Tide getting it done off the field, too

Alabama's prowess on the football field under Nick Saban speaks for itself. The Crimson Tide have won three of the last four national championships, including the last two.

Saban also talks frequently about the total development of his players, and it's something he obviously believes in.

On Wednesday, Alabama was the only SEC football program to be recognized with an NCAA Division I Public Recognition Award, which is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs (Academic Progress Rates) within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport during the 2011-12 academic year.

"To have five of our programs honored in this way, especially considering the success they all enjoyed on the field, is a true testament to the excellence the University of Alabama strives for both athletically and academically," Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said.

The overall APR report covering all sports will be released next week. Schools that were honored Wednesday had numbers that ranged from a 978 to a perfect 1,000.

The Alabama football team's multiyear APR score has increased each year under Saban. Last year, Alabama tied for third in the SEC with a 970.