Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Robert Morris Upsets MSU!

Lets hope that Graduation Success Rate is not predictive of the final score on Friday.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports has just released their annual report on the Graduation Success Rates (GSR) and Academic Progress Rates (APR) for teams in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and as should be expected, MSU fared quite well. The report is focused on the NCAA as a whole, as opposed to specific schools, although its appendix does list the individual scores for each school in the tournament. The report focuses mainly on the disparity between white basketball players and African-American basketball players, and like many schools across the country, MSU exhibits these issues.

MSU's APR and Graduation Success Rates in the 2009 report are as follows:

APR: 963
Overall Student Athlete: 79
African-American Basketball Student Athlete: 43
White Basketball Student Athlete: 100
Overall Basketball Student Athlete: 60

For comparison, here are MSU's numbers from the 2008 report:

APR: Not reported (4 years of data required)
Overall Student Athlete: 79
African-American Basketball Student Athlete: 50
White Basketball Student Athlete: 100
Overall Basketball Student Athlete: 67

While the numbers seem to have regressed slightly from the previous year, what is important to note is the APR number. MSU, sitting at 963, is in pretty good shape. Any school that gets a score under 900 may be subject to sanctions including a post season ban. MSU is one of only 18 teams in the tournament with a score higher than 960, so from that perspective we should be pretty proud.

Looking at GSR, MSU is also in alright shape. MSU is one of 30 teams in the tournament with a graduation rate of 60 or better. It would be good if this number goes higher in future years, as it is considered borderline for acceptability, and will drag down the APR if not improved.

Everything considered, MSU can do better, but should be pretty proud of where they are right now. Just to keep it interesting, lets glance at some of the teams MSU could face in the tournament, as well as some familiar Big Ten opponents (APR and Overall Basketball Student Athlete GSR):

MSU: APR - 963 GSR - 60

Robert Morris: APR - 925 GSR - 100
Boston College: APR - 944 GSR - 70
USC: APR - 863 GSR - 37
Kansas: APR - 981 GSR - 64
Louisville: APR - 941 GSR - 42

Illinois: APR - 989 GSR - 80
Michigan: APR - 927 GSR - 46
Minnesota: APR - 910 GSR - 36
Ohio State: APR - 909 GSR - 53
Purdue: APR - 894 GSR - 77
Wisconsin: APR - 938 GSR - 86

In past years, the Institute has also put out a report for the Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament, as well as an update once both tournaments reach the Sweet 16. Look for those updates in a future post.

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