For the third year in a row, five University of Alabama athletics teams have been honored with the NCAA Division I Public Recognition Award, the NCAA announced Wednesday. UA, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Tennessee were the only SEC schools that had more than four teams earn the honor.
The Alabama gymnastics, women’s golf, women’s tennis, women’s swimming and diving and men’s cross country squads all earned the honor in 2017. The women’s golf team was honored for the seventh consecutive year while women’s tennis was recognized for the sixth time in as many years. Gymnastics and men’s cross country both earned the accolade for the third year in a row, while women’s swimming and diving notched its second consecutive honor.
“We are very pleased to maintain such high standards when it comes to this important academic metric and to rank among the best in the Southeastern Conference year-in and year-out when it comes to this award,” UA Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said.
Each year, the NCAA honors selected NCAA Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate. This announcement 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. Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.
“To sustain this kind of consistent excellence over the life of this award is a testament to the importance the University of Alabama puts on balancing academics and athletics, and, ultimately, achieving at a high level in both areas,” Byrne said. “We are extremely proud not only of the five teams that earned this honor in 2017, but also of all the teams that have earned this recognition over the span of the award.”
Crimson Tide teams have earned the NCAA honor 33 times over the past decade. The overall APR report covering all sports will be released next week.