(the guy in the middle assures Lonny, right, that grades aren’t everything)

Though the shameful graduation rates for Maryland’s student-athletes were already covered in the space, Norman Chad used the pages of the Washington Post to wonder, “what happened to the academic legacy once created by Lefty Driesell?”

The NCAA uses a formula called the “Graduation Success Rate” — actually, in College Park we call it the “Graduation Failure Rate” — and this indicates that, uh, absolutely nobody on the basketball team gets out of Maryland alive with a degree.

Well, at least we’re not cheating on exams!

I repeat: We’re talking a “zero percent graduation rate.”

By the way, Maryland plays its games at Comcast Center, coincidentally, between 1997 and 2000, had a “zero percent response rate” to its customer’s cable problems.

I understand that Coach Gary Williams is simply recruiting basketball players to win games. He has shown no intent in recruiting students who also play basketball well. But somewhere along the line, can’t he find just one 6-foot-3 fella who will sit at the end of the bench with a strong interest in, say, metallurgical sciences?

He did not recruit a single player between 1997 and 2000 — and that includes all the starters and top reserves on the 2002 national championship team — who graduated at College Park within six years. None.

“I’ve graduated 42 players in 18 years,” Williams said.

Wow, 42 in 18 years? Heck, MIT’s rowing team graduates 42 people every two weeks.

Williams argues that while none of the top eight players on his ’02 title team graduated within six years, all of them went on to professional basketball careers. And it should be noted that forward Lonny Baxter did get jailed on a weapons charge within six years of enrolling at the university.

Now, if you ask most Terp alums if they would trade the 2002 national title for a 33 percent graduation rate or a better English Lit department, they’d likely choose the championship. Then again, that doesn’t surprise me — after all, they went to Maryland, so how smart could they be?