The NCAA released the graduation rates for the Connecticut Huskies basketball program Wednesday. This report revealed the UConn men's basketball program has a graduation rate of just 20 percent. UConn's graduation rate is by far lower than any other team in the preseason AP Poll. The next closest team is Cal, with a graduation rate of about 55 percent.
Although 20 percent seems abysmal, UConn's graduation rate has steadily increased of late. Last season, the graduation rate was 17 percent, up from 8 percent the year before that. According to ESPN, the average rate for a NCAA basketball team is 77 percent. Is UConn's low rate a problem? UConn fans should not be concerned by the lowly rates for a slew of reasons.
These numbers released by the NCAA can be misleading. The 20 percent rate accounts for players who came into the program between 2005 and 2008 and graduated within six years. This is important to remember because it seems like the group of players that got UConn in trouble for low APR scores are still leaving their negative mark on the program. Over the last two seasons, UConn has had perfect APR scores, and the program as a whole has made an effort to improve graduation rates and APR scores. This can be shown best in the the brand new Werth Family Champions Center. UConn's beautiful new practice facility includes a nice study area for athletes on the basketball team. UConn spokesman Mike Enright spoke to ESPN on these problems.
"We anticipate that our graduation report, which still reflects those older numbers, will see a similar improvement over the next few years," Enright said.
Also worth noting: the women's basketball team has a graduation rate of 100 percent. It seems everything Geno Auriemma's program does is done successfully.
Whether it is on the court or in the classroom the Huskies aim to spread the UConn name in a positive way. It seems as if they will be able to achieve both academic and athletic success in the near future.