Graduation rate is more bad news for UConn

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By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's basketball program — already banned from the postseason for failing to meet other academic standards — has a graduation success rate of just 11 percent, according to an NCAA report released Thursday.

The GSR, released Thursday, measures the percentage of student-athletes earning diplomas at a school over a six-year period. This year's numbers are for the classes that entered school from 2002 to 2005.

UConn's 11 percent rate was far below the national average of 68 percent for men's basketball.

Athletic Director Warde Manual, who took that job this year, said the school is committed to improving the program's performance.

"I want to be clear that everyone at UConn is and will always be committed to academic excellence for all of our student-athletes and in particular our men's basketball players," Manuel said in a statement. "The University and its Division of Athletics has implemented changes that are designed to positively impact the academic performance of our men's basketball student-athletes."

Those changes include mandated sanctions for any player who misses three or more classes during the academic year and daily checks of course work for student-athletes who have a grade-point average of 2.3 or lower.

UConn was barred from the 2013 NCAA Tournament when it failed to score high enough on the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate, which measures whether student athletes have remained in school and academically eligible for competition.

Manuel pointed to improvements last year in the APR as a sign that those changes are working.

The team scored a 978 out of 1000 for the 2010-11, the season it won its third NCAA Championship. That was up from 826 on the APR for 2009-10.

The school has said another high score is expected for the 2011-12 academic year when it is announced next June.

In a conference call with reporters, Walter Harrison, the chairman of the Committee on Academic Performance and the president of the University of Hartford, said UConn's graduation success rate has much to do with the players that the school chose to bring into the program. He said that institutions that want to improve their GSR numbers should be more selective about whom they admit.

UConn pointed out that 14 of its 19 athletic programs have graduation success rates at or above the national average.

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Associated Press Sports Writer Michael Marot contributed to this story from Indianapolis

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