Alabama Interim Coach Joe Kines said, "We got really great news today. You can mark off the first check. Every scholarshipped player we have is eligible for the bowl game."
Kines said there are three things needing checkmarks. The first was in the area of academics, the second is the bowl game, and the third is in the area of recruiting.
"There are a lot of schools going to bowl games and there will be teams where one or more of their guys are not going to get to go," Kines said. "You could look on the faces of our guys when it was all done and see it. It is a heck of a relief."
Years ago Auburn suffered bad publicity when the Tigers went to a bowl game and it was learned one of their star players had not even attended class in the fall semester. Afterwards the Southeastern Conference passed a rule that a player had to pass at least six hours in the fall semester in order to be eligible for bowl participation.
Kines said that not only did Alabama have all scholarshipped players eligible, but that ten graduates would be in uniform when the Crimson Tide takes on Oklahoma State in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport December 28. He also cited a large number of freshmen with grade point averages above 3.0.
"It was a good year for academics," Kines said. "Jon Dever (assistant athletics director for academics) and his staff and the entire University community did a great job,. And I'm proud of our guys. They could have slacked off and they didn't."
Kines said he knows that the parents of the players and the parents of prospects will take note of the good work in the classroom. "It's important to the parents," he said. "They don't send their children here for us to take them lightly. We're going to take care of them."
He added, "Now we've got to take care of the other two marks."
Kines said that "a couple" of grades had not been posted when he got word from Dever about the accomplishment, but said those marks had been verified.