UCF Football Earns High Grades and Graduates Student-Athletes

Dec. 19, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. - The UCF football team has continuously excelled in the classroom under the mindful eye of head coach George O'Leary and this past semester was no exception. With the release of the fall semester grades, the Knights now boast their highest overall team GPA following any in-season semester under O'Leary.

In addition, every senior student-athlete on the team either has all ready received his degree or is on schedule to receive it by August. Three seniors, Joe Burnett, Blake Carter and Anthony Davis received their degrees earlier this week at UCF's winter graduation ceremony. Four seniors (Mike Lavoie, Johnell Neal, Sha'reff Rashad and Jason Venson) had previously earned their undergraduate degrees and spent this past fall pursuing either graduate level degrees or second bachelor's degrees.

This past fall, UCF boasted a 2.776 GPA which brought its overall team GPA to a mark of 2.876. The 2.876 edges the 2.838 which the team held after the fall 2007 semester for the highest it has achieved in-season. The 2.776 semester mark, meanwhile, is second only to the fall 2004 GPA of 2.857 for the team's best in-season mark.

A total of 55 UCF football student-athletes earned a 3.0 GPA or better this fall. That sum edges the fall 2005 semester's count of 51 for the most of any in-season semester during the O'Leary era.

"Academics come first and foremost with our program," O'Leary said. "It's very important to me that our team graduates and earns their degrees so that they are prepared for life after football. Kristy Belden and her academic services staff work long hours to help with that and the results have been very impressive."

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.