Posted by William Nunnelley on 2005-04-05

Samford University is tied for seventh place nationally with Harvard, the U.S. Naval Academy and Bradley in its Academic Progress Rate (APR) for student-athletes. It ranks first among Division I schools in Alabama and first in its conference, the Ohio Valley.

The APR is the new system being used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to track how many student-athletes are staying in college and making adequate progress toward their degrees. All 328 Division I schools were rated, and a score of 925 was the cutoff point between schools making adequate progress and those projected to graduate less than half their athletes.

Samford's APR was 990, the same as Harvard, the Naval Academy and Bradley. Yale was first at 999, followed by Princeton at 994, Pennsylvania at 993, William and Mary at 992 and Loyola Marymount and Villanova, tied at 991.

"However much we love sports, at heart, Samford is a university, not just an athletic franchise," said Samford President Thomas E. Corts. "Samford's outstanding rating is a tribute to our players, coaches and staff who accept the limitations imposed by our requirement of high standards of academics and character. As the only Division I program in Alabama that does not permit nonqualifiers or partial qualifiers, Samford may pay a price in terms of sheer athletic success, but we are a stronger university for it!"

Samford also ranks first among the 12 Baptist-affiliated schools participating in Division I athletics, and first in the schools ranked in the top seven in Samford's category by U.S. News & World Report of master's degree universities in the South.

Schools below the 925 line face possible loss of athletic scholarships, but that won't happen until a second year of APR scores is factored in. Scholarship losses will be based on the two-year average in specific sports.

NCAA President Myles Brand called the implementation of the new system "the most far-reaching academic reform in decades." It reflects a concern on the part of university presidents that student-athletes be recruited who are capable of doing college-level work, and that they make adequate academic progress and graduate.

Some schools might face the loss of athletic scholarships in particular sports, but Samford does not, according to Samford Athletics Director Bob Roller.

Baptist Institutions


  Institution  Score  National Rank 
1 Samford 990 T-7
2 Furman 983 T-20
3 Wake Forest 979 T-32
4 Richmond 971 T-62
5 Stetson 973 T-50
6 Belmont 961 T-115
7 Baylor 960 119
8 Campbell 951 T-163
9 Gardner-Webb 936 T-218
10 Liberty 935 T-226
11 Mercer 934 T-233
12 Chas. Southern 925 T-257

Peer Institutions


  Institution  Score  National Rank  
1 Samford 990 T-7
2 Furman 983 T-20
3 Davidson 981 T-25
4 Birmingham-Southern 977 T-39
5 Vanderbilt 970 T-67
6 University of Alabama 948 T-178
7 Auburn 944 T-189

8 UAB 912 T-290

US News Top 10


  Institution  US News Rank   Score  National Rank  
1 Samford 5 990 T-7
2 Stetson 4 973 T-50
3 Richmond 1 971 T-62
  Elon T-6 971 T-62
5 James Madison 3 964 T-100
6 Citadel T-8 939 T-206
7 Mercer T-8 934 T-233

Note: Rollins (2), Loyola/New Orleans (T-6) and Mary Washington (T-8) do not play Division 1 Sports.

Ohio Valley Conference


  Institution  Score  National Rank  
1 Samford 990 T-7
2 EKU 976 T-42
3 Morehead 973 T-50
4 SEMO 941 T-198
5 EIU 937 T-241
6 Austin Peay 935 T-226
7 TN State 925 T-257

8 TN Tech 924 T-261
9 UT-Martin 918 T-279
10 Jax State 915 T-286
11 Murray State 911 T-293



  Institution  Score  National Rank  
1 Samford 990 T-7
2 Birmingham-Southern 977 T-39
3 University of Alabama 948 T-178
4 Auburn 944 T-189
5 USA 933 T-239
6 Alabama A&M 926 T-256

7 UAB 912 T-290
8 Troy 895 316
9 Alabama State 894 317