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Kansas Basketball 50 in 50, No. 4: KU Leads Big 12 in Graduation Rates; West Virginia's Impact on Travel

50 in 50 is a feature here at RCT counting down until the Jayhawks kick off the 2011 basketball season on November first. Got an idea for something you'd like to see featured here? tweet @rockchalktalk or @fetch9 or email me at fetch9 at gmail dot com.

The NCAA released their report on graduation rates this week, and though Kansas has seen its fair share of early departures lately, they are tops in the Big 12 at graduating their players:

The NCAA’s statistics also show that the Kansas men’s basketball team’s graduation success rate is the highest of its kind in the Big 12 at 91 percent in the latest four-year GSR.

Also in that article was a note that colleges are graduating athletes at an all time high (65%) which is more than the general student body. Less than two-thirds of people graduate from college? really? I wonder how much the rate would change if you take out people who tried it for a semester (or even a year).

Also, travel costs will rise with the addition of West Virginia, but by how much? Obviously it's not a perfect way to do it because it doesn't take into account having to fly into a different city and then drive to Morgantown, but let's look at KU's distances to Morgantown, Dallas, and possibly Louisville and Provo compared with the four schools departing the Big 12 to see the difference:

Morgantown: 900 miles

Dallas: 482 miles

Louisville: 570 miles

Provo: 1,000 miles

Total: 2,952

Lincoln: 188 miles

Boulder: 595 miles

College Station: 654 miles

That awful city in that awful state: 180 miles

Total: 1,617 miles

Difference: 1,335 miles

So we'll have an extra thousand miles or so to travel in the coming years, which is no small difference. How big of a difference it ends up being only time will tell, but conference expansion is virtually 0% concerned with geography these days (see: Boise potentially simultaneously being in both the Big East and Big West), so keeping it as close as they did is good,