South Carolina football tied for third in Graduation Success Rate

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp didn’t take long to hit the retweet button on a statistic posted Monday by associate athletics director for new and creative media Justin King.

The Gamecocks football team is tied for third in the country in Graduation Success Rate. Their 98 percent figure is best in the SEC. Only Dartmouth, Harvard and Northwestern are higher.

Brown and Columbia are tied with South Carolina.

Muschamp regularly commends Maria Hickman, who serves as the university’s senior associate athletics director for academics and student development. Apparently, it’s not just lip-service.

Hickman has worked at South Carolina since January of 2013, when Steve Spurrier was still patrolling the Gamecocks’ sideline at Williams-Brice Stadium.

According to

  • NCAA members, particularly presidents and chancellors, asked the NCAA in the early 2000s to develop a measure of student-athlete graduation success that more accurately reflects modern-day patterns of student enrollment and transfer. As a result, the NCAA created the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for Division I and the Academic Success Rate (ASR) for Division II.
  • The NCAA GSR differs from the federal calculation in two important ways. First, the GSR holds colleges accountable for those student-athletes who transfer into their school. Second, the GSR does not penalize colleges whose student-athletes transfer in good academic standing. Essentially, those student-athletes are moved into another college’s cohort. The Division II ASR additionally includes student-athletes who did not receive athletics aid, but did participate in athletics.

How is GSR calculated?

  • Division I rate that accounts for transfers in and out. Also tracks graduation over six years.

This was a slight improvement for South Carolina, which sported a 95 percent Graduation Success Rate, as recently as the fall of 2016. Last fall, the Gamecocks’ athletics department, as a whole, was second among all SEC programs in Graduation Success Rate.

Several current South Carolina football players graduated earlier this month, including tight end K.C. Crosby, quarterback Michael Scarnecchia, linebacker/defensive end Bryson Allen-Williams, offensive lineman Malik Young, safety Javon Charleston, tight end Jacob August and long snapper Ben Asbury.

A handful of former players also received degrees, including kicker Elliott Fry, tight end Rory Anderson, defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth, offensive lineman Trey Derouen and wide receiver Jerad Washington. Center Alan Knott finished with his degree in December.

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