SMU won top honors this year with 100 percent graduation. Twenty-eight other institutions were recognized for graduating 70 percent or more of their football student-athletes. Five of those institutions achieved a rate of 90 percent or better: Boston College, Duke, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Southern Mississippi. Those receiving honorable mention are: Auburn, Baylor, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado State, Florida State, Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland, Miami (Ohio), Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Rice, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Troy, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
The overall graduation rate of the 104 schools that responded to the survey was 58 percent, equaling last year's mark. Fifty of the members responding were above the average and 54 were below the average. The median graduation rate was 57 percent, compared to 57 percent last year and 60 percent two years ago.
The study involves the freshman class from the academic year of 2000-2001, including those who entered at that time but who did not receive financial aid until after their initial year, or who transferred from another institution and subsequently received a grant-in-aid.
Conference Breakdown: Atlantic Coast (9), Big East (4), Big 12 (4), Big 10 (3), Conference USA (3), Independents (1), Mid-American (1), Mountain West (1), Pacific 10 (1), Southeastern (1), Sun Belt (1).