UCF Football's Academic Excellence Continues to Grow

May 16, 2012

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By Brian Ormiston

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF football's academic progress continues to blossom and set records under Head Coach George O'Leary. Another remarkable year in the classroom has concluded with 10 returning football student-athletes earning their degrees. A total of 20 players from last year's team have already graduated or expect to graduate this summer.

The graduation figures for UCF football could bode well for its future NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR). In 2011-12, UCF football earned a rating of 79, an all-time high for Coach O'Leary's Knights and 12 points above the national average.

UCF Athletics compiled an overall GSR of 83 percent last fall. That tied for the top rating among all of Florida's public universities.

This past spring, returning Knights Rob Calabrese, Rey Cunha, Lyle Dankenbring, Kevin Garvy, Billy Giovanetti, Theo Goins, Brendan Kelly, Latavius Murray, Jordan Rae and Ray Shipman received their bachelor's degrees. They will be working on either master's degrees or second bachelor's degrees while they compete for UCF this fall.

Enrolled in graduate school since summer 2011 while studying teacher education, Dankenbring has recorded three-consecutive 4.0 semesters and recently earned the Conference USA Academic Medal for having a grade-point average of at least 3.75. He received his bachelor's degree in political science.

Thirty-seven members of the team garnered spots on the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. That number was two higher than in spring 2011, when 35 football student-athletes earned honor-roll status.