Moore: Enrollment growth helps recruiting

Published 12:11am Wednesday, September 21, 2011

UA athletic director Mal Moore said the work university president Robert E. Witt has done to grow enrollment helps athletic recruiting.

“What Dr. Whitt has accomplished is unbelievable,” Moore said. “He has been president for eight years now.For the last seven years, the University has broken enrollment records.”

When Witt took office, enrollment at UA was 19,000. This year, it topped 31,600.

“He’s growing the university with out-of-state students, who pay three times what in-state students pay,” Moore said. “He’s taking care of every student in the state who chooses to come to the university, and making up for the shortfalls in state funding with out-of-state tuition revenue.

Last year’s freshman class had 128 national merit scholars. This year’s has 186.

Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas, is the wealthiest high school in Dallas, Moore. said.

“Last year, from its graduating class, 31 seniors came to Alabama,” he said. “You would like to have 31 from Texas, but to get 31 from one high school is remarkable. The year before that, Memorial High School in Houston, their graduating class had 19 seniors who came to Alabama. The next year, we recruited the No. 1 golfer in America from that same school.

“It helps and supports coaches to have these connections throughout the country,” Moore said.

And Witt also supports athletics, he said.

“He had been president less than three months, and we were in the midst of raising $50 million,” Moore recalled. “He comes in, we invite him to the crimson committee meeting on campus. He walked in and wrote a personal check for $25,000. There’s not another president in the country who would do that.”

It’s a gesture Witt repeated again before the campaign was over, Moore said.

“That just says a lot about Dr. Witt, how he recognizes and understands athletics. He has used athletics, and the success of those teams, to help grow the university.

“I’ve been at Alabama a long time, and I can never recall the oneness with academics, athletics and alumni all on same page that we have now,” he said.

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