Andrea Adelson of ESPN had a good look at graduation rates of football players among Big East schools. It's safe to say that Pitt fell a bit short.
For the most recent four-year period (students entering college from 2001 to 2004, Pitt graduated only 65% of its players. That was good for next to last in the conference ahead of only South Florida who had an abysmal 49% according to the article.
First off, in case you're wondering, the reason the dates seem so old is because the NCAA uses a six-year period for graduation since it can take longer than four years to graduate. Thus, players entering college would have until 2010 to count and those statistics were just being compiled.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, here's some analysis.The 65% rate is the GSR, which is different from the federal rate. The GSR includes transfers and by going with the federal numbers, Pitt would be at 55%. Truthfully, neither number is very good. Pitt's basketball program is right around the same - at 64% (federal rate of only 40%, though) ... again, not very good.
Looking at all sports, Pitt is at 78%. That's better, but still below the NCAA average of 80%, which is an all-time high.
I don't quite know what to make of this. I'd obviously like to see Pitt do significantly better, but as a fan, it's tough to say how much I actually care. It's a travesty to get a free education and not fully utilize it. The one exception, of course, is for a player that leaves early and goes on to a pro career
The off-field stuff, players getting into trouble, etc., is an entirely different circumstance. In all honesty, those things bother me far more than players not graduating. I'm not sure if that's insensitive or not, but just being honest.