An Important Stat: NCAA Basketball Tourney Teams Often Lose Players

Unexpected Turnover Rates

Many people believe that an athletic scholarship is a 4 year scholarship.  The truth is that the NCAA only allows 1 year scholarships.  At the end of a scholarship year, a coach can take the scholarship away from a player for any reason, including permanent injury.

With this NCAA rule in mind, the NCPA decided to look at the unexpected turnover rate (excluding seniors and draft picks) for some of the best basketball teams in the nation. 

Recruits and their parents should factor in turnover rates when considering which school to choose.  The NCPA views this rate as a measure of job security and overall satisfaction for a full scholarship athlete.  With the exception of permanent injury, the NCPA deems reasons for poor turnover rates as a negative reflection on an athletic program.  Coaches that revoke players’ scholarships, poor academic support, low team moral, and players whose standards and expectations are not met are all possible reasons for poor turnover rates. 

Turnover rates do not explain the reasons for why players are vanishing from so many rosters.  It’s up to universities to explain the “whys” to recruits and there parents.  As you look at the list below, take notes on which teams seem to be getting it right, and those that are not.

View a side by side roster comparison for each team included in the study.

The NCPA compared the 2007-08 rosters with the 2008-09 rosters for every team that entered the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  With the exception of Northern Iowa, the information for all 2007-08 rosters were taken from the NCAA.  All 2008-09 rosters were taken from each school’s web site.  Players listed as transfers were identified as transfers on Rivals.com, but because Rivals.com does not have all transfers listed, overall transfer numbers are somewhat unclear.

2009 NCAA Tournament Teams Only

AVERAGE UNEXPECTED TURNOVER RATE: 22%
TOTAL MISSING PLAYERS: 169 (out of 775 possible returners)

Team Total Total Total Unexpected Transfer Rate
  Players Seniors/NBA Drafts Missing Turnover Rate  
Florida State 14 3 5 45.5% 18.2%
Alabama State 20 4 7 43.8% 6.3%
Chattanooga 15 2 5 38.5% 23.1%
Radford 16 3 5 38.5% 0.0%
Binghampton 14 3 4 36.4% 27.3%
Michigan 14 3 4 36.4% 27.3%
Utah State 14 3 4 36.4% 18.2%
University of Dayton 18 3 5 33.3% 6.7%
Wake Forest University 15 0 5 33.3% 13.3%
Akron 21 5 5 31.3% 0.0%
Cleveland State 15 2 4 30.8% 0.0%
Western Kentucky 16 6 3 30.0% 0.0%
Illinois 17 3 4 28.6% 21.4%
Missouri 14 7 2 28.6% 14.3%
Arizona 16 5 3 27.3% 9.1%
Morgan St 16 5 3 27.3% 0.0%
Oklahoma University 13 2 3 27.3% 9.1%
Pittsburgh 14 3 3 27.3% 9.1%
University of Louisville 14 3 3 27.3% 0.0%
Cal Berkeley 19 4 4 26.7% 6.7%
Utah 16 2 4 25.0% 0.0%
Oklahoma State 14 2 3 25.0% 8.3%
Stephen F. Austin 15 3 3 25.0% 16.7%
Virginia Commonwealth 15 3 3 25.0% 0.0%
Portland State 13 5 2 25.0% 25.0%
Arizona State 14 1 3 23.1% 15.4%
Cal State Northridge 17 4 3 23.1% 7.7%
Purdue 14 1 3 23.1% 7.7%
USC 15 2 3 23.1% 7.7%
Villanova 13 0 3 23.1% 7.7%
West Virginia 16 3 3 23.1% 0.0%
Memphis 13 4 2 22.2% 22.2%
North Dakota State 14 0 3 21.4% 0.0%
Tennesse 17 3 3 21.4% 0.0%
Butler 15 5 2 20.0% 10.0%
East Tennessee State 13 3 2 20.0% 0.0%
Morehead St 12 2 2 20.0% 0.0%
Temple University 13 3 2 20.0% 0.0%
American University 13 2 2 18.2% 9.1%
Boston College 13 2 2 18.2% 18.2%
Marquette University 15 4 2 18.2% 18.2%
Robert Morris 14 3 2 18.2% 9.1%
University of Northern Iowa 15 4 2 18.2% 9.1%
Washington 13 2 2 18.2% 18.2%
Xavier University 14 3 2 18.2% 18.2%
University of Connecticut 17 0 3 17.6% 11.8%
Gonzaga 14 2 2 16.7% 8.3%
Mississippi State 15 3 2 16.7% 7.7%
Siena 13 1 2 16.7% 8.3%
Syracuse 16 4 2 16.7% 0.0%
Brigham Young 16 3 2 15.4% 0.0%
University of North carolina 17 2 2 13.3% 6.7%
Kansas 17 8 1 11.1% 0.0%
Minnesota 12 3 1 11.1% 0.0%
UCLA 17 8 1 11.1% 11.1%
LSU 12 2 1 10.0% 0.0%
Ohio State 14 4 1 10.0% 10.0%
Clemson University 16 5 1 9.1% 9.1%
Maryland 14 3 1 9.1% 9.1%
Duke University 13 1 1 8.3% 8.3%
Texas A&M 18 4 1 7.1% 0.0%
Cornell 17 2 1 6.7% 0.0%
Michigan State University 15 2 0 0.0% 0.0%
Texas 14 3 0 0.0% 0.0%
Wisconsin 16 4 0 0.0% 0.0%