rates:


ACC Football Graduation Rates, Sorted by GSR Method

Team

GSR Method

GSR ACC Rank

Fed. Method

Fed. ACC Rank

Wake Forest

96

1

87

1

Clemson

94

2

49

9

Boston College

89

3

83

2

Duke

87

4

81

3

Virginia

74

5

71

4

Virginia Tech

72

6

61

7

Miami

67

7

65

5

UNC

64

8

57

8

Maryland

63

9

62

6

Georgia Tech

53

10

47

10

Florida State

52

11

46

11

NC State

50

12

39

12


Next, the basketball grad rates:


ACC Men’s Basketball Graduation Rates, Sorted by GSR
Method

Team

GSR Method

GSR ACC Rank

Fed. Method

Fed. ACC Rank

Wake Forest

100

1

60

3

Virginia Tech

88

2

42

T-5

UNC

82

3

75

T-1

NC State

78

4

54

4

Clemson

75

T-5

20

11

Miami

75

T-5

75

T-1

Virginia

64

7

42

T-5

Boston College

60

8

31

9

Florida State

56

9

38

8

Duke

50

10

40

7

Georgia Tech

31

11

14

12

Maryland

30

12

25

10

The Hokies drop in the federal calculation method, falling to seventh in
football and into a tie for fifth in men’s basketball. Virginia Tech had a lot
of attrition in the basketball program over the years, and that is obvious when
you see the basketball graduation rate fall from 88% to 42% simply by changing calculating methods. Wake Forest remains in first place in football graduation rates but drops to third in basketball.

Take a look at the dropoff of Clemson. The Tigers went from second in
football in the GSR to near the bottom in the federal method. They also dropped
to next-to-last in basketball, showing they had a lot of transfer problems for a
period of time.

Jimmy Williams Named a Unanimous All-American

Virginia Tech senior cornerback Jimmy Williams was named a Unanimous
All-American earlier this week. Being name a Unanimous All-American is a
tremendous honor and it doesn’t happen very often. You must be named a
First-Team All-American by the FWAA, AFCA, Associated Press, Walter Camp and the
Sporting News.

Williams becomes just the fourth player in Virginia Tech history to be named
a Unanimous All-American. The first was Jim Pyne, Virginia Tech’s center in
1993. Pyne went on to enjoy an NFL career. Corey Moore recorded 18 sacks in 1999
and became the second Hokie to be a Unanimous All-American. Jake Grove was the
third in 2003. He now plays for the Oakland Raiders.

Williams is projected to be taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft
next April. He has 44 tackles and one interception on the season.

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