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Release: Dec. 21, 2001

University of Iowa ranks high in bowl team academic summary

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A review of the graduation rates for student-athletes representing the 50 college football programs participating in post-season bowl games in 2001-02 places the University of Iowa among the top five and the highest rated public institution.

According to the most recent graduation data compiled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and first available in September 2001, Iowa's graduation rate of 78 percent for student-athletes in the sport of football entering the University of Iowa as members of the class of 1994-95 ranks behind only Stanford (93 percent), Syracuse (91 percent), Boston College (85 percent) and Southern California (82 percent) among this year's bowl game participants.

The same five schools top the list when a comparison is done using a four-year graduation rate average* : Stanford (83 percent) heads the list and is followed by Boston College (78 percent), Syracuse (72 percent), Southern California (65 percent) and Iowa (64 percent).

Stanford, Boston College, Southern California and Syracuse are private institutions. Iowa is a public institution.

"We take great pride in the academic achievements of our student-athletes just as we admire their athletic achievements," said UI Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby.

"The athletics program at the University of Iowa has long embraced the idea that academic pursuits do not have to suffer in order to be successful in athletic competition. We are proud of what our football team has accomplished on the field and off and we look forward to a bright future."

Iowa is also one of only 16 football programs whose graduation rate for its football student-athletes matched or exceeded the graduation rate for the respective institution's entire student body. The UI's graduation rate for its football program was 15 points greater than the UI's "All-Student" percentage of 63.

Some 30 of the 50 schools with football teams participating in 2001-02 bowl games had graduation rates of 50 percent or better among its football student-athletes. The national graduate rate average for Division I-A football student-athletes was 52 percent.

The NCAA notes in its report that the data collected are "conservative representations of the graduation rate" and includes "only student-athletes who enroll as freshmen, receive athletics-related financial aid and graduate from that institution within six years of initial enrollment. Student-athletes who transfer in good academic standing to another institution count against their original institution as not graduating and are not counted in the 'freshman cohort' rate for their second institution."

"We are very proud of the academic achievements of our student-athletes. They have embraced our theme of 'Today's Hawkeyes are Tomorrow's Leaders' and view their academic pursuits as important as their participation in intercollegiate athletes," said Fred Mims, the UI's associate athletic director for student services and compliance.

Iowa recently had 43 student-athletes named to academic all-Big Ten teams. That list included 14 members of the Hawkeye football team currently preparing to play Texas Tech in the 2001 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Antonio.

At the very top of the list was first-team all-Big Ten defensive end Aaron Kampman. The senior from Kesley, Iowa was the only football student-athlete from the Big Ten named first-team Verizon Academic All-America. Kampman was joined by teammate Andy Lightfoot, a junior offensive lineman from Des Plaines, Ill., and 12 other student-athletes from Big Ten schools on the Verizon Academic All-District team.

Kampman was also the recipient of the 2001 Forest Evashevski Academic Achievement Award presented annually at the Iowa football team's end-of-season banquet to the student-athlete who displays a high degree of proficiency in the classroom and on the playing field. The award is named in honor of Iowa's legendary head coach and athletic director.

For more information contact Fred Mims, associate athletic director, at (319) 335-9598 or Rick Klatt, associate athletic director, at (319) 335-9431.

*--The four-year average includes graduation rates for the 1994-95, 1993-94, 1992-93 and 1991-92 classes.

NCAA graduation rate comparison