Tuesday, October 14, 2008

News: Hoyas Graduation Rate Declines

The Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of Georgetown's mens basketball team declined this year, dropping from 82% to 70%[pdf] (thanks to Cracked Sidewalks for pointing out the release of this year's rates).

Here's the data:

Year Cohort GSR Fed Rate
2008 1998-2001 70 47
2007 1997-2000 82 60
2006 1996-1999 64 47
2005 1995-1998 50 42

While I'll guess that HoyaSaxa.com will have more on this, I thought I'd put together a post providing answers to a few questions raised by this news.

1. What is the Graduation Success Rate (GSR)? Who cares?
This is a metric[pdf] that the NCAA uses to judge whether a school's sports programs are graduating student-athletes at an acceptable rate. Simply, it is the percentage of incoming athletes in a four-year cohort who either graduate or transfer in "good academic standing" within six years of their classes entrance to the school. It includes athletes who transfer in to the school as well.

The reason we care is that the data used to calculate GSR rates are also used to calculate each school's Academic Progress Rate (APR)[pdf]; here's G'town for the 2006-7 school year. If a school does not meet minimum APR requirements, penalties ensue.

1a. What's the difference between GSR and APR?
GSR is simply the percentage of athletes who either graduate or transfer out while academically eligible. APR looks at semesterly academic standing and retention rate, so a player who completes the fall semester successfully and returns in the spring earns 2 out of 2 points, while a player who completes the fall semester but leaves the school (e.g. Marc Egerson in 2006) earns 1 out of 2 points.

2. What is a cohort?
A population that is being studied. In this case it is all student-athletes who belong to 1 of 4 contiguous classes. Specific to this year, it is the athletes who were part of the 1998-2001 incoming classes. As classes are sometimes thought of in terms of their targeted 4-year graduation date (especially after graduation), it would be the Classes of 2002-05.

3. What happened to the old formula?
There is an alternative formula, the Federal Graduation Rate, that does not credit schools for transfers out in "good academic standing." For example, Jeremiah Rivers and Vernon Macklin left Georgetown over the summer - the old formula will consider them as non-graduates, while the GSR would allow the school to count them as graduates.

4. What if a player leaves early to go pro (e.g. Jeff Green)?
In this case, that player will be considered a non-graduate if he doesn't complete his coursework in 6 academic years. In the case of Jeff Green, the clock is still running, and Jeff is still working towards his degree - he was 24 credits short heading into this past summer.

5. Why are the using such old classes? John Thompson Jr. was still coaching in 1998!
Well, the NCAA wants to get an average GSR over a four-year time period, and it also wants to give athletes up to 6 years to graduate. So, for the 2008 data, its for players whose graduation clock ended in August 2007, as well as the previous 3 years (2006, 2005, 2004). So, for the August 2004 group, if the had 6 years to finish, then they would have started in 1998 (in this case, Kevin Braswell and Willie Taylor).

6. What will happen next year? How do Georgetown's classes look?
Time for another table which is really just an update of an old HoyaTalk post by SFHoya99:
Class  Player                         Transfer In?  Graduated?  Transfer out?  Left?

1997 Boumtje-Boumtje, Ruben Yes
Burton, Nat Yes
Perry, Anthony Yes
Scruggs, Lee Yes Yes

1998 Braswell, Kevin Yes
Taylor, Willie Yes

1999 Freeman, Courtland Yes
Samnick, Victor Yes
Wilson, Wesley Yes
Hunter, Demetrius Yes
Burns, Jason Yes

2000 Faulkner, Omari Yes
Ross, RaMell Yes
Riley, Gerald Yes
Sweetney, Mike Yes

2001 Owens, Darrel Yes
Bethel, Tony Yes
Hall, Drew Yes
Thomas, Harvey Yes

2002 Bowman, Brandon Yes
Cook, Ashanti Yes

2003 Dizdarevic, Sead Yes
Ewing, Patrick Yes Yes
Causey, Matt Yes
Reed, Ray Yes

2004 Crawford, Tyler Yes
Green, Jeff Yes
Hibbert, Roy Yes
Wallace, Jon Yes
Guibunda, Cornelio Yes

2005 Sapp, Jessie On-schedule
Egerson, Marc Yes
Spann, Octavius Yes
Thornton, Josh Yes

2006 Summers, DaJuan On-schedule
Macklin, Vernon Yes
Rivers, Jeremiah Yes

2007 Wright, Chris On-schedule
Mescheriakov, Nikita On-schedule
Freeman, Austin On-schedule
Wattad, Omar On-schedule
Vaughn, Julian Yes On-schedule

2008 Monroe, Greg On-schedule
Clark, Jason On-schedule
Sims, Henry On-schedule

What's interesting is that last year's GSR (82%) and this year's GSR (70%) don't work if players count only as pass/fail. For instance, the 1998-2001 cohort had 15 players (I don't think walk-ons count), and 0.70 x 15 = 10.5. There were 8 players who stayed 4 years (and I believe all graduated), 6 who transferred and Mike Sweetney turned pro. Perhaps academically-eligible transfers out count for 0.5 points? Then, we'd get (assuming 1 non-eligible transfer [HT?]):
8 x 1 + 5 x 0.5 + 2 x 0 = 10.5 out of 15 = 70%

If this is the correct method, then it should work for the 1997-2000 cohort (close):
11 x 1 + 3 x 0.5 + 1 x 0 = 12.5 out of 15 = 83%

So, assuming I'm doing the math correctly (and for some reason, I don't think I am), let's run a few more cohorts:

Year Cohort Full Partial None GSR
2011 2001-2004 8 5 2 70% (assumes JG does NOT graduate in time)
2010 2000-2003 8 4 2 71%
2009 1999-2002 9 4 2 73%
2008 1998-2001 8 5 2 70%
2007 1997-2000 11 3 1 83%

So there you have it - it appears that Georgetown will be sitting at our current GSR for at least the next 3 years.


I've finished running (and posting) those HD box scores for the last 2 seasons - if I haven't posted a game, it's because I don't have the play-by-play to run it. I hope to post something this weekend that will show what you can do with the underlying data, once you've collected it.

Also, I've gathered just about all of my various highlight clips onto one page (here), if you're looking to kill some time. You can also find the clips (and lots of other things) by using the Popular Tags box down in the sidebar.

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