AFCA honors Vandy football for academic excellence

Vanderbilt's football program is once again being recognized by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) for exemplary graduation rates among its football players.

Vanderbilt is one of only six institutions to achieve a graduation rate of 90 percent or better: Boston College, Connecticut, Rice, Northwestern and Wake Forest are the others. Thirty-one other institutions are being recognized by the Touchdown Club of Memphis for graduating 70 percent or more of their football student-athletes.

Vanderbilt has been honored twice for having the highest graduation rate in the nation (1996, 2001). Prior to 1998, the award honored only members of the College Football Association.

The 2003 award, which is presented annually by the Touchdown Club, goes to Duke University. The Blue Devils won their 11th award, graduating 100 percent of their freshman class from 1997-98.

The overall graduation rate of the 102 Division I-A schools that responded was 59 percent, one percent less than the previous year. Fifty-one of the members responding were above the average and 51 were below the average. The median graduation rate was 59 percent, compared to 61 percent last year and 58 percent the four previous years.

The study involves the freshman class from the academic year of 1997-98, 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.

All-Time Academic Achievement Award Recipients*
1981: Duke
1982: Notre Dame
1983: Notre Dame
1984: Duke & Notre Dame
1985: Virginia
1986: Virginia
1987: Duke
1988: Notre Dame
1989: Kentucky
1990: Duke
1991: Notre Dame
1992: Boston College & TCU
1993: Duke
1994: Duke
1995: Boston College, Duke & Wake Forest
1996: Boston College, Duke & Vanderbilt
1997: Duke
1998: Northwestern
1999: Duke
2000: Syracuse
2001: Notre Dame & Vanderbilt
2002: Northwestern
2003: Duke

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