NC State is currently tied for the worst record in the Atlantic Coast Conference football season as the program heads towards its longest consecutive streak of non-winning seasons since the 1950s.
The Wolfpack has been picked to finish 12th out of 12 teams from almost every imaginable source for the upcoming basketball season continuing a twenty year period that has seen the Pack program earn an ACC Tournament seed better than fourth a single time.
SFN has consistently highlighted statistics that paint the Wolfpack’s overall athletics program at the very bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and most recently blogged this set of statistics that indicate the Wolfpack has one of the worst departments in the entire country amongst our peer group of other BCS programs.
Continuing on that theme, the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate numbers are being released and NC State finished last overall in the ACC by this measure as well.
For the four academic years beginning in 1999 and running through 2002, Duke graduated 97 percent of student-athletes.
During that time, the University of North Carolina was fourth in the ACC with a Graduation Success Rate of 87 percent and North Carolina State University came in 12th at 69 percent. State had a GSR of only 45 percent of basketball players and 57 percent of football players.
Those numbers place us 9th in basketball and 11th in football in the ACC.
What is GSR?
Division I Graduation Success Rate / Division II Academic Success Rate
The NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and the Academic Success Rate (ASR) were developed in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflect the mobility among college students today. Both rates improve on the federally mandated graduation rate by including students who were omitted from the federal calculation.
The GSR measures graduation rates at Division I institutions and includes students transferring into the institutions. The GSR also allows institutions to subtract student-athletes who leave their institutions prior to graduation as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete had they remained.
These numbers were for the four academic years beginning in 1999 and ending in 2002. For a point of reference, NC State AD Lee Fowler’s first year at NC State was 2000. These student-athletes would have been graduating between 2005 and 2008, so this represents the most accurate and relevant data available. Additionally, this would have given Lee Fowler five whole years to revamp the academic program if he saw any problems when he was first hired.
The numbers for basketball represent players recruited, coached, and mentored by former Coach Herb Sendek who was thought by most everyone (especially his friends in the media) to do an outstanding job of prioritizing academics and graduating players. In football, these numbers are from classes recruited by Mike O’Cain and Chuck Amato with Amato directing the program in most of the years these student-athletes spent in Raleigh. In the end, Chuck Amato actually graduated players at a higher rate than Sendek during these years which is completely unexpected based on the perceptions and reputations of the two coaches.
When looking at the old federally mandated rates (counts kids that leave the program, but not kids that transfer in), Sendek’s numbers look even worse. Sendek’s numbers of 45% GSR drop all the way to 25%. So only 25% of players recruited by Herb Sendek during these years actually graduated from NC State. The NCAA averages for basketball were a 64% GSR and a 48% Fed Rate.
For Amato and the football program, the drop in the Fed Rate wasn’t nearly as significant (57% GSR vs. 49% Fed Rate). Also, the numbers for football were much closer to the NCAA averages of a 67% GSR and 54% Fed Rate. So if you were recruited by Chuck Amato and arrived on campus, then you were almost twice as likely to receive your degree from NC State than if you were recruited by Herb Sendek.
Despite these numbers, Herb Sendek is one of 7 coaches that sits on the Basketball Academic Enhancement Group that was formed to “develop strategies to enhance academic performance and graduation rates.”
Of course, nobody in the media who continues to write about NC State’s former basketball coach will pay any attention to these numbers.
AD Lee Fowler was quoted today in the Raleigh News and Observer:
Leger said N.C. State already has data showing that graduation rates moving forward are going to improve significantly. N.C. State athletic director Lee Fowler said that men’s basketball players transferring out of the program almost seven years ago had a big effect on the graduation rate released Wednesday.
First of all, nobody is blaming Sidney Lowe for these numbers. These numbers reflect directly on LEE FOWLER’S PERFORMANCE. How in the world does he live so far from reality that he doesn’t remotely recognize that this is about HIM?!
I apologize for confusion here as I am a little unclear on some things. As we previously quoted, “The GSR also allows institutions to subtract student-athletes who leave their institutions prior to graduation as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete had they remained.”
But, “N.C. State athletic director Lee Fowler said that men’s basketball players transferring out of the program almost seven years ago had a big effect on the graduation rate released Wednesday.”
For Lee Fowler’s explanation to be accurate, the only way that transferring could have a negative impact on our GSR is that the transferees left in bad academic standing and would have been ineligible to compete if they stayed at NC State. So – if his comments are accurate – apparently a lot of the kids that transferred were not academically eligible which also is NOT a good sign for our academic support system and Fowler’s department.
The only other potential explanation for Fowler’s response is that he doesn’t know or understand the math of how the GSR is calculated. In that case, someone at NC State should probably inform “Coach Fowler” that the GSR was created due to complaints by coaches and athletic directors that counting transfers was unfair — so transfers are NOT counted in the GSR as long as they leave in good academic standing.
Either of these explanations are a tremendous embarrassment to North Carolina State University. But…then again…we’ve gotten pretty accustomed to embarrassments, haven’t we?
Obviously the University is not embarrassed enough since Lee Fowler continues to keep his job en route to finishing his 10th year ‘leading’ the NC State Athletics Department as one of the highest paid employees at NC State and holding his Chancellor’s Award for Excellence
As most average NC State alums often say…“ONLY AT NC STATE”. Now, shut up, pull out your checkbook, and keep giving.