NCAA gives UW athletes passing grade
Washington suffered losing seasons in both football and men's basketball this year for the first time since 1958. But UW administrators are...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington suffered losing seasons in both football and men's basketball this year for the first time since 1958.
But UW administrators are more than happy with the performance of the school's two marquee teams in the classroom. Each posted above-average scores in the latest Academic Progress Rate report released by the NCAA on Tuesday.
Schools must have a score of 925 to avoid the possibly of penalties, such as a loss of scholarships, and the Huskies were above that in each sport, recording a score of 948 in football and 943 in men's basketball. None of UW's teams had scores that would subject them to penalties.
The highest-scoring men's team was cross country (989); the women's golf team scored 1,000.
The scores are four-year averages covering the seasons of 2003-04 through 2006-07.
Washington's football score rated third-best among Pac-10 schools, while the basketball score was fourth.
"All in all, we feel pretty good about it," said John Morris, UW's senior associate athletic director for compliance. "There is always room for improvement, but none of our sports are at risk of having any penalties and most of [UW's sports] are trending upward in the last year or two. We are satisfied with where we are right now."
Indeed, football and men's basketball have each improved dramatically since the APR was devised in 2005. In an initial report in May 2005, the football team had an APR of 885 while the men's basketball team was at 871.
Many big-time men's basketball programs have seen their rates improve due to a tweaking in the initial formula. Now schools are not penalized when players leave early for the NBA if they are in good academic standing when they depart, as was the case with Spencer Hawes last season.
However, Morris said UW has also put an increasing emphasis on academics in recent years. He said budgets for things such as tutoring "have increased dramatically" and noted that UW has recently hired a full-time life skills director and a learning specialist to help athletes who have diagnosed learning disabilities.
Washington's women's basketball and women's golf teams each received Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA for their APR performance. However, Morris warned that the score for the women's basketball team, which recorded a 998 this year, figures to drop next season due to the recent transfers of four players. Keeping players in school is among the items factored into the APR.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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