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Athletic Director Comments

May 20, 2002

March 2002

In a recent article, U.S. News & World Report erroneously listed the LMU student-athlete's graduation rate as 21% for those student-athletes who entered as freshman in 1994-95 and were receiving some type of athletic related financial aid. The actual graduation rate was 73%. This compares quite favorably with the institution's rate of 70% for the comparable non-athlete cohort.

Now let me explain how the error occurred and the steps that have been taken to notify people. Every fall, the Athletic Department receives from the NCAA its calculated graduation rate for various categories of student-athletes. When we received this year's form, it indicated a graduation rate of 21%. Typically, the graduation rate for our athletes is between 60-80% so we went back through our files and realized that indeed there was a gross error made. The NCAA publishes this data and has it on their web site for prospective student-athletes to view. In addition, we must disclose the graduation rate to all student-athletes that we are recruiting. Obviously, this became of great concern to us and we sought to make the correction through the NCAA, which we did. I would be happy to send a copy of this NCAA institutional report to anyone requesting it.

The NCAA receives its data from the federal government based upon a federal form that each institution's registrar or record's office must complete yearly. This past year, for the first time the form was to be completed on-line and was changed somewhat. In completing the form, there were errors made that resulted in the calculation of the 21% figure. As we tracked the source of the error, we found from the NCAA that indeed there were a number of other universities that had incorrectly completed the on-line form and had erroneous graduation rates. We began a rather lengthy time consuming and bureaucratic process to correct the record and receive a new information sheet from the NCAA. This process culminated in December. The NCAA also gave us assurance that all of the corrections would be made in their records. All of this took place last semester.

Recently I was made aware of the article in which we were listed as the #301 university in the country with a graduation rate of 21%. I immediately contacted U.S. News & World Report to inform them of their error and faxed to them the NCAA form that was re-issued and has the correct graduation rates listed. They informed me that they took the information from the NCAA web site. Upon checking the NCAA web site I indeed found that the NCAA had not made the graduation rate correction. The NCAA has now made the correction on the website. Here is the address: http://www.ncaa.org/grad_rates/2001/d1/Rpt00370.html

Unfortunately, at this point mal-information about LMU's Athletics Program has been distributed through this article. I have asked U.S. News & World Report for a correction and hopefully they will publish one. It is my hope that this article to you will also inform you about the correct statistics.

As a University and as an Athletics Department we are committed to recruiting athletes that reflect the general student body in academic qualifications and for whom receiving a degree are paramount in their educational experience. We are proud of the support given and commitment made by our coaches and staff to ensure our student-athletes graduate. This commitment goes beyond our Department and extends to faculty, administrators and staff. As a Lions' Fan, you should be proud of these efforts because indeed those athletes who represent LMU are successful in the classroom and they do graduate at a rate significantly higher than most institutions in this country.

Go Lions!
Bill Husak, Athletics Director

Here are some figures to take note of:

Lion's Graduation Rate: 73%
Lion's Graduation Rate-Exhausted Elgibility: 81%
National Scholar Athletes - Fall 2001: 158 (of 327 athletes)
Percentage of Scholar Athletes: 49% (Institution - 55%)
Dean's List (3.5 or higher): 49
Percentage on Dean's List: 15% (Institution - 17%)
National Scholar Athletes - 1997-2001: 616 (3.0 GPA or higher)
Athletic Department GPA: 2.94 (Fall 2002)

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