Coach B's Lax Blog

Lacrosse – Anything & Everything – What else is there?

Lacrosse is at the top of the NCAA Graduate Success Rate Report

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 27, 2011

Along with most of the other Chiefs and Full Force Lacrosse coaches, I have always impressed upon my players that family and schoolwork come before lacrosse.  Yes, lacrosse is important if you are intent on taking it to the next level but your family comes before anything and no matter how great a lax player you are, your grades are going to play a huge role in getting recruited into a DI or DII program or getting accepted to a DIII school where you desire to play lacrosse.

In the past, lacrosse players have typically come from top private and prep schools.  These players – usually intelligent and good students – then typically went on to play in college at Ivy League and comparable elite colleges.   The exponential growth of lacrosse at the youth level has led to more players in high school and on elite teams.  As a result more and more lacrosse players are playing at the collegiate level.  I have always believed that a young athlete’s participation in one or more sports resulted in better grades since the athlete was “forced” to focus more on his academics to maintain his grades.  The daily practices and regular games forced the athlete to budget and prioritize his time better thus contributing to better academic performance in the classroom.

This is not just my belief, the NCAA just released its annual Graduate Success Rate (GSR) Report and once again (as expected) , lacrosse  fares extremely well compared to other sports for the 2001-2004 cohorts among schools in Division I (combined).  According to the NCAA findings, male lacrosse players had a GSR of 88%, which was tied (with gymnastics) for highest among the sports in the survey, and had the third highest federal graduation rate at 73% (gymnastics and fencing placed first and second).  See Chart below.  I realize compiling these studies can take time to gather all the data, etc. but the stats in the recent NCAA GSR report are from the 2001-2004 cohorts.  Though I’m sure the lacrosse figures are reasonably accurate even to this date (and possibly better), I wonder why the NCAA is 7 years behind?

Nevertheless, parents should relish in these statistics and know that although it may seem that lacrosse takes a substantial amount of our sons’ time, it typically helps rather than hurts their academics.  Good Stuff!

2001-2004 Cohorts Four-Class Average

Men’s Sports Women’s Sports
Sport NCAA GSR Federal Rate Sport NCAA GSR Federal Rate
Gymnastics 88% 84% Field Hockey 94% 81%
Lacrosse 88% 73% Lacrosse 94% 82%
Skiing 88% 70% Skiing 94% 65%
Fencing 86% 77% Fencing 93% 81%
Tennis 86% 65% Crew/Rowing 92% 81%
Swimming 85% 72% Gymnastics 92% 81%
Water Polo 85% 72% Swimming 91% 76%
Ice Hockey 82% 62% Water Polo 91% 75%
Golf 81% 65% Soccer 89% 71%
Rifle 79% 66% Tennis 89% 70%
Soccer 79% 58% Golf 88% 72%
CC/Track 76% 61% Ice Hockey 88% 75%
Volleyball 76% 66% Volleyball 88% 70%
Wrestling 73% 56% Softball 86% 70%
Baseball 72% 48% CC/Track 85% 71%
Football (FBS) 67% 56% Basketball 84% 64%
Basketball 66% 48% Bowling 77% 56%
Football (FCS) 66% 54%
Average 79.1% 64.1% 89.1% 73.0%

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