UM Football Excelling in the Classroom

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – As the University of Miami football team continues its preparation for the 2008 season on the practice fields, the same student-athletes are getting ready for another semester in the classroom, a place where the Hurricanes have thrived in recent years.

In 14 of the last 16 years, the University of Miami football team's graduation rate far exceeded the national average of the American Football Coaches Association's member schools. Since 1991, UM's average AFCA rate is 71.52 percent, well ahead of the national average of 58 percent.

"We are in a profession that keeps score, and no score is more important than our graduation success rate," Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "The University of Miami is synonymous with champions and the young people in our program today are focused on becoming champions both in the classroom and in competition. I commend the young people currently in our program today and those in the past for their dedication and commitment to academic excellence."

This past spring, the NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Report (APR), with the Hurricane football team scoring a 969, the eighth-highest mark out of the 119 Bowl Sub-division football programs. Miami's score – also the third-highest mark in the 12-team Atlantic Coast Conference – puts the team in the 80th-90th percentile nationally based on its performance in the classroom.

Miami's APR score in 2008 was a slight improvement over its mark of 966 in 2007 when the team was ranked 10th nationally in academic success.

Of the 23 seniors on this year's squad, 13 have already earned degrees, while the remaining 10 are all on course to graduate either in December of 2008 or May of 2009.

The 13 players that have already earned degrees include: Carlos Armour (Sports Administration), Tyrone Byrd (Liberal Arts), Glenn Cook (Marketing and Business Management, Sports Management master's candidate), Romeo Davis (Liberal Arts), Dwayne Hendricks (Business Management), Khalil Jones (Sports Administration), Joe Joseph (Sports Administration), Eric Moncur (Liberal Arts), Anthony Reddick (Liberal Arts), Chris Rutledge (Liberal Arts), Xavier Shannon (Enrollment Management master's candidate), Derron Thomas (Sports Administration) and Chris Zellner (Geography).

Last season, Miami had 12 early graduates – the second-highest total nationally behind fellow ACC member Boston College and in 2006, Miami had an ACC-high eight players named to the All-ACC Academic Football Team.

Miami's fall semester begins Wednesday, Aug. 27, one day before the Hurricanes open the season against Charleston Southern at 7:30 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium.

Top 10 2008 Football Academic Progress Report Scores

(includes BCS, C-USA and independent schools)

1. Stanford 986
2. Navy 979
3t. Duke 977
Rutgers 977
5. Air Force 976
6. Rice 975
7. Boston College 972
8t. Miami 969
Northwestern 969
Notre Dame 969

2008 APR Rankings Among All D-I Football Programs in Florida

1. Miami 969
2. Florida 962
3. Florida State 954
4. UCF 937
5. USF 917
6. FAU 915
7. FIU 887


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