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Oct. 30, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., - The Penn State football team produced another superb academic performance, according to the NCAA Graduation Rates Report, released earlier this month.
The Nittany Lions' four-year Graduation Success Rate of 78 percent is tied for No. 2 among the teams ranked in the Oct. 26 Associated Press Top 25 and easily exceeds the 67 percent Division I average. Penn State is tied for second with North Carolina, with Texas Tech one point ahead.
The Penn State football team earned a graduation rate of 77 percent for the 2001-02 freshmen class, 21 points higher than the national Division I average of 56 percent. The Nittany Lions' four-year graduation average was 75 percent, again easily surpassing the 55 percent national average.
Penn State was second to Northwestern among Big Ten institutions in all three football graduation categories.
The outstanding graduation performance is the latest success in a long line of academic achievement for members of Coach Joe Paterno's program, who consistently are near the top nationally in graduation success:
Seven current squad members earned their degrees prior to the season, tied for most in the Big Ten and No. 8 in the nation.
45 squad members earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher during the 2008 spring semester, with 18 earning Dean's List recognition by posting a 3.5 GPA or higher during the semester.
The Nittany Lions have a four-year APR score of 964, easily beating the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) football average of 936 and the public institution average of 925. Penn State earned the Big Ten's second-highest APR score among football squads, trailing only Northwestern.
Tackle Gerald Cadogan (Portsmouth, Ohio) was selected a 2007 first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American®, giving Penn State at least one Academic All-American® in each of the past six years. Cadogan is one of nine Nittany Lions nominated for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® honors this fall.
During Paterno's tenure, Penn State has had 36 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans® (27 first team), 15 National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes and 18 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners. Penn State ranks fourth among all Division I-A institutions in Academic All-America® football honorees.
The Nittany Lions had 19 Academic All-Big Ten football honorees in 2007, improving their conference-leading total to 209 from 1993-2007.
The No. 3 Nittany Lions (9-0, 5-0) are idle Saturday and return to action Nov. 8 at Iowa at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT.
Top 15 Football Graduation Success Rates Among AP Top 25
(Oct. 26 poll)
1. Texas Tech 79%
2. Penn State 78%
North Carolina 78%
4. Ball State 72%
5. Florida State 69%
6. Florida 68%
8. TCU 67%
9. Tulsa 64%
10. Oklahoma State 62%
11. Missouri 59%
12. Utah 57%
13. South Florida 56%
Brigham Young 56%
15. Alabama 55%
Boise State 55%