Posted by Philip Poole on 2007-05-15

Samford University continues to excel in the academic progress ratings used by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) to measure the academic success of student athletes.

In the 2007 APRs, Samford continues to lead the Ohio Valley Conference and other division I schools in Alabama. Samford also compare favorably with other peer groups, including historically Baptist universities and the Southern Conference, which Samford joins in 2008.

Samford scored above the 3-year national average in all 17 intercollegiate sports in which it has teams. Six Samford teams – soccer, men's basketball, football, women's basketball, women's cross country and women's golf -- finished in the top 10 percent nationally, and three – women's basketball, women's cross country and women's golf – received a perfect score of 1000.

Schools falling below the minimum score of 925 were penalized, but no Samford teams fell below the minimum.

"We are proud of our student-athletes and what they accomplish in the classroom as well as in the field of competition," said Bob Roller, Samford's director of athletics. "The high APRs for all of our teams affirm the university's strong commitment to high academic standards and to the important role that coaches and athletics department staff, led by senior associate director Peter Neuberger and assistant director Chris Scott, plays in helping us to achieve those academic goals."

Samford President Andrew Westmoreland echoed Roller. "I congratulate Mr. Roller and the entire athletics department – students, coaches and other staff. Athletics are important to the overall university experience, but academics are primary to our mission. While the APRs are only one measure of success, they do demonstrate our strong commitment to ensuring the highest quality academic experience for those students who represent us on the playing field."

In three sports – women's basketball, women's cross county and women's golf – Samford scored higher than any other schools in every peer comparison. In two other major sports – football and men's basketball – Samford scored highest in the Ohio Valley Conference and in comparisons with all Division I schools in Alabama and the Southeastern Conference. Samford scored highest in the OVC in nine of the 17 sports in which it competes and placed second in three other sports.

Samford's success in the classroom is highlighted by success in the Ohio Valley Conference. In four years of OVC membership, Samford has won team championships in soccer, women's tennis, men's golf and women's cross country, and teams have participated in postseason play in soccer, men's and women's basketball, softball, baseball and tennis. Individual student-athletes also have qualified for postseason in track and cross country.

Even with the high scores, there is room for improvement, Roller noted. "The Southern Conference, with more private universities, always scores high in the APRs. We already compare favorably with those schools academically, but we will want to strive to be the best in the classroom and on the playing field.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.