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Off the field, Eagles making the grade

By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / October 28, 2011

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Boston College might be in the bottom tier of the Atlantic Coast Conference this fall, but the Graduation Success Rate - which measures the academic progress of athletic teams - again has put BC in the upper tier among all schools.

According to data released by the NCAA this week, BC was one of six FBS football programs that scored 90 percent or higher in GRS. Notre Dame led at 97, followed by Northwestern at 94, then BC, Duke, and Rice at 93, and Navy at 90.

In all sports combined, BC tied for second among FBS schools with Duke at 97 percent, while Notre Dame led at 99. BC had 21 teams post a perfect 100 percent GRS.

Football coach Frank Spaziani expressed the BC position with clarity.

“You go to college for an education,’’ said Spaziani. “We take it seriously. The school takes it seriously. Those are the kind of individuals we want in our program. The priorities are in order. We like to compete and win.’’

A hurting bunch

The BC injury list is again extensive: Offensive guard Nathan Richman (back), linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (lower leg), defensive tackle Dillon Quinn (shoulder), and fullback Danny Williams (leg) are all out of tomorrow’s game at Maryland. Wide receiver Bobby Swigert (shoulder) is probable and defensive tackle Conor O’Neal (illness) is doubtful . . . With the injury to Pierre-Louis, freshman Sean Duggan moves into the starting slot at weak-side linebacker. Asked if Duggan was ready, Spaziani said, “He’s as ready as he is going to be right now. Next in line.’’ Duggan’s insertion gives St. Xavier High of Cincinnati a stronghold on linebacker, since Luke Kuechly is also a St. Xavier graduate . . . BC also will have freshmen starting at both defensive tackle spots - Dominic Appiah and Max Ricci - and at the safety spots - Spenser Rositano and Sean Sylvia . . . Maryland, too, has had its depth chart decimated by injuries. The Terps have had as many as seven potential defensive starters sidelined . . . The Eagles practiced in a steady rain yesterday.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at