Books as im­por­tant as blocks to Knights

UCF 9th among bowl teams in grad­u­a­tion suc­cess re­port

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - Staff re­port

UCF foot­ball play­ers are state cham­pi­ons in the class­room.

The Knights ranked No. 1 among in-state bowl-bound teams in a grad­u­a­tion suc­cess re­port re­leased by The In­sti­tute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport based at UCF.

The re­port re­leased an­nu­ally af­ter bowl se­lec­tions are made listed the Knights as No. 9 among 78 teams com­pet­ing in bowl games and just ahead of Florida among state schools.

UCF coach Josh He­u­pel cel­e­brated the news, post­ing on Twit­ter, “Top-10 & No. 1 in the state for all bowl el­i­gi­ble teams!

Proud of our guys for con­tin­u­ing to de­liver in the class­room and fin­ish­ing their de­gree from this in­cred­i­ble uni­ver­sity!”

Air Force ranked No. 1 na­tion­ally with a Grad­u­a­tion Suc­cess Rate of 997. Clem­son was No. 2 (992), fol­lowed by No. 3 Navy (991), No. 3 Washington (991), No. 5 Bos­ton Col­lege (989), No. 5 Ne­vada (989) and No. 5 Wake For­est (989).

UCF tied with Ohio State with a 987 score.

Among in-state schools, UF was No. 2 with a score of 975. The Ga­tors were fol­lowed by No. 3 FAU (971), No. 4 Mi­ami (970), No. 5 FIU (959) and No. 6 FSU (936).

The Semi­noles’ aca­demic marks plum­meted near the end of coach Jimbo Fisher’s ten­ure,

with play­ers trans­fer­ring, leav­ing early and skip­ping classes. For­mer coach Wil­lie Tag­gart stressed the im­por­tance of aca­demics and helped the Semi­noles im­prove before he was fired last month.

The re­port in­cluded bowl­bound teams’ Grad­u­a­tion Suc­cess Rate, which mea­sures grad­u­a­tion rates, and Aca­demic Progress Rate, which eval­u­ates aca­demic suc­cess and progress to­ward grad­u­a­tion dur­ing an ath­lete’s ca­reer.

All of the 2019 bowl-bound schools had an APR of the NCAA min­i­mum 930 or higher. The av­er­age APR for the schools in­creased by one to 971 in 2019.

While Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off semi­fi­nal­ists Clem­son and Ohio State were among the top 10 pro­grams, LSU had an APR score of 951 and Ok­la­homa had a score of 966, fall­ing be­low the bowl-bound av­er­age.

Late game: The UCF-ver­susWis­con­sin-Green Bay bas­ket­ball game was not com­pleted in time for this edi­tion. Read the late game story in our e-edi­tion at Or­lan­doSen­tinel.com/late or on our web­site.

STEPHEN M. DOW­ELL/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL

UCF coach Josh He­u­pel and the Knights have the high­est grad­u­a­tion suc­cess rate among all in-state bowl-bound schools.

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