Saban Tells NCAA To Bring It On

Alabama Coach Nick Saban isn't concerned that the Crimson Tide might miss a bowl game because of academic deficiencies. Bama has been doing quite well in the classroom and on the football field. The NCAA has decided to tie post-season participation to academic achievement.

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors passed a rule Thursday requiring teams in all men's and women's sports to reach a four-year average Academic Progress Rate score of 930 to participate in postseason competition. The APR measures how well teams keep players in school and eligible. A score of 930 is said to equate to a 50 per cent graduation rate.

Just last week Alabama announced that eight members of the current football team had participated in graduation exercises. In recent years, Alabama has been among the national leaders in graduating football players.

"We're 963 over the last four years and 994 for last year," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said. "I think it's everybody's responsibility to go to school and get an education. That's part of our program here. I don't really see it being a big issue that players are held accountable relative to what their responsibility is to get an education.

"There's some really, really compelling statistics about all these guys wanting to play in the NFL, and there's like 74 per cent of the people that make a team don't even play more than three years. There's not very many guys that make a living playing ball. There are a few and we all read about the five or six first-round draft picks we've had around here in the past couple of years, but 98 per cent of the guys in this program, they'll definitely need to get an education.

"I think they all need it.

"Even if they play for 12 years and get in the Hall of Fame, they have to do something some other time in their life. The only way you can affect that is get an education.

"So anything we do that makes that responsibility--which we take that responsibility here, so it'll be no change for us.

"I think is a positive for college football."

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