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May 23, 2006

WACO, Texas – The American Football Coaches Association recognized the University of Virginia among its honorees for graduation of its football players, the AFCA announced on Tuesday.

Virginia is joined by eight ACC schools. The Cavaliers earned the AFCA’s Academic Achievement Award in 1985 and 1986.

Southern Methodist University will receive the 2006 Academic Achievement Award, which is presented annually by the Touchdown Club of Memphis. The school recorded a 100 percent graduation rate when all members of its freshman class of 2000-2001 earned a degree. SMU’s win was the first for the school since the College Football Association began presenting the award in 1981. The AFCA has presented the award since 1998.

Twenty-eight other institutions will be 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. The others 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 104 respondents to this year’s survey is a record high. One hundred and three schools replied in 2005.

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).

Most Awards: Duke has won or shared the Academic Achievement Award 12 times. Notre Dame is second with six awards. Boston College and Northwestern have been honored four times.

Honorable Mention: Virginia and Notre Dame have earned honorable mention honors 19 times. Rice has been so honored 18 times.

Academic Achievement Award Winners Through the Years

 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: 	Northwestern1999: 	Duke2000: 	Syracuse2001: 	Notre Dame & Vanderbilt2002: 	Northwestern2003:	Duke2004:	Boston College & Northwestern2005: 	Duke & Northwestern2006: 	Southern Methodist

* Presented by the College Football Association

For more information on the AFCA, log on to the AFCA’s website at

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