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UB football's graduation rate lags

The NCAA has released new graduation success rate scores based on the incoming classes of 1998-2001, and the University at Buffalo football program didn't fare well when compared to other Mid-American Conference programs.

UB graduated 61 percent of its players in the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate and 50 percent when measured by the federal rate -- the GSR doesn't penalize schools for transfers who leave in good academic standing. UB's GSR rate tied Akron for ninth in the conference, while its federal rate ranks 11th.

The federal rates are lower for every school as they count players who transfer as players who didn't graduate as opposed to the GSR, which rewards schools if those players were in good academic standing when they left. The national GSR rate for Division I-A schools is 67 percent, while the federal rate is 56; UB is behind in both. The 1998-01 period encompasses the end of the Craig Cirbus coaching regime and the beginning of the Jim Hofher era. UB entered the MAC in 1999.

"While the statistics show some positive outcomes, there is still work to be done," UB Athletic Director Warde Manuel said. "We have committed additional resources to academics the last three years, the coaches have done a great job with the current student-athletes and their commitment to both academic and athletic excellence."

In men's basketball among the Big 4 and Syracuse University, Niagara University has a perfect 100 percent GSR and 90 percent federal rate. In the GSR, Niagara is followed by St. Bonaventure (80), UB, (75), Canisius College (69) and Syracuse (50). In the federal, Niagara is followed by Canisius (52), St. Bonaventure (50), UB (44) and Syracuse (42).

The aggregate Graduation Success Rate for Division I moved to within two percentage points of NCAA President Myles Brand's goal of 80 percent, up a point from last year's 77 percent GSR.

e-mail: rmckissic@buffnews.com

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