The NCAA’s well-known Graduation Success Rate report came out today with stats on what percentage of athletes graduated from programs within a six-year period from 2006 to 2012. Washington did very well in nearly all sports, including football and men’s basketball, the two primary revenue sports and the most academically scrutinized sports in the NCAA.
Among all sports UW graduated 81% of student athletes. For basketball that number falls just slightly to 80%, while 74% of football players graduated.
Those numbers are well above average both in the conference and in the nation. For basketball the Huskies were third in the conference but had the second highest score, as Utah and Stanford both tied with an 83% graduation rate. In football UW was third behind only Stanford, which maintained a sterling 90% rate, and UCLA.
Perhaps thwarting some of the stereotypes about athletes and academic legitimacy, Washington’s total rate of 81% almost exactly matched the six-year graduation rate for the entire student body.
In comparison, Cal football was by far the worst in the entire conference with a 44% grad rate. That is an outrageously low mark, especially for a school with an academic reputation as fantastic as Cal’s. The low mark is probably indicative of Cal athletics taking in too many players that were not academically ready to survive at a college as rigorous as Berkeley. Nearly every serious division I program, including Washington, gives scholarships to some athletes that likely would not have been accepted to the school if applying as a regular student.
However, at many prestigious universities fairly stringent standards still exist. Washington, for example, will not admit students that have no business being in college at all. Clearly based on the high graduation rates, the university has been mindful about only admitting athletes that appear capable of surviving in a rigorous academic environment.