Four months after Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores showed Cal’s basketball program among the nation’s best, the Golden Bears ranked among the worst, according to the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) results released on Wednesday.
Cal’s GSR score for men’s basketball was 30 percent, which ranked as the lowest among teams that finished in last year’s final Associated Press Top-25 poll, according to the AP.
That came on the heels of the program’s June APR score of 967 out of a possible 1,000, including a perfect 1,000 mark for the 2008-09 school year.
So what gives?
The GSR measures graduation success over a four-year span, allowing incoming freshmen a six-year period to complete their degree. But the most recent scores are derived from the incoming scholarship class of the fall of 2003, averaged with results of the three previous freshmen classes.
In other words, players who arrived on campus as long ago as 2000. So drawing a connection between the latest GSR score and last year’s teams has no relevance because the players on the 2009-10 team are not part of the study.
Those were coach Ben Braun’s years, and the numbers don’t reflect well on him.
The Bears’ freshmen players in 2003 were Leon Powe, Ayinde Ubaka, Marquise Kately and Dominic McGuire. Only Ubaka finished his full eligibility at Cal, and the athletic department could not confirm that he graduated.
Powe left after his redshirt sophomore year for the NBA, which counts against Cal. Kately and McGuire transfered to other schools. Players who transfer to another school are not counted against the original institution, provided they were in good academic standing when they left.
Among other players who entered Cal from the fall of 2000 through ’03 were Jamal Sampson, who entered the NBA draft after his freshman season of 2001, Amit Tamir (2001), Richard Midgley (2002) and Rod Benson (2002).
While the GSR looks back at past student-athletes and measures their graduation rate, the APR provides an up-to-date academic progress report of current athletes by tracking their eligibility, retention and graduation, serving also as a predictor of graduation success.
Cal’s GSR figures — men’s basketball aside — were quite good.
Their overall student-athlete graduation rate of 81 percent is the school’s highest ever and represented an improvement for the fourth straight year.
The NCAA reported that nationwide the graduation rate for all athletes rose to 79 percent. Football graduation climbed three percent to 69 percent, and men’s basketball is 66 percent.