CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia football team was one of 44 institutions recognized this week by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) for graduating at least 75 percent or more of their football student-athletes.
This is the 24th time since the Academic-Achievement Award was instituted in 1981 that UVa has been recognized for its football graduation rates, including winning the award in 1985 and 1986 for having the best graduation rate in the country. Virginia is one of 12 programs to win the prestigious AFCA Award and only six to win it twice. Virginia has earned honorable mention distinction 22 times, which is the most of any institution in the country.
The College Football Association established the Academic Achievement Award 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 Graduation Success Rate (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.
Academic Achievement Award Winners Through the Years
1982: Notre Dame*
1983: Notre Dame*
1984: Duke & Notre Dame*
1988: Notre Dame*
1991: Notre Dame*
1992: Boston College & TCU*
1995: Boston College, Duke & Wake Forest*
1996: Boston College, Duke & Vanderbilt*
2001: Notre Dame & Vanderbilt
2004: Boston College & Northwestern
2005: Duke & Northwestern
2007: Northwestern & Notre Dame
2009: Notre Dame & Miami (Fla.)
2010: Northwestern & Rice
*- Presented by the College Football Association
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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