Clemson Student-Athlete Graduation Rate Increases


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Clemson, SC-The graduation rate for Clemson football players who
entered the University during the fall of 1996 is 78 percent, 11th
best in the nation among the 117Division I-A schools according to
figures released by the NCAA this week. That includes a graduation
rate of 89 percent among African Americans, the seventh best
percentage in the nation among Division I-A schools.

The NCAA released its graduation rate data for
student-athletes who entered school in the 1996-97 academic year.
Clemson trailed only Rice, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Northwestern,
Hawaii and Notre Dame when it came to graduation rate among African
American football players who entered that year. Boston College,
Duke, Stanford and Penn State were among the schools below Clemson's
89 percent figure.


Clemson would have had a 100 percent rate had it not counted a
student-athlete who transferred just two weeks after school began and
never suited up for a game. NCAA policies call for schools to count
scholarship athletes who enroll and begin classes. The study also
did not count two players, Mike Seth and Jason Gamble, who entered in
January of 1996. Both of those student-athletes also graduated, but
the NCAA does not count student-athletes who entered at mid-year. NCAA figures examine scholarship athletes only. Student-athletes who
transfer to other institutions, even if they leave in good academic
standing and graduate from the second school, are classified as
non-graduates for the initial institution.

As far as overall graduation rate among football players who
entered that year, Boston College had the highest figure in the
nation at 95 percent, while Notre Dame was second at 92 percent.
Clemson was third among ACC schools with its 78 percent, trailing
only Wake Forest (86 percent) and Duke (83 percent).


"These are good numbers, it is a testimony to the work that is being
done by our staff at Vickery Hall," said Clemson Head Coach Tommy
Bowden. "Our coaches have emphasized academics since we came to
Clemson and the results have been good. We certainly want to
continue to improve and strive to have all of our players earn their
degree from Clemson."


Clemson has eight players, including seven starters on the 2003 team
who already have their undergraduate degree, tying the school record
for active graduates on the same team. Twenty-seven Clemson football
players have earned their degree before the end of their playing
career since Bowden came to Clemson in 1999. That is the high figure
for any five-year period in Clemson history.


Clemson had a 66 percent graduation rate for scholarship
student athletes in all sports who entered during the 1996-97
academic year, an increase of 19 percent over the previous year.
The graduation rate for student-athletes who entered that year was
just six percent below the 72 percent graduation rate of the overall
Clemson student body.

Top Football Graduation Rates, Division I Institutions
(Student-athletes who entered in 1996-97)
	Overall				African Americans
Rk	School	        %	Rk	School		%
1.	Boston College	95	1.	Rice		100
2.	Notre Dame	92		Vanderbilt	100
3.	Vanderbilt	91		Northwestern	100
4.	Wake Forest	86		Hawaii		100
	Penn State	86		Wake Forest	100
6.	Rice		83	6.	Notre Dame	92
	Duke		83	7.	Clemson 	89
8.	Stanford	82	8.	Boston College	88
9.	Northwestern	81		Duke		88
10.	Tulane		79		Stanford	88
11.	Clemson 	78	11.	Penn State	85
12.	W. Michigan	76	12.	Tulane		82
13.	TCU		75	13.	Washington	80
	Baylor		75		Tulsa		80
	Indiana		75	15.	Baylor		75
	Tulsa		75		Rutgers		75
	Southern Miss.	75		Southern Miss.	75
	Utah State	75


ACC Presidents Huddle at Clemson


CLEMSON -- Leaders from schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference were at Clemson University this week to discuss collaboration and competition.


"If the ACC is only an athletic conference, then it is not reaching its potential," said James F. Barker, Clemson president and chairman of the ACC Council of Presidents. "There is a unique culture in the ACC that makes us attractive to students, faculty and staff."


Barker said the remarkable cooperation among the schools in
the ACC creates a fair playing field, both in participation
and equity, which makes it stand apart from other
conferences.


One way the conference is strengthening its academic
reputation is with the Inter-Institutional Academic Collaborative Traveling Scholar Program. Announced this summer, the program provides graduate students in the ACC an opportunity to participate in courses and research at any of the conference schools. And at today's (Sept. 4) meeting, the ACC presidents formed an ad hoc committee to study additional academic collaborations, such as a study abroad program.


"We are collaborating in ways we never thought of before,
from pooling our resources to sharing our academic
expertise" Barker said of the ACC.


The ACC consists of Clemson University, Duke University, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, University of Maryland, North Carolina State, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia and Wake Forest University. The University of Miami and Virginia Tech will become official voting and competing members of the conference on July 1, 2004.

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