Alabama Crimson Tide football isn’t just a group of dumb jocks, according to the NCAA.
On Wednesday Alabama football was recognized with an NCAA Division I Public Recognition Award, given as a measure of sustained academic success. Alabama was one of 13 Bowl Subdivision schools – and the only SEC school – to earn the recognition.
According to the ESPN report, the award:
is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs (Academic Progress Rates) within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport during the 2011-12 academic year.
Alabama’s APR has increased every year under head coach Nick Saban, who pointed to Alabama’s drive to develop players in the classroom as well as on the gridiron.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Saban said. “We pride ourselves on having a great program where we do a good job of personal development with our players. The thing that’s most important about what our players do while they’re at the University of Alabama is graduate from school and develop a career off the field. To see that we’re one of the however many teams in the country that have one of the highest APRs, I think that speaks volumes for the commitment that we have to academics and the standard of excellence to help our players have the best opportunity to graduate.”
The report covering all sports will be released next week. Alabama and the other schools honored on Wednesday had numbers ranging from a 978 up to a perfect 1,000.