Tide Athletes Get Job Done In Classroom

Barely a day following the announcement that Alabama football star Barrett Jones, straight A student now working on his master's degree in accounting was one of the finalists for the Campbell Award given to the nation's top football student-athlete, there was good news for all of Bama's athletics department on the academic side.

The University of Alabama's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) score rose to an 85 this year, once again exceeding acceptable standards for completion of undergraduate studies nationally for the period covering student-athletes who attended The University during 2002-05, according to figures released by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

"Our continued improvement when it comes to the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate speaks volumes about the commitment and dedication our student-athletes, coaches and staff have to the University of Alabama's educational mission," Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore said. "It is certainly a point of pride for this athletics department that we continue to produce teams that excel at the highest level both academically and athletically."

Of Alabama's 16 intercollegiate athletics programs in existence at the time, six – women's golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball as well as men's swimming and diving – achieved perfect scores of 100. Overall, eight Alabama programs recorded a GSR score of at least 90 and 12 were over 80. The Alabama women's rowing program is not included in this survey as it did not become a scholarship sport at UA until 2006.

The Crimson Tide's GSR of 85 was second overall in the Southeastern Conference, just behind Vanderbilt. The Tide's defending NCAA Champion softball and women's golf teams both led the league with perfect GSR scores of 100 again this year. Alabama's soccer, volleyball, women's tennis and men's swimming and diving teams also led the SEC with GSR scores of 100.

The Tide's defending national champion football team ranks third in the SEC with a score of 75 following a six-point jump from last year's report. The Alabama men's basketball, baseball and women's swimming and diving teams were all third in the SEC with scores of 71, 77 and 92, respectively.

The GSR measures graduation rates at Division I institutions and includes transferring into the institutions. The GSR also allows institutions to subtract student-athletes who leave their institutions prior to graduation as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete had they remained.

The NCAA GSR and the Academic Success Rate (ASR) were developed in response to college and university presidents who wanted graduation data that more accurately reflected the mobility among college students today. Both rates improve on the federally mandated graduation rate by including students who were omitted from the federal calculation.

Other Notable Items:

• The Crimson Tide's defending NCAA Champion softball and women's golf teams both led the Southeastern Conference with perfect GSR scores of 100. Alabama's soccer, men's swimming and diving, women's tennis and volleyball teams also led the SEC with perfect 100 GSR scores.

• 15 Alabama programs either bettered or equaled their GSR score from a year ago.

• The University of Alabama ranks first in the SEC and fifth nationally among Division 1A institutions in CoSIDA's latest rankings of Academic All-America selections since 2000:

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