UK Earns AFCA Graduation-Rate Honor

Dec. 8, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team has been recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for its graduation rate, it was announced Wednesday.

UK received honorable mention for the AFCA’s Academic Achievement Award, which is presented annually to the school with the nation’s highest Graduation Success Rate calculated by the NCAA.  Northwestern University and Rice University shared the national award this year, while UK was among the schools receiving honorable mention for graduating at least 75 percent of its 2003 freshman class.

This is the fifth time that UK has garnered honorable mention, along with 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1994.  UK won the overall national award in 1989 for having the highest graduation rate in the nation.  The Academic Achievement Award was founded in 1981 by the College Football Association and taken over by the AFCA in 1997 when the CFA disbanded.

This year’s award marks the third time the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) formula has been used to select the winner.  From 1981 to 2007, the award was presented based on a formula used by the College Football Association and AFCA. Since 2008, the criteria for the AFCA’s Academic Achievement Award is based on the highest NCAA GSR, at least 15 students in the GSR cohort, and a Federal Graduation Rate of 75 percent or better. 

The GSR is based on a six-year graduation window for student-athletes which is a change from the five-year window used by the CFA and AFCA. The GSR was developed by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The GSR holds institutions accountable for transfer students, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees. 

Under GSR calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. These outgoing transfers are passed to the receiving institution’s GSR cohort. By counting incoming transfer students and midyear enrollees, the GSR increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent.

More All-SEC Honors for the Wildcats: Wide receiver Randall Cobb, linebacker Danny Trevathan, safety Winston Guy, quarterback Mike Hartline and wide receiver Chris Matthews have received All-Southeastern Conference recognition from

Cobb and Trevathan were first-team picks while Guy was selected to the second team.  CFN also listed Hartline and Matthews as honorable mention.  Here is some information on their seasons:

  • Cobb leads the SEC in pass receiving with 79 catches for 955 yards and seven touchdowns.  As a quarterback in the WildCobb formation, he has rushed for 401 yards and five TDs, averaging 7.7 yards per carry, and has thrown three touchdown passes.  He also has returned punts and kickoffs and ranks second in the nation in all-purpose yardage.
  •  Trevathan leads the league in tackles with 130 stops, including eight-consecutive games with double-figure tackles.  He also has 16 tackles for loss and ranks third in the league in that category.
  • Guy has 98 tackles this season, tied for second among the SEC’s defensive backs.  He also intercepted three passes.
  • Matthews is tied for the league lead in touchdown catches with nine.  He has caught 57 passes for 897 yards, fifth in the league in each category.
  • Hartline has completed 268 of 408 passes (66.2 percent) for 3,178 yards and 23 touchdowns.  He ranks second in the SEC in passing yardage.