Friday, January 04, 2008
January 2, 2008
When the NCAA released its annual report on graduation rates for college athletes in October, President Myles Brand proclaimed that "in the athletic culture, the idea of academic performance is taking hold." He couldn't have been thinking of the universities profiting so handsomely from the current lineup of bowl games.
As usually is the case in college football, most of the teams that are doing best on the field aren't exactly shining in the classroom.
A handful of schools have proved that needn't be the case. Michigan and Penn State, huge state schools that are not exactly slouches on the field, graduate better than 70% of their players.
Boston College, which was ranked second in the nation in October and lost the Atlantic Coast Conference championship to Virginia Tech, had a graduation rate of 93% for football players and 90% for African-American players. Former coach Tom O'Brien, who coached BC for a decade, was known as a disciplinarian who emphasized education, even talking up the graduation rate when wooing recruits.