Tide Athletics Scores Well On APR

A dozen University of Alabama varsity athletics teams earned a multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) score higher than the national average announced by the NCAA Tuesday. Bama scores included two women's squads (cross country and rowing) that scored a perfect score of 1,000. All 21 Crimson Tide teams were once again above the national cutoff standard of 925.

High-performing teams received awards posted APR scores ranging from 965 to a perfect 1,000, and 14 Alabama squads achieved scores that classify as high-performing by the NCAA.

The women's cross country (1,000), rowing (1,000), volleyball (995), and softball teams (990) achieved the highest scores of the Crimson Tide teams. The women's cross country and volleyball teams recently received public recognition from the NCAA for its average ranking in the top 10 percentile nationally among teams in those respective sports. The rowing, softball, women's track and field and volleyball teams' totals rank in the top 20 percentile nationally. The golf team (975) and tennis team (973) earned the top scores on the men's side.

The football team achieved a score of 944, a higher score that the national average for football teams at Football Bowl Subdivision schools (936), all Division I schools (934), and all football teams from Public Institutions (925).

The scores for men's sports were:

Baseball 931, basketball 928, cross country 955, football 944, golf 975, swimming 966, tennis 973, indoor track 933, and outdoor track 927.

The scores for women's sports were:

Basketball 932, cross country 1,000, golf 970, gymnastics 986, rowing 1,000, soccer 981, softball 990, swimming 981, tennis 972, indoor track 986, outdoor track 986, and volleyball 995.

"This year's Academic Progress Rate report continues an upward trend," said Director of Athletics Mal Moore. "I have consistently maintained that academics are our first priority, and student-athletes, coaches and academic support people continue to make that commitment a reality. Their hard work has allowed us to show improvement each year of this report. While we are proud of our progress to date, we will continue to strive for improvement across the board so that our student-athletes are prepared not just to graduate, but to succeed after they leave our university."

"We are continuing to make progress on all fronts," said Jon Dever, assistant athletics director for Student Services. "For the first time, all of our program are above the 925 mark and two of our programs posted perfect 1,000 APRs. We are pleased, but our goal for next year is to continue this improvement."

Nationally, approximately 150 college teams face possible scholarship losses next season and 26 others are in danger of being banned from postseason play if their scores do not show improvement. More than 700 teams fell short of the mandated cut score of 925. A total of 218 were penalized with warning letters, potential reductions in scholarships and practice time and warned they face possible postseason bans. Some were granted waivers by the NCAA. Thirty-six teams were assessed two penalties and three schools had more than one team make the list twice.

Now in its fourth 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 most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2006-07 academic years. The NCAA's Division I Board of Directors set cut scores of 925 and 900 (out of 1,000) as a threshold for teams to meet or face possible immediate and historical sanctions. An APR of 925 translates to approximately a 60 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and an APR of 900 translates to approximately a 45 percent GSR.

This is the third year of immediate (or contemporaneous) penalties for teams that score below 925 APR, and have a student-athlete who leaves school academically ineligible. This year marks the second year for historical penalties. Second-year sanctions include restrictions on scholarships and practice time. Starting in 2009, teams that receive three straight years of historical penalties (below 900 APR) face the potential of restrictions on postseason competition for the team, in addition to scholarship and practice restrictions.

The squad-size adjustment has been eliminated for most teams. This statistical adjustment was developed to account for the limited amount of data in the beginning years of APR. Now, with four years of APR data, the adjustments are no longer needed for those teams with 30 or more student-athletes in the four-year APR. Every team posting an APR score below 925 is required to develop a specific academic improvement plan. Teams posting APR scores below 900 must submit those plans to the NCAA national office for review.

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