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Originally published Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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JC forward Charles Garcia will not be eligible to play for Huskies

Garcia didn't meet UW admissions requirements and will likely attend Seattle University and play for coach Cameron Dollar, a former Huskies assistant coach.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Charles Garcia, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound junior college forward whom the Washington Huskies hoped could help fill the void left by the graduation of Jon Brockman, did not gain admission to the school and will not play basketball for UW, coach Lorenzo Romar said today.

Garcia is apparently eligible by NCAA standards, however, and is likely headed to Seattle University, where he will play for new coach Cameron Dollar, a former Huskies assistant who was on the staff when Washington signed him. Garcia will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Romar said Garcia "barely missed the admission standards" for incoming JC students to the university. But the coach said the decision is final and there is no chance Garcia could end up at UW later.

Garcia, a graduate of Dorsey High in Los Angeles, played the first half of last season at Riverside (Calif.) CC. But he left in late December for Yuba Community College in Northern California, where he had some relatives, in an attempt to shore up his academics. He did not play basketball there while concentrating on his school work. He attended UW's Pac-10 title clinching win against Washington State and said then he was confident he would be eligible.

Romar said that Garcia "worked hard. It was close."

Garcia is a rare UW signee under Romar not to qualify academically. The only other since Romar became UW's coach in 2002 is high school guard Roburt Sallie, a member of the class of 2005. The Huskies have not often recruited JC players under Romar. Garcia was the first JC player UW has signed since Romar's first class in 2003 when be brought in Hakeem Rollins and Tre Simmons.

Romar said Garcia is a completely different player in style from Brockman saying, "it's like comparing Lamar Odom to Ben Wallace." But UW coaches had recruited Garcia with the hope that his size would give them another big body to help replace Brockman.

"At the time, we thought it would be good to get someone with a little experience," Romar said.

Washington's three incoming freshmen are expected to be eligible, as is the rest of the roster. That will leave UW with 12 scholarship players, one below the NCAA limit of 13, a potentially rare time when the Huskies won't have all of their spots occupied.

Romar said it is uncertain if the Huskies will fill that scholarship now.

"We could, we'll see," he said. "We've never been in this position, it seems like we are always on the other end. Every year someone is transferring and sends us a release and we never have a scholarship available. So maybe it will work out the other way."

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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