ORLANDO, Fla. -- Nine of the 16 teams remaining in the women's NCAA Tournament have a higher graduation rate than that of the top squad still competing in the men's bracket, according to a survey released Thursday.
Stanford graduated 93 percent of its players within six years of their initial enrollment, according to the annual study by Richard Lapchick of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.
Based on 2003 statistics, the Cardinal were followed by Vanderbilt (92 percent), Texas (88), Duke (87), Notre Dame (85), LSU (82), Baylor (80), and Minnesota and UC Santa Barbara (77).
By comparison, the men's team at Kansas graduated 73 percent of its players. The study of men's programs was released Tuesday.
"It's a blowout,'' Lapchick said.
Purdue's 43 percent is at the bottom of the women's list. The rest were Louisiana Tech (47), Connecticut (67), Tennessee and Georgia (69), and Boston College and Penn State (71).
Lapchick said women's programs historically have emphasized academics more then their male counterparts. He added that judging men's programs almost solely by their on-court success also creates much of the disparity.
"(Men's) coaches are more likely to recruit by cutting corners, to not only make additional revenue for the program but, of course, that means additional mobility for the coach -- salary increases, perhaps a job at a bigger school or a leap to the pros,'' Lapchick said.
Lapchick's studies touched a nerve in the men's ranks, where Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt complained there are problems in how graduation rates are calculated.
If a player transfers from a junior college or another four-year institution and graduates, that doesn't count in a school's
So, the NCAA has Georgia Tech graduating 27 percent of its players, while the school officials have the figure at 50-60
"We try to make it like these kids are just interested in two things: sleeping all day and playing basketball,'' Hewitt said. "And that's just not the case.''