Alabama is one of a handful of universities nationally-known for its overall athletics program. But as has been shown once again with the release of the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) by the NCAA, The University of Alabama continues to have elite success in the classroom as it does in the athletics arena.
All 21 Alabama varsity athletics teams continue to score well above the national cutoff standard is the most recent academic progress report released by the NCAA.
Figures released cover the four-year period from 2011-12 through 2014-15. Overall, 17 Crimson Tide teams posted scores above the national average in their respective sports, including five that bettered the national average in their sport by 15 points or more. Alabama football scored a 979, which bettered the national average for Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams by 15 points. The Crimson Tide men’s basketball team posted a 984 APR, bettering the national average by 20 points.
"Our continued success in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate is a reflection of our coaches and administrators living our mission to recruit and develop student-athletes to compete at the highest levels in intercollegiate athletics, to educate and prepare our student-athletes to compete at the highest levels in life after graduation, and to accomplish both with honor and integrity," Alabama Director of Athletics Bill Battle said.
Overall, 17 Crimson Tide teams posted scores above the national average in their respective sports, including five that bettered the national average in their sport by 15 points or more. Alabama football scored a 979, which bettered the national average for Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams by 15 points. The Crimson Tide men’s basketball team posted a 984 APR, bettering the national average by 20 points.
Alabama was one of only two Southeastern Conference schools to have more than four teams receive public recognition from the NCAA for APR scores in the top-10 percentile nationally among teams in those sports. Those include the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Champion gymnastics team, the 2012 NCAA Champion women's golf team, the 2014 SEC Champion women's tennis team and the men's cross country team and women’s swimming and diving teams.
In addition to national recognition, eight Crimson Tide teams ranked among the top three in their respective sports in the SEC, with gymnastics, softball, women's golf, men's cross country and women's tennis all ranked No. 1 in the league. Football and men’s swimming and diving were both ranked third among SEC teams.
The men's cross country, women's golf, gymnastics, women’s swimming and diving and women's tennis teams all scored a perfect 1,000 for their four-year score. Those five teams were joined by the 2012 NCAA champion softball team (997) as well as the women's cross country (990) and soccer (990) teams among the eight UA programs with scores of 990 or better.
The Alabama men’s basketball (984), men's tennis (986), men’s golf (984), rowing (989) and men’s swimming and diving (982) teams were also among the teams that posted scores of 980 or better. A total of 16 Alabama teams either matched or exceeded their APR from the year before.
"We continue to do very well when it comes to the APR," Alabama Associate Athletics Director for Student Services Jon Dever said. "Once again, five of our sports earned perfect four-year scores of 1,000 and 13 teams scored 980 or better. We are proud to have 17 of our sports above the national average, including three that were 20 points above the national average. More than all that, we are extremely proud of the effort that our student-athletes, coaches and administration put into our overarching pursuit of academic excellence."
Now in its 13th year, the Academic Progress Rate measures the eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. It also serves as a predictor of graduation success. The NCAA's Division I Board of Directors set cut scores of 930 (out of 1,000) as a threshold for teams to meet or face possible immediate and historical sanctions. An APR of 930 translates to approximately a 50 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR).