Student-athletes' graduation rates at all-time high

The NCAA's latest graduation numbers show nearly four out of five student-athletes earn their diplomas on time, an all-time high, and federal statistics show athletes are still more likely to graduate on time than other students.NCAA statistics show 79 percent of all freshmen entering school in 2002-03 graduated within six years, matching last year's record high. The four-class average, for students entering college between the fall of 1999 and the fall of 2002, also was 79 percent, a 1 percentage-point increase over last year's record. The federal numbers are lower, 64 percent for athletes, but still 2 percentage points higher than the general student body that does not have access to all the assistance provided to student-athletes. Female athletes outperformed their male counterparts, 88 percent to 72 percent, and the only women's sport to score lower than 79 percent was bowling (74 percent). The three biggest men's sports - football, basketball and baseball - all failed to top 70 percent in the NCAA report. Locally, Navy graduated 100 percent of its student-athletes in 10 of the 20 NCAA sports reported on and averaged 98 percent for student-athletes in all sports. Navy's overall graduation success rate of 98 percent was second only to Notre Dame's. According to the federal numbers, the NCAA report revealed that student-athletes who entered Towson in the 2002-03 year graduated at a rate of 78 percent, some 14 points higher than the national average for NCAA Division I student-athletes. The graduation rate is also 12 points higher than the general student body at Towson University.


Nationals name ex-Orioles manager D. Johnson advisor

Davey Johnson, the Orioles' former All-Star second baseman who was the last manager to lead the club to a winning season, has taken a job with the Washington Nationals. Johnson, 66, will be a senior advisor to general manager Mike Rizzo. In that capacity, he'll be a full-time member of the Nationals, working on special assignments for Rizzo. Johnson had worked for the Nationals in 2006, but in a less formal consultant position. Johnson spent 13 seasons as a major leaguer, including his first eight with the Orioles, in which he won two World Series titles. He also managed for 14 years, compiling a 1,148-888 record with four teams. He managed the Orioles in 1996 and 1997, both times taking the club to the American League Championship Series. The Orioles have not been over .500 since Johnson resigned following the 1997 season. Johnson also managed Team USA to a semifinals berth in the World Baseball Classic last spring.

- Dan Connolly

College basketball

Mount St. Mary's beats American on road, 73-62

Jeremy Goode and Kelly Beidler combined to score 24 of their 31 points in the second half as visiting Mount St. Mary' (1-1)beat American (0-3), 73-62. Beidler scored 11 of his 14 points in the opening seven minutes of the second half as the Mount stretched a three-point halftime lead to 55-40. The Mountaineers extended the margin to 65-46 with 9:08 after a layup by Goode.

Women: : Mary Dunn scored 13 points for visiting Mount St. Mary's (1-1) in an 88-63 loss to Duquesne (3-0).

Pro soccer

United goalie Wicks undergoes knee surgery

D.C. United goalkeeper Josh Wicks underwent successful surgey on his right knee, the team announced. Wicks, who had shoulder surgery on Oct. 29, is not expected to miss more than the original four to six months. He recorded five shutouts and posted a 1.4 goals against average on the year.

College football

Finalists announced for Golden Arm Award

The five finalists were announced for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is presented to college football's top senior quarterback. Central Michigan's Dan LeFevou r, Duke's Thaddeus Lewis, Texas' Colt McCoy, Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson and Florida's Tim Tebow remain from the previous list of 10 candidates. The winner will receive the award Dec. 11 at the Tremont Grand Meeting & Banquet Facility in Baltimore.

- From Sun staff and news services

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