stadiumUCF is one of 39 schools to be recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for graduating

75-percent or more of its student-athletes as the organization announced its annual Academic Achievement Awards.

The Knights were one of 39 teams to be so honored and are one of 23 to be recognized that will also participate in a bowl game this year. The AFCA uses the NCAA’s GSR (Graduation Success Rate) standard to determine this award. UCF is one of six Conference USA teams to be recognized, tying the Big Ten for the most of any league in the country.

Under head coach George O’Leary, the Knights have been no stranger to academic success. The team boasted a combined cumulative GPA of 2.990 at the conclusion of the summer semester. A total of seven Knights have all ready earned a bachelor’s degree, a sum which ties UCF for 10th nationally. A total of 69 Knights are wearing special “Scholar-Baller” decals on the back of their helmets this year, emblematic of earning a 3.0 semester GPA during the 2008-09 academic year. That national program was started by UCF professor Dr. Keith Harrison.

The great grades come on the heels of the most 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.

Individually, Rocky Ross was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America team, becoming just the second player in UCF history to earn that prestigious honor. Ross was also named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team for football, an honor for the top 11 student-athletes in the league regardless of position. His 3.88 GPA was the highest of the 11 members of that team as well. Ross and teammate Jordan Richards were both named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team.