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The Poster Child for academic success at 'Bama.
There is great debate about whether college football players are in school to play or in school to get an education. It seems that at Alabama, the answer may be that both are true.
FYI, college football no longer looks at graduation rates. It looks at something called Academic Progress Rate.
According to the NCAA, “The APR is calculated by allocating points for eligibility and retention — the two factors that research identifies as the best indicators of graduation. Each player on a given roster earns a maximum of two points per term, one for being academically eligible and one for staying with the institution. A team’s APR is the total points of a team’s roster at a given time divided by the total points possible. Since this results in a decimal number, the CAP decided to multiply it by 1,000 for ease of reference. Thus, a raw APR score of .925 translates into the 925 that will become the standard terminology”.
What that means is that if a team stays below that 925 for some years, the result can be a loss of significant scholarships. For NCAA Football the average is 944 for the last full year of data (2008-2009). Here's the top four in the SEC: Vanderbilt 982, Florida 982, Alabama 972, Georgia 965.
So, we're not in danger with this for now. It's impressive that we're only a few percentage points behind Vandy and leading most of the league.
But it says loads about an institution that moves players towards a degree. Most of these guys will not play pro football and need an education. Coach Saban is working to insure they get one.
The resolve, then, is to increase this number so that we can lead the SEC in this category, too.