Football Continues to Dominate in the Classroom

Aug. 21, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. - The UCF football program has consistently excelled in the class room under head coach George O'Leary and the past summer semester was no exception.

Led by 13 student-athletes with a perfect 4.0, the Knights earned a summer session GPA of 3.118, raising the overall team cumulative GPA to a 2.990. Both of those marks are the second-highest of the O'Leary era in terms of both semester GPA and cumulative GPA, trailing only the high-water marks of the 2007 summer session.

In addition, seven Knights (Michael Greco, T.J. Harnden, Brett Hodges, Cory Hogue, Jordan Richards Rocky Ross and Alex Thompson) have all ready received their bachelor's degrees and are working on either a second bachelor's degree or a master's degree. This total ties UCF with Texas A&M for the 11th most of any school in the nation. The full national-leader chart is as follows:

Alabama, 12
Boston College, 10
Notre Dame, 10
Virginia Tech, 10
Miami, Fla., 9
Auburn, 8
East Carolina, 8
Penn State, 8
Texas Tech, 8
UCF, 7
Texas A&M, 7

The Knights' academic welfare is in the trusty hands of the school's Academic Services for Student-Athletes Staff (ASSA). Kristy Belden and Lindsey Black work directly with the football team, with regular assistance from Lisa Moser, and have helped generate these steady strong results.

A total of 69 UCF student-athletes will be wearing a "Scholar-Baller" sticker on the backs of their helmets this fall emblematic of having earned a 3.0 semester GPA or better during the 2008-09 academic year.

Academic success has followed the Knights in recent years as several student-athletes have been individually recognized on a national level for their academic achievements, in addition to the team as a whole on several occasions. The great grades come on the heels of the recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) announcement by the NCAA which saw the football team earn a mark of 960. That score tied LSU for 23rd in the nation. It also ranked ninth nationally amongst non-military public universities.

Hope is bright for this continued success in the future. UCF's current freshman class had a combined GPA of 3.385 for their first summer at UCF.

Not all of the credit for this tremendous success is due to those who sit in the classrooms and work behind the scenes for UCF Athletics. None of this could have ever been possible without the generosity of UCF's many supporters through their donations to the Golden Knights Club. Every year the GKC collects valuable funds which help advance the academic success of UCF's student-athletes. For more information on the GKC and how you can help continue this remarkable academic success, please call (407) 823-2086, email goldenknightsclub@athletics.ucf.edu, or check out the GKC section at UCFAthletics.com.

To see the Knights in action for any, or all, of their seven home dates at Bright House Networks Stadium this upcoming season, please contact the UCF Athletic Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000 or log onto UCFAthletics.com to obtain ticket information.

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.