Why does any college team have a 20% graduation rate?

Grades are the Number one MOST important thing when it comes to recruiting…but if you check out the graduation rates for the University of Connecticut Basketball Team you might think differently.
WHY is their graduation rate only 20%? (read the ESPN article linked below)

“The national average for all sports is a graduation rate of 86 percent. In men’s basketball, it’s 77 percent.”

We all know that college sports are a business, especially the big dollar sports Football and Basketball. So are coaches in many schools ignoring bad academics of their student-athletes for the sake of victories? If so…why? Thankfully it doesn’t appear that way. “The national average for all sports is a graduation rate of 86 percent. In men’s basketball, it’s 77 percent.”

College coaches should be setting their players up for success beyond college since there is a slim-to-none chance they will go to the pros.

Baseball: 8.6% of college players drafted by MLB

Men’s Basketball: Only 1.2% drafted by the NBA

Football: Only 1.6% drafted by the NFL

Women’s Basketball: A mere 0.9% drafted by the WNBA

Men’s Ice Hockey: 6.8% go to the NHL

and Men’s Soccer: Only 1.4% go to MLS

Fortunately it appears that most coaches do still emphasize good grades, but it’s not totally the job of the coaches to ensure their players study. Once you enter college you are an adult. You are most likely over 18 and now it’s time to get your head on straight and focus. It’s time to show responsibility.

Grades = $$$

No one is there to babysit you in college. Most teams keep track of your grades pretty tightly and offer you tutoring, but the onus is on you. No one is going to babysit you once you graduate. Your success and failure depends on the habits that you develop. Learn how to study, work hard and stay focused. This will make it easier for you to attain success in the classroom and will overall help you “Know Your Goal”.

Remember, Grades will not only make you more valuable to a college team, they also equal dollars. The better you do in high school the more money you make in college.  I cannot emphasize this enough, Grades = $$$.

Don’t emulate college athletes who don’t do their work. When they don’t get an NBA deal they will wind up with no college degree and you may see them doing some low skilled labor that they could have avoided if they had only studied.

Start developing good habits Freshman year in high school. Jump on your studies early. Get good grades from the word “go” because when you are a Junior and colleges coaches start to really recruit you they will look at your transcripts…and the only grades that will be ready during the recruiting period will be Freshman and Sophomore grades.

One of my athletes was incredibly talented and had a 3.2 GPA his Junior year. We marketed him very aggressively after his Junior football season. I checked back with his high school coach to see what kind of response he was getting. The coach told me, “Every day another Division I school comes out to see him…and every day they see his grades and walk away.”  I said, “But he has a 3.2.” His coach said, “Yes, in his junior year, but he had a 1.4 cumulative in his Freshman and Sophomore years.”

Because he screwed around during his first two years in high school this very talented athlete wound up missing out on schools like Nebraska and Iowa who were actually interested. He ended up at a smaller Division I school, but his bad habits followed him and he was kicked off the team many years later. Now he is trying to recapture the opportunity that he lost…including a chance at an NFL career.

I have far too many stories like this. I can do a lot of things for you, but I can’t make you study. I hate to see this happen to talented athletes. You have to know what you need to do and be responsible. You have to work hard and “Know Your Goal”.


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