The CFA bases the awards on the rate of scholarship-receiving football players who graduate within five years. Boston College graduated 87.5 percent of the football players who entered the University in the fall of 1990, and will share the 1996 award with Duke and Vanderbilt universities, which reported identical graduation rates.
"We are in distinguished company and very proud of this accomplishment," said Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk Jr. "Credit goes to the coaches - who instill the importance of academics in the players - the faculty and the players themselves, who gracefully balance the requirements of being highly competitive and successful on the field with the tough academic demands of Boston College."
Gladchuk also praised Lyons and his staff "for their focused support for the student athletes."
"Accolades go to the players and coaches who are certainly deserving of this recognition," said Lyons. "When coaches give clear, honest and consistent messages to their players about priorities it sets the groundwork for success and we've been fortunate enough to have this situation at Boston College. Further, the support of Boston College faculty and administrators is a necessary ingredient and we are fortunate to have unequal support in that area as well."
Twenty-one of the University's 24 scholarship football players in the class of 1994 graduated, according to Lyons. Boston College reported a 100 percent graduation rate in 1992 and 94.4 percent last year, which earned the University top honors from the CFA in both years. Nationally, the average graduation rate for football players is 54 percent.
Although the CFA uses a five-year standard, Lyons pointed out that all of the graduating players from the class of 1994 completed their studies in four years, and many began graduate work during their fifth year of playing eligibility.
"We make this an issue in the department and are all very attentive to the educational needs of our athletes," said Gladchuk. "Academic achievement is a clear priority and this award demonstrates that."
The award will be presented at the CFA's Annual Meeting in Dallas on May 31.
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