Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama Has Solid Showing in APR

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama Has Solid Showing in APR

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | The University of Alabama made a solid showing in the NCAA's annual release of Academic Progress Rate (APR) data, with both football and men's basketball finishing in the upper 10 percent of the national rankings.

The APR measures the eligibility and retention of student- athletes and is an indicator of eventual graduation rates. The NCAA can penalize teams with chronically low APR scores, but none of Alabama's athletic programs is near the danger zone.

"It was a year with steady improvement in a lot of areas," said Jon Dever, the assistant athletics director for student services at UA.

Based on multiyear averages, UA men's basketball led the Southeastern Conference with a 995 score, including a perfect score of 1000 in the 2011-12 academic year, the most recent single year represented in the data. Football was No. 1 among the SEC's four- year members with a four-year score of 978. (Missouri, which joined the league for the current year, had a 982 multiyear score.) Alabama football's single-year score for 2011-12 dipped slightly to 968, but remained well above the national average.

Alabama joined Duke as the only Division I schools to finish in the top 10 in both football and men's basketball this year.

Dever noted that UA had 10 sports with perfect scores of 1000 for the 2011-12 school year: men's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, women's cross country, gymnastics, women's soccer, women swimming and softball.

"Five of those programs won NCAA championships in the last two seasons," Dever noted. "So we think that shows a good balance between our success on the field and success in the classroom, which is what we are trying to achieve."

The men's golf team, which won Alabama's most recent national championship, also finished with a perfect multiyear score of 1000.

Women's rowing had the lowest mulityear score among the UA programs with a 968, but remained a comfortable 38 points above the NCAA's future penalty line of 930, which takes effect next year.

"Rowing is an emerging sport, but they are making good progress and I think that will be reflected next year," Dever said.

Baseball also dipped to a one-year score of 953, but Dever indicated that he expected that score to rebound next year. …

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