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Tutoring at UAB: School fines players $10 for every unexcused absence in hopes of maintaining APR


What’s one way to make sure your players show up for tutoring sessions? Start fining them for being absent.

That’s part of what UAB is doing to ensure that it keeps its APR score above the NCAA benchmark.

“We also have academic support in place. We have tutors, mentors, study hall, advisor meetings for all of our student-athletes,” UAB athletic director Brian Mackin said in an interview with The Birmingham News.

“We actually smother them with academic support and hold each one of them accountable. We have a penalty structure in place that is very tough if they don’t complete their requirements. Tutor misses are $10 per unexcused miss. If you exceed the number of tutoring or mentor misses, it could result in a game suspension or taking away ticket privileges.”

The key word here seems to be “accountability,” as UAB wants to give players a reason to show up for academic tutoring sessions. It’s a small fine, yes, but the school hopes it paves a way for future success.

This move comes from a school that had a history of APR problems, dating back to 2005. During the APR report that spanned from 2003-2007, UAB reportedly had six programs under the 900 mark and was the second-most penalized program in the nation.

“I think recruiting is the No. 1 thing. It all starts with recruiting the right student-athlete that can be successful at UAB,” Mackin told the paper.

“We have made tremendous progress with APR in all of our sports and we will continue to view prospects on a case-by-case basis so that we are recruiting student- athletes that can be successful in the classroom and can compete at highest level on the field and court.”

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_