Among the comments lost in the site crash a few weeks ago were comments relating to the graduation rates of University of Alabama football players.
The comments are lost, but I distinctly remember promising to post the latest results just as soon they are available.
There are a few skeptics who question the ability of UA to graduate football players while winning three of the most recent four national championships — as though being a winner on the field might not translate into academia.
Well, here’s the latest –
A total of five University of Alabama athletics teams were honored with the NCAA Division I Public Recognition Award, the NCAA announced Wednesday, led by the Crimson Tide’s national champion football and men’s golf teams.
Each year the NCAA honors select Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multi-year NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). This award is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multi-year APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.
Alabama had the only football squad in the Southeastern Conference to earn the award and was second only to Vanderbilt in the total number of teams honored. The Tide was also one of just two NCAA Division I schools to earn the award in both football and men’s basketball, with Duke being the other.
The “process” continues, despite so many players leaving early for the NFL, either as juniors or seniors. But, then, many of the players who leave after their junior year already have their degree thanks to early enrollment and summer school — and discipline.
And then there’s –
Not only has the University seen graduation rates increase, the football team has as well. For the 2010 – 2011 school year, Alabama football posted a 75% graduation success rate. That is up from 69% the previous year. Men’s basketball wasn’t far behind in 2010-2011 posting an impressive 71% GSR. This was also an increase from the previous year’s mark of 67%.
Hence, academic success and athletic success need not stand in opposition to each other. However, it requires a level of commitment rarely seen among such young men.
Saban likes to say that we all suffer pain — either the pain of disappointment or the pain of discipline. He obviously has a gift for persuading young men to endure the pain of discipline.
There’s a lesson there for us all. It takes incredible commitment to play football at a Division 1 national championship level while doing well enough in school to graduate — as evidenced by how very few student-athletes accomplish that.
Imagine a congregation that had that level of commitment to following Jesus … I guess it depends on how you define “disappointment” in your life.