American Football Coaches Association Cites UI for Academic Success

May 22, 2007

IOWA CITY – Friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes looking for more evidence of the UI’s commitment to the “student” in “student-athlete” need look no further than its football program.

The UI’s is one of 34 college football programs across the country recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for having a graduation rate above 70 percent. Iowa was joined by Big Ten Conference peers Northwestern, Indiana, Penn State and Wisconsin on the list.

The overall graduation rate of the 107 schools that responded to the survey was 60 percent, surpassing the mark of 58 percent in each of the previous two years. Fifty-two of the members responding were above the average and 55 were below the average.

The median graduation rate was 59 percent, compared to 57 percent for the last two years. The 107 respondents to this year’s survey is a record high. One hundred and four schools replied in 2006.

The AFCA report involves the freshman class from the academic year of 2001-2002, including those student-athletes 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.

AFCA Conference Breakdown: Atlantic Coast (5), Big 10 (5), Mid-American (5), Big East (4), Big 12 ( 4), Southeastern (4), Sun Belt (2), Conference USA (1), Independent (1), Mountain West (1), Pac-10 (1), Western Athletic (1).

The AFCA honor follows in the footsteps of Iowa’s standing as having the ninth best graduation rate for student-athletes in the sport of football among the 64 schools that participated in the 32 bowl games played at the end of the 2006 college football season.

Iowa had a graduation rate of 72 percent for the group of student-athletes who enrolled in the University of Iowa in the fall semester of 1999, according to information the University of Iowa provided the NCAA as required by NCAA Bylaw 30.1 and the Federal Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act.

This is the most recent graduation class for which the NCAA-required six years of information is available.

Iowa’s 72 percent graduate rate included a graduation rate of 86 percent for “Black” student-athletes, 67 percent for “White” student-athletes and a 50 percent graduation rate for “Hispanic” student-athletes.

The graduation rate for all students who entered the UI in the fall of 1999 is 66 percent. The graduation rate for all UI student-athletes is 71 percent. With respect to all data regarding student-athletes, the graduation rate includes only those students-athletes who received athletics aid from the UI for any period of time during the 1999-00 year. The NCAA defines aid as a grant, scholarship tuition waiver or other assistance from a college or university that is awarded on the basis of a student’s athletic ability.

“This points to success in three areas of our football program and our athletics program,” UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta said in December.

“First, it speaks to the determination of our football staff to recruit students who are as committed to academic excellence as they are athletic excellence. Second, it speaks to the work of the staff in our Athletic Student Services unit and the commitment that they have consistently demonstrated to providing the appropriate guidance and support to our student-athletes.

“Third, and most importantly, it speaks to the commitment of the student-athletes themselves. As always, numbers don’t lie and these indicate that you can be successful both on the playing field and in the classroom.”

Iowa ranked second among the six Big Ten Conference teams that participated in a 2006-07 bowl game. Penn State topped the list of league schools, ranking third with a graduation rate of 83 percent. Michigan ranked 13th (68 percent), Minnesota 23rd (59 percent), Ohio State 27th (56 percent), Wisconsin 37th (50 percent) and Purdue 44th (44 percent).

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