Georgia student-athletes graduated at a rate of 81 percent in the latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate survey period according to figures released Tuesday by the NCAA. That’s up from 79 percent a year ago and is the highest graduation percentage for the Bulldogs since the GSR was implemented in 2005.

In the GSR four-year average rate, Georgia athletic teams improved in nine sports including men’s basketball, football, men’s golf, men’s swimming and diving, women’s basketball, women’s cross country/track and field, women’s golf, softball, and equestrian.

Five sports remained the same and three experienced small declines. Georgia had a record five teams score a perfect 100 percent — men’s golf, women’s golf, gymnastics, softball, and women’s tennis.

Among Southeastern Conference schools, Georgia was first in six sport categories— 2005 football freshmen (86 percent), softball (100 percent), gymnastics (100 percent), women’s golf (100 percent), women’s tennis (100 percent), and women’s track and field (95 percent). Georgia was second among SEC schools in soccer (95 percent) and men’s swimming (90 percent). The Bulldogs finished among the top six SEC schools in 12 sports, including fifth in football but ninth in men's basketball.

The four-year average rate includes not only freshmen but transfers in and out of the institution. The current report tracks the freshman classes of 2002-2003-2004-2005.

“It’s gratifying to see that our student-athlete graduation rates continue to improve each year and that 14 of our 17 sports improved or remained the same,” said UGA Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “Our coaches and academic support staff deserve credit for their daily focus on the academic progress and well-being of all our student-athletes. The annual report is encouraging and there is still room for more improvement. All our coaches and staff are committed to that effort.”

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