YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some critics say many college athletes find it easy to focus on the field and let grades slide.
The NCAA keeps track of graduation rates for student athletes.
And it’s one of the things incoming coach Bo Pelini will have to work on at YSU.
“The number one thing of why I’m in this is to develop young men,” Pelini said at Wednesday’s press conference. “That, first and foremost, that the kids are going to graduate, and number two, when they walk out of Youngstown State University, they will be prepared for the next step in their life.”
That’s been hard for some students at YSU.
NCAA records show that in 2010, the graduation rate for the YSU football team plummeted to 20 percent.
In four years, they made a steady drive forward, with the 2013-2014 graduation rate hitting 55 percent.
The University of Nebraska had some gains and losses in that time, ending at 72 percent.
But they never recovered the 84 percent rate they had before Pelini took over the team in 2007.
That rate looks at how many freshmen graduate within six years.
“I think the goal of every athletic department is to have 100 percent graduation rate,” Trevor Parks of YSU Sports Information said. “You’re probably never going to have that. Sixty percent, I think, is a pretty good number, a pretty fair number, especially in football.”
It’s up to the coach to help keep students on track.
“Every coach is evaluated at the end of the year on certain factors, and graduating student athletes is one of them,” Parks said.
Note: Statistics below are provided by the NCAA. “All” refers to the university’s graduation rate as a whole. Statistics labeled “2013-2014” measure what percentage of students who entered the school during the 2007-2008 school year graduated within six years; statistics labeled “2012-2013” measure students who entered in 2006-2007, and so on. Find out more on how the NCAA calculates graduation rates.