Bama Busy at Bowl Site

Nick Saban got the Alabama football team's academic report card Thursday, and after the Tide's third practice in Shreveport he bragged about their achievements like a proud papa.

"One thing I'd like to make a comment on is we just had the best academic semester we've ever had, probably in the history of Alabama," he said. "This is the highest (grade point average) we've had with the varsity players, the highest GPA we've had with the freshman players. We're pleased with that part of the program."

The fall semester cumulative GPA of varsity scholarship players was 2.64, and a more impressive 3.098 for freshman scholarship players. According to the Alabama media relations department, 60 per cent increased their cumulative overall GPA.

"The freshman class has really been impressive in terms of their work in the classroom," assistant AD for student services Jon Dever said. "That foundation will benefit them tremendously as they continue to work on earning their degree."

Alabama freshman running back Terry Grant was a member of the National Honor Society in high school, so it was no surprise that he did well.

"Academics are very important to me," Grant said. "There are not lot of guys from my hometown had the chance to go to college. I know football is not always going to be there and you need a backup plan."

In addition to another full pads practice, Saban and Tide players attended the annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) breakfast and visited the LSU Children's Hospital where they visited with children, signed autographs, posed for pictures and distributed Crimson Tide football caps.

"It takes a lot of maturity to stay focused when you have all the distractions that you have at a bowl site and a bowl game and all the things are things the players deserve to enjoy," Saban said.

Several members of the Crimson Tide football team joined some Colorado players at the Louisiana Fairgrounds where they distributed food to some 30 local agencies, for needy people in the Shreveport-Bossier City area.

The teams have a luncheon to attend Friday, and then Alabama's practice is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Colorado is scheduled to practice at Independence Bowl Stadium at 4 p.m. Alabama will face Colorado on Sunday at 7 p.m. (CST) and the game will be televised by ESPN.

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