May 25, 2006

For the 25th consecutive year the Notre Dame Football program has been honored by the American Football Coaches Association’s Academic Achievement Award committee.

Notre Dame was one of six institutions to achieve a graduation rate of 90 percent or better for student-athletes who began their education in the 2000-2001 academic year. Southern Methodist won the overall award, with Boston College, Duke, Northwestern, and Southern Mississippi joining Notre Dame with a rate of 90 percent or higher.

Notre Dame continues its success in graduating student-athletes on the football team. The Irish have been named to the honorable mention list 19 times, more than any other school. The Irish have also won the award six times, second only to Duke. Since the award began in 1981, Notre Dame has graduated 98 percent of four-year players, achieving a 100 percent graduation rate on fifteen occasions.

Of 104 Division 1-A schools that responded to the survey, 28 schools were named to the honorable mention list for achieving graduation rates of 70 percent or higher. The overall rate for the 104 institutions was 58 percent. Two Irish opponents for 2006 were named to the list: Penn State and North Carolina.

The Touchdown Club of Memphis presents the Academic Achievement Award annually. The award has been presented since 1981, first by the College Football Association, and by the AFCA since 1998.