Sooners graduated only 33 percent of players

ORLANDO, Fla. -- When it comes to graduation rates, Southern California is the clear-cut winner over LSU and Oklahoma

In a study of graduation rates of the 56 bowl teams released
Monday, USC easily beat out the other two national title

The Trojans graduated 61 percent of their football players in
the years studied, compared to 40 percent for LSU and 33 percent
for Oklahoma.

The numbers are an average for the freshman classes that entered
school from 1993-94 to 1996-97. Students are given six years to
graduate, but athletes who transfer -- even if they are in good
academic standing -- count against a school.

"If there were a Top 10 ranking for graduation rates among bowl
teams, Northwestern and Boston College would have played for the
national championship," said Richard Lapchick, who authored the
study for The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the
University of Central Florida.

Northwestern had an 83 percent graduation rate, followed by
Boston College (79), Virginia (76), Tulsa (66) and Oregon (64).

The Trojans had the highest rate for any school in a BCS bowl
game, while Oklahoma had the lowest. The rate for the Sooners are
for classes that entered school before Bob Stoops became coach in

Arkansas and Fresno State were tied for the lowest rate at 26

Navy is the only bowl school that does not release graduation

The study also looked at minority hiring practices at bowl
schools. In the leadership positions of head coach, coordinators,
school president, athletic director and faculty athletic
representative, 94 percent of positions were held by whites. White
women held 6 percent of those jobs.

UCLA's Karl Dorrell is the only minority head coach for a bowl
team. There were four minority coaches among the 117 Division I-A
schools this season.

There were also only eight minority coordinators, including USC
offensive coordinator Norm Chow. The Trojans also had one of three
black athletic directors in Mike Garrett.

"It is astonishing that only 13 of the 56 bowl schools employ
any person of color in these key decision-making positions,"
Lapchick said. "It is no wonder why there is only one
African-American head coach in a bowl game."