“We are extremely proud to lead the Southeastern Conference in this vital area,” Alabama Director of Athletics Bill Battle said. “This is just another example of the balance between academic and athletic excellence that we strive for every day.”
In addition to leading the SEC with its overall GSR, the Crimson Tide was first, or tied for first, in seven different sports, including its two-time defending NCAA champion men's golf team which led the league with a perfect GSR score of 100. Alabama's women's golf, soccer, softball, women's tennis, volleyball and men's swimming and diving teams also led the SEC with GSR scores of 100. The average GSR for all NCAA Division I student-athletes is 82.
Seven of Alabama's 16 intercollegiate athletics programs in existence at the time – men’s golf, men’s swimming and diving, women’s golf, softball, soccer, women’s tennis and volleyball – achieved perfect scores of 100. Overall, 13 Alabama programs recorded a GSR score of at least 90 and all 16 scored 80 or above. The Alabama women's rowing program is not included in this survey as it did not become a scholarship sport at UA until 2006.
"To once again have seven teams earn a perfect score of a 100, and all 16 at 80 and above, says so much about the dedication and drive of everyone in our department when it comes to the ultimate goal of having our student-athletes earn their degree," Battle said. "I'm very proud of our student-athletes, faculty, coaches, staff and everyone who strives to keep us moving forward in this area."
The Alabama football and men’s basketball teams both ranked second in the SEC with scores of 80 and 87, respectively. Men’s track and field was also second in the SEC with a score of 95. Football jumped seven points from a year ago while men’s basketball jumped 10 points. In addition to having all 16 programs scoring 80 or above, 13 Alabama squads ranked in the top five in the SEC.
The GSR measures graduation rates at Division I institutions and includes student-athletes 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.