LSU posted the second-highest graduation rate in the Southeastern Conference in football, according to the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate data released this week.

LSU football’s Graduation Success Rate, or GSR, of 77 trails only Vanderbilt’s mark of 86.  The only other SEC football program with a GSR above 70 is Florida at 76.

“It is a tribute to the perseverance of our student-athletes, the support of Les Miles and his staff and the dedication of our academic support staff when a balance is struck between athletics excellence and academic achievement,” LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said in a prepared statement.

The LSU football program has shown improvement with each year’s report, going from 51 in 2006 and 2007 to 54 in 2008, 60 in 2009 and 67 in 2010.

In the other two revenue-producing sports, men’s basketball ranked fifth in the SEC and the baseball team scored ninth. But LSU spokesman Herb Vincent said both of those sports still saw significant gains from five years ago.

In other sports, LSU women’s basketball tied for first in the SEC with seven other schools with a perfect mark of 100. Other sports with scores of 80 or above were volleyball at 91; women’s golf, women’s swimming and women’s tennis at 89; gymnastics at 85; soccer at 81; and men’s tennis at 80.

 The NCAA developed the Graduation Success Rate to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The rate holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport.

Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing.