Alabama Athletics Gets High Scores

Thirteen Alabama teams earned a multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) score higher than the national average of 964 the NCAA announced Wednesday. Twenty of 21 Crimson Tide teams scored above the national cutoff standard of 925. The NCAA's standard for achieving status as a high-performing team mandates having an APR score ranging from 965 to a perfect 1,000, and 13 Tide squads made that standard.

Figures released covered the four-year period extending from the 2004-05 through 2007-08 school years.

The men's golf (988), volleyball (995), gymnastics (991), softball (990), women's cross country (994) and women's swimming & diving (988) teams achieved the highest scores by Crimson Tide teams. For the third time in recent years, the volleyball team recently received public recognition from the NCAA for its average ranking in the top 10 percentile nationally among teams in that sport. The golf team (988) and tennis team (975) earned the top scores on the men's side.

The football team achieved a score of 955, a higher score that the national average for football teams at Football Bowl Subdivision schools (941) and all Division I schools (939). Men's basketball was the only program that failed to reach the national standard of 925, scoring a 922 on this report. However, that score will not result in immediate penalties for Alabama due to the fact that none of the student-athletes who were at some point ruled ineligible failed to subsequently regain their eligibility during the next reporting period.

By sport, Alabama's APR scores are:

Men: Baseball 933, Basketball 922, Cross Country 960, Football 955, Golf 988, Swimming & Diving 960, Tennis 975, Indoor Track 931, Outdoor Track 930.

Women: Basketball 950, Cross Country 994, Golf 977, Gymnastics 991, Rowing 971, Soccer 980, Softball 990, Swimming & Diving 988, Tennis 977, Indoor Track 978, Outdoor Track 978, Volleyball 995.

"We are very pleased that this year's Academic Progress Rate report maintains overall improvement and a solid showing by our program," said Director of Athletic Mal Moore. "Strong academic performance has been, and always will be, the highest of priorities for our entire athletic program. Our philosophical commitment is only as good as the effort put in by those working in our Academic Student Affairs program and the student-athletes themselves. I am pleased to see continuing evidence of that commitment in these ratings."

"A total of 14 of 21 sports posted higher scores than last year while five of those teams post double-digit improvements," said Jon Dever, Assistant Athletic Director for Student Services. "Last year marked the first time that all of our programs scored above the 925 mark and two of our programs posted perfect 1,000 APRs while all but one team made the mark this year. We're confident that the men's basketball decline is a one-year aberration and that we will post a much better score next year, although it should be noted that the actual score for that team was down only six points from last year's report."

Now in its fifth 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 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 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 fourth 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 third year for historical penalties. Second-year sanctions include restrictions on scholarships and practice time. 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.

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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