DALLAS, Texas - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
(NFF) announced that former East Carolina student-athletes Robert Lee
and Kevin Roach have earned selection to the inaugural NFF National
Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all
divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 grade point average or
better. A total of 345 players from 195 schools earned recognition as
part of the inaugural class.
Lee, a senior, has recorded a 3.26 GPA as a general engineering major
since arriving on the ECU campus in the summer of 2005 after two seasons
at Trinity Valley (Tex.) Community College. He completed his two-year
Pirate career by setting or tying 10 single-game, single-season, career
or class records, including a perfect 52-of-52 extra-point ledger. In
all, he contributed nine multiple field goal contests which resulted in
a 31-of-42 slate in 21 games.
Roach, who earned a 3.44 GPA as an accounting major during his
undergraduate career, played his senior season as a graduate student
last fall after graduating in May, 2006. He is on track to complete
requirements for a MBA later this summer after compiling a 3.33 GPA
during the fall. Roach ranked fourth among all Pirate receivers in 2006
with 24 catches for 376 yards which allowed his to stand second on the
unit with a 15.7 yards-per-catch average. He completed his ECU career
with 65 receptions for 845 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a total of
"The inaugural class of the Honor Society contains an outstanding group
of young men who simply set the standard for excellence on and off the
field, and we are proud to showcase their accomplishments as a powerful
example of football's unique ability to produce the next generation of
great leaders," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We anticipate
that the program will grow dramatically in the coming years, and we
project recognizing hundreds of more student-athletes each year as
people learn about the qualifications for membership and submit
The National Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National
Scholar-Athlete program, and further strengthens the NFF's leadership
role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who
play football at the more than 700 college and universities with
"It's a privilege to a part of this initiative," said Florida State
President and NFF Honor Society National Advisory Committee Co-Chair Dr.
T.K. Wetherell. "The NFF's efforts in promoting scholarship are
unsurpassed in athletics, and I know that the Honor Society will
significantly increase academic performance as coaches use membership as
a tool to tap the competitive spirit of their teams and inclusion
becomes a point of pride among their players."
The National Honor Society becomes the latest component of the
organization's efforts to promote combined athletic and academic
success. Launched in 1959, the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Award
program became the first initiative in history to credit a player for
his combined academic success, football performance and community
leadership. Since its inception, the NFF' National Scholar-Athlete
Awards program has awarded $8.3 million to 678 top scholars and
community leaders. Currently, the NFF distributes approximately $320,000
a year at the national level through the program to 15 to 17
individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an
$18,000 post-graduate scholarship.
"I had the privilege of being recognized in 1959 as part of the first
class of National Scholar-Athletes," said Gilbane, Inc. Chairman & CEO,
Paul Choquette, who serves as the NFF Honor Society National Advisory
Committee Co-Chair with Wetherell, "It's an honor that I still deeply
treasure because I truly believe the lessons learned on the field,
combined with academic excellence, translate into success later in life.
The NFF National Honor Society greatly expands the number of
student-athletes who the NFF will be able to recognize, giving them a
similar experience to one I had 50 years ago, which still means a lot to
me. I am proud to have played a role in this new initiative."
Upon the death of Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback
who served as the NFF Chairman for 19 years, the NFF added the Draddy
Trophy to the program. First awarded in 1990, the Draddy Trophy,
presented by HealthSouth, selects one member of each year's class as the
absolute best. The winner of the Draddy receives a total scholarship of
$25,000 and a stunning 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy.
As part of the launch, the NFF has established a national advisory
committee, including representatives from the seven major conferences, a
college president, a conference commissioner, an athletics director, and
a Division I-A head football coach. Each one of these representatives
provided comprehensive feedback in developing the Honor Society.