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Originally published Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 6:25 PM

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UW athletics' graduation rate is 2nd in Pac-10

The Washington Huskies are winning in the classroom, if not always on the field.

The Associated Press

SEATTLE —

The Washington Huskies are winning in the classroom, if not always on the field.

Washington's recent graduation success rate among athletes is second-best in the West for a public university, according to NCAA statistics released this week.

The Huskies graduated 84 percent of their athletes for a six-year period ending with the entering class of 2002-03, their highest rate since the NCAA began calculating with what it calls a "graduation success rate" five years ago. The Huskies' rate is 5 percent higher than the national average in that span, and second in the Pac-10 to Stanford's 94 percent.

The University of California at Davis was the only public institution on the West Coast with a higher rate for athletes, at 87 percent.

The football team, which hasn't qualified for a bowl game since 2002, had a 69 percent graduation success rate. That was second-highest in the Pac-10 to Stanford's 85 percent.

Washington State was fourth among conference football teams at 58 percent.

"Everyone pays attention to the obvious measures of competitive success. Really, the core of our purpose is to provide educational opportunities and to graduate our student-athletes," UW athletic director Scott Woodward said. "We place a great value on academic success at Washington, and these strong graduation rates are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches and staff."

The women's basketball team, under then-coach June Daugherty, was the only Huskies' squad to have a 100 percent graduation success rate.

Washington's men's basketball team had a graduation success rate of 29 percent for the six-year period. The bulk of those players were recruited by Bob Bender, who preceded current coach Lorenzo Romar.

Washington has expanded its academic support and resources this decade, after a period of turmoil within its athletic department. The Huskies have a relatively new academic center for athletes inside their remodeled crew house, with computer workrooms, tutoring areas and offices for academic support staff.

The NCAA began releasing team graduation success rates in 2005. It considers the rates to be a more inclusive calculation of student-athlete academic success than federally mandated methodology. Unlike federal graduation rates, the NCAA's numbers include incoming transfers, those who leave the school while academically eligible and students enrolling in the spring semester who receive athletic aid and graduate.

The federal graduation rate average for Washington's athletes in the period was 69 percent, above the national average of 63 percent.

The graduation average for all Washington students was 75 percent, higher than the national average of 62 percent.

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