Alabama Athletics Leads the Nation in First Team CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
Alabama Athletics once again led the nation in First Team Academic All-America honors as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), totaling seven during the 2016-17 academic year. The Crimson Tide also garnered three second-team accolades to tally 10 honors over the past season, giving Alabama double-digit Academic All-Americans for the fourth year in a row.
“Not only are we extremely proud of each of our Academic All-Americans for their hard work both academically and athletically, but to lead the nation in first-team honors and to be one of just two schools with 10 or more honors this past year is an amazing accomplishment,” UA Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said.
This year, the Tide had more student-athletes earn first-team recognition than all but three other NCAA Division I schools had total honors. Alabama and Minnesota (11) were the only schools to earn double-digit Academic All-America honors in 2016-17, with the Gophers earning three first-team, three second-team and five third-team certificates.
Alabama has earned Academic All-America honors a Division I-best 77 times over the last eight seasons and an extraordinary 45 times over the last four.
“This year’s honors continue to build on our tradition of success when it comes to the CoSIDA Academic All-America program and they speak volumes about the emphasis our student-athletes, coaches and staff put on academics,” Byrne said.
This spring, Alabama became the first school to have four student-athletes earn a place on the men’s Academic All-America At-Large team in the same year, with all four coming from the Tide’s swimming and diving program and all four – Connor Oslin, Anton McKee, Pavel Romanov and Luke Kaliszak – earning first-team recognition. It was Oslin and McKee’s third time to earn Academic All-America, the second for Romanov and the first for Kaliszak.
Alabama also led the nation in overall at-large honors with six when gymnasts Mackenzie Brannan and Keely McNeer earned the accolade on the women’s side of the slate. Both women earned first-team honors as well. It was Brannan’s second Academic All-American nod and McNeer’s first.
McKee also extended Alabama’s streak of Academic All-Americans of the Year when he earned his second-consecutive honor in 2017, marking the eighth year in a row that a Crimson Tide student-athlete has earned that designation for their respective sport. Overall, an Alabama student-athlete has been named Academic All-American of the Year 11 times since 2004.
Alex Gholston was named a First Team Track and Field Academic All-American for the second year in a row, marking the fifth year in a row the women’s track and field/cross country program has had a student-athlete earn a place on that prestigious list.
The Tide softball team had two players earn Academic All-America honors this season, with Sydney Littlejohn earning her second nod while Chandler Dare made the list for the first time. Both women earned a place on the second team. Alabama softball players have earned 23 Academic All-America awards over the Tide's 21-year history, including at least one award winner every year since 2008.
Volleyball’s Krystal Rivers became Alabama’s first Academic All-American of 2016-17 when she earned second-team recognition in the fall. It was her second such nod and marked the third season in a row that at least one Tide volleyball player has earned the honor.
Alabama leads the Southeastern Conference with a total of 159 Academic All-American honors, and is ranked fifth among NCAA Division I schools. The Tide is ranked first among Division I schools since 2010 with 77 and third since 2000 with 123.