Quarterback Club to establish academic endowment for football program

University Park, Pa. — The State College Quarterback Club is donating $50,000 to Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics to establish an endowment to assist the academic pursuits of members of the Nittany Lion Football team.

The fund will be called The State College Quarterback Club Academic Enhancement Fund for Football. The annual income this endowment produces, in perpetuity, will be used to enhance the academic performance of Penn State football student-athletes. The fund could be utilized for such things as computers, additional tutors and academic support staffing and academic counselors, as well as any other priority needs that are identified.

"The members of the State College Quarterback Club are proud of the academic accomplishments members of the Penn State Football program achieve on an annual basis," said Carla Jeremias, president of the Quarterback Club. "Coach Paterno's philosophy of recruiting young men who can compete at the highest level of college football, earn their degree and have a positive impact on society is something our members, and anyone associated with Penn State, has been, and will continue to be, very proud of."

The State College Quarterback Club supports the Penn State football program and is open to all fans of the Nittany Lions. The Club annually sponsors the Penn State Football Banquet, which salutes the Nittany Lion seniors, following the season.

Penn State is consistently among the nation's premier football programs in graduation rates and academic successes. Among some of the recent academic accomplishments:

• In the NCAA's 2008 Academic Progress Rate report, the Penn State football team had a four-year APR score of 964 (out of 1000), easily beating the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) football average of 936 and the public institution average of 925. The Nittany Lions earned the Big Ten's second-highest APR score, trailing only Northwestern.

• Penn State's 76 percent Graduation Success Rate was No. 3 in the nation among teams ranked in the final 2007 USA Today Coaches Top 25. Boston College (93) and Texas Tech (79) were the only teams with a higher GSR, according to data released by the NCAA last fall.

• The Nittany Lions earned the highest Graduation Success Rate among the eight Big Ten teams that played in a 2007-08 bowl game. Penn State's 76 percent rate was easily above the Division I national GSR average of 67 percent and was No. 9 among all 64 bowl teams.

• African-American members of the Penn State football team also earned a GSR of 76 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 57 percent, and 15 points higher than the next closest Big Ten school, according to the 2007 NCAA report.

• Tackle Gerald Cadogan was selected a 2007 first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American®, giving Penn State at least one Academic All-American® in each of the past six years.

• During Paterno's tenure, Penn State has had 36 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans® (27 first team), 15 National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes and 18 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners. Penn State ranks fourth among all Division I-A institutions in Academic All-America® football honorees.

• A total of 36 squad members earned at least a 3.0 grade point average during the 2007 fall semester. Among the 36 Nittany Lions, 12 earned Dean's List recognition by posting a 3.5 GPA or higher.

• The Nittany Lions had 19 Academic All-Big Ten football honorees last fall, improving their conference-leading total to 209 from 1993-2007.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009