Tide Athletes Set For Graduations

At least seven athletes who have been a part of two national championships will be among those participating in graduation exercises this weekend at The University of Alabama.

When The University holds its spring commencement ceremonies in Coleman Coliseum over the weekend, more than 70 Alabama student-athletes are slated to earn their degrees. At least one member from 19 of Alabama's varsity sports will be among those eligible to take part in the spring commencement.

In recent years, Bama has ranked among the nation's leaders in football players earning degrees. Traditionally, the Crimson Tide has had high academic performance and graduation rates in sports such as golf, tennis, track & field, swimming & diving, and gymnastics.

Six Alabama football players who have been a part of two national championship teams will be graduated. They include four – snapper Carson Tinker, defensive end Damion Square, defensive end William Ming, and tight end Michael Williams – who are returning for the 2012 season. Other football players who were a part of both the 2009 and 2011 BCS National Championship teams are All-America linebacker Courtney Upshaw and linebacker DeMarcus DuBose.

Another spring graduate who has been a part of two national championship teams is All-America gymnast Rachel Terry, a two-time recipient of the NCAA Elite 88 Award. She was a member of Bama's back-to-back national titles in 2011 and 2012.

The softball team graduates All-Americans Whitney Larsen and Kelsi Dunne and All-Region honoree Cassie Reilly-Boccia, while All-SEC selection Justine Bernier is among the soccer team's graduates.

All-American golfer and NCAA Elite 88 Award winner Brooke Pancake will receive her degree this weekend along with fellow All-Americas Taylor Dugas (baseball), Adam Booher (swimming and diving), and Krystle Schade (track and field).

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner and two-year president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Kyle Weeks (swimming and diving) is also among the graduation participants. The cross country duo of Leigh Gilmore and Nathan Corder, who also earned NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, is set to graduate this weekend. Corder also earned the NCAA Elite 88 Award during his Tide career.

All-SEC basketball stars Ericka Russell and JaMychal Green are scheduled to graduate this weekend as are rowing co-captains Tabitha Coleman and Kristen Iverson and volleyball captain Stephanie Riley.

Two-time SEC Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year Courtney McLane, who earned her undergraduate degree in management in just three years, earned a Master's degree in marketing in her final year of eligibility.

Three commencement ceremonies will be held in Coleman Coliseum over the weekend. The first will be Friday evening at 6 p.m., the second on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and the third Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

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