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Graduating college athletes on the rise

– College athletes are still breaking records in the classroom.

The NCAA’s latest graduation success rate, released Tuesday, shows 82 percent of all athletes entering school in the fall of 2004 earned degrees within six years. That’s 3 percentage points higher than the previous best one-year mark of 79 percent.

The four-year measurement for freshmen entering college between 2001 and 2004 also hit 80 percent for the first time. The previous record, 79 percent, was set two years ago and matched last year. Federal rates, which do not include transfer students, also show athletes graduating at a record rate of 65 percent – 2 percentage points better than the overall student body.

Baseball made the biggest one-year jump, from 69.6 percent in last year’s report to 77.4 percent this year.

Eighteen of Notre Dame’s 22 teams compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, with none falling below 93 percent. Notre Dame’s football team had the highest GSR in the nation with a 97.

The programs with 100 percent GSRs at Notre Dame are women’s basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis and volleyball and men’s baseball, basketball, cross country/track, fencing, golf, soccer, and swimming/diving.

The hockey and men’s lacrosse teams had 95s, and men’s tennis had a 93.

Indiana had an overall GSR of 71 percent from 2001-04, the period of time in the latest figures.

The Hoosiers had a GSR of 47 percent in men’s basketball, 66 percent in football and 77 percent in women’s basketball. IU had 100 percent in women’s golf, women’s swimming, women’s soccer and women’s tennis.

Purdue had an overall GSR of 77 percent. The Boilermakers had a GSR of 50 percent in men’s basketball, 59 percent in football and 69 percent in women’s basketball. The school had 100 percent in softball, men’s and women’s tennis and volleyball.

IPFW had an overall GSR of 91 percent. The Mastodons had a GSR of 83 percent in men’s basketball and 73 percent in women’s basketball. IPFW had 100 percent in men’s golf, men’s soccer, men’s volleyball, women’s golf and women’s tennis.


MLB news

Ben Cherington was introduced as Boston’s general manager after spending three seasons as Theo Epstein’s assistant. … Boston starter John Lackey will undergo Tommy John elbow surgery and miss the 2012 season. … Right-hander Joe Nathan will get a $2 million buyout after Minnesota declined the club’s 2012 option. … Milwaukee left-hander Chris Narveson had surgery on his left hip. … Toronto said manager John Farrell won’t be permitted to leave for the same job with Boston.


Oral Roberts to leave Summit

Oral Roberts will leave the Summit League and join the Southland Conference next July. Mark Rutland, president of the university in Tulsa, Okla., said the change in geography would benefit his athletes. IPFW is a member of the 10-school Summit League.


Colts’ Collins to IR

Kerry Collins (concussion), who started three games for the Colts, going 48 of 98 for 481 yards with two TDs and one interception, was placed on injured reserve. The Colts also put fullback Chris Gronkowski on IR, re-signed offensive linemen Jamey Richard and Michael Toudouze and running back Darren Evans to the active roster, waived David Gilreath from the practice squad and said starting guard Joe Reitz (knee surgery) will be out indefinitely.

NFL news

Buffalo placed veteran linebacker Shawne Merriman (Achilles) on season-ending injured reserve. ... Atlanta placed fullback Ovie Mughelli (knee) on injured reserve. … Washington placed tight end Chris Cooley and running back Tim Hightower on injured reserve. … Quarterback J.P. Losman signed with Miami, which placed quarterback Sage Rosenfels on the reserve-non-football illness list. … Minnesota waived wide receiver Bernard Berrian. … Vikings cornerback Chris Cook was charged with allegedly trying to strangle his girlfriend over the weekend, leaving her with a bloody nose.


Carroll grad 2nd in Hammond tourney

Local poker professional Aaron Steury, a 2005 Carroll graduate, placed second in the World Series of Poker Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event Texas Hold ’em tournament recently, winning $243,818. In June, Steury won the WSOP H.O.R.S.E. $1,500 buy-in at the Rio in Las Vegas, and the first-place prize of $289,283.