June 26, 1997
Eighty-Two Percent of USC Athletes From 1990 Class Have Earned Degrees
LOS ANGELES -- Eighty-two percent of the 1990 entering class of USC scholarship student-athletes who completed their athletic eligibility at the school have earned degrees, according to "exhausted eligibility graduation rate" figures that USC reported to the NCAA.
USC football players posted an "exhausted eligibility" mark of 83%.
The NCAA, which today releases its annual graduation rate report, computes these figures in several ways. The "exhausted eligibility rate" determines the percentage of student-athletes who have graduated after their athletic eligibility has been completed. There is no limit on how many years it takes to graduate.
A second rate, known as the "unadjusted rate," is more publicized, but is based only on the number of student-athletes who graduate within 6 years following their enrollment as freshmen. Adjustments are not made for student-athletes who transfer or turn professional early, or who take longer than 6 years to graduate.
The current "unadjusted rate" for USC student-athletes is 57%, below last year's all-time high USC rate of 71%. USC football players posted a current "unadjusted rate" of 59%, above the national Division I mark of 52% but below last year's record USC mark of 75%.
"After our highest-ever performance last year, we expected our unadjusted numbers to dip this year," said USC athletic director Mike Garrett. "These rates were affected by a large amount of transfers and those who turned pro early. They can disproportionately affect the rate because of the small sample base. In fact, if you discounted those two groups, our actual graduation rates for this class are 82% for all student-athletes and 83% for football players.
"We are quite proud that, starting with the 1983 entering class, we have graduated 81% of all student-athletes who have completed their eligibility."