Notre Dame achieved a mark of more than 90 percent graduations among student-athletes.

Irish Football Honored Again For Graduation Rate

Oct. 23, 2008

For the 27th 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 seven institutions to achieve a graduation rate of 90 percent or better for student-athletes who began their education in the 2001-02 academic year. Colorado won the overall award, with Cincinnati, Duke, Navy, Rutgers and Vanderbilt 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 20 times, tied with Rutgers for second most. The Irish have also won the award seven times, including last year. Only Duke has won more than Notre Dame.

Forty other institutions will be recognized for graduating 70 percent or more of their football student-athletes. The remaining 40 institutions are: Air Force, Akron, Alabama, Arkansas State, Army, Baylor, Boston College, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee State, Nevada, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio, Oregon State, Penn State, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Stanford, Syracuse, TCU, Texas Tech, Toledo, UCLA, Utah State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington, Washington State and Wisconsin.

This year’s award marks the first time the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) formula has been used to select the winner. From 1981 to 2007 the award was presented based on a formula used by the College Football Association and AFCA.

The Academic Achievement Award was established by the College Football Association in 1981. The award recognized the CFA-member Football Bowl Subdivision institution with the highest graduation rate among members of its football team. When the CFA disbanded in 1997 the AFCA stepped in to present the award and conduct a graduation rate survey that encompassed all members of the FBS.

The GSR is based on a six-year graduation window for student-athletes which is a change from the five-year window used by the CFA and AFCA. The GSR was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees.

Under GSR calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. These outgoing transfers are passed to the receiving institution’s GSR cohort. By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the GSR increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent. The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes because it is the only rate by which to compare student-athletes to the general student body.