Penn State student athlete graduation rates above NCAA average

Penn State graduated 91 percent of its football players for classes entering in the 2005-06 academic year and posted a graduation success rate of 88 percent for student athletes in all sports, according to NCAA statistics released Thursday.

The football team’s rate tied Rutgers for seventh-best in the country among the nation’s 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. It also ranked Penn State second in the Big Ten behind Northwestern, which posted a 97 percent rate. The FBS average was 68 percent, the NCAA said.

The graduation rates for men’s basketball (92 percent) and women’s basketball (100 percent) was at least 15 percent higher than the national average in their respective sports.

The 88 percent success rate for all sports compared to the national average of 80 percent and ranked third in the Big Ten behind Northwestern (97 percent) and Illinois (89 percent).

“We are extremely proud of the outstanding academic success and graduation rates by Penn State student-athletes,” acting athletic director Dave Joyner said in a statement. “The NCAA graduation data again reinforces intercollegiate athletics’ mission of integrity, academics and winning championships.”

--Joe Juliano