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Academics: Bears’ football grad rates decline, basketball showing improvement

Bad news off the field for Cal coach Jeff Tedford’s football program.

The NCAA on Thursday released numbers on graduation rate among athletes at its member schools, and Cal’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 48 percent among students who entered school during the four-year period from 2002-05 was worst in the Pac-12 Conference.

Graduation rates are based on a six-year window following enrollment.

Cal’s Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) is 47 percent. The FGR differs from the GSR in that it does not give credit for incoming transfers who graduate and it penalizes schools for athletes who transfer to another school (or turn pro). GSR does not penalize schools for outgoing transfers, as long as they are in academic good standing when they depart.

Cal released this statement with a reaction from Tedford:

“This score is clearly unacceptable. While there is little a college coach can do to prevent players from entering the draft for professional leagues, we have an obligation and responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure our student-athletes succeed academically. We have many student-athletes who want to pursue NFL dreams, but it is essential that we emphasize the importance of them graduating in a timely fashion.

“I have made it absolutely clear to our coaches, players and staff that we must reverse this trend. In recent months, we have taken concerted action to improve the support provided through our Academic Game Plan and will continue to make sure this is a top priority in our program. We all share the responsibility to meet Cal’s academic standards.”

Cal’s Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) for football was 47 percent.

The FGR differs from the GSR in that it does not give credit for incoming transfers who graduate and it penalizes schools for athletes who transfer to another school (or turn pro). GSR does not penalize schools for outgoing transfers, as long as they are in academic good standing when they depart.

Here are Cal’s football figures for GSR and FGR over the past five years:

2007-08: 53/45
2008-09: 64/57
2009-10: 65/62
2010-11: 54/52
2011-12: 48/47

*** Meanwhile, the men’s basketball program is showing steady improvement under coach Mike Montgomery. Because the figures are based on the performance of student-athletes who enrolled from 2002-05, Cal’s numbers are still a reflection of former coach Ben Braun’s players.

Here are the Cal basketball figures for the past four years:

2008-09: 20/15
2009-10: 30/15
2010-11: 33/20
2011-12: 50/36

*** Cal fared well overall, with 16 of its 23 evaluated sports at 85 percent graduation rate or higher. Three teams — women’s volleyball, women’s golf and women’s water polo — all scored perfect 100s.

Cal’s overall score of 80 percent was just off its all-time high of 81 from two years ago.

Here’s how Cal’s overall athletic department score stacked up against the rest of the Pac-12 (with GSR/FGR scores, but ranked according to GSR):
1. Stanford 96/92
2. UCLA 84/73
3t. Washington 81/72
3t. Utah 81/61
5t. Cal 80/72
5t. Oregon 80/64
5t. Arizona State 80/61
8. USC 79/67
9t. Washington State 75/66
9t. Oregon State 75/63
11. Colorado 75/54
12. Arizona 68/54

Here is athletic director Sandy Barbour’s statement:

“At Cal, we have set high academic standards for our student-athletes, and the overall figures are a result of their commitment to the classroom as well as the efforts of our coaches, faculty members and staff at our Athletic Study Center. However, this level of achievement and diligence must extend through all of our programs. We have already taken steps to support teams and individuals who need additional support. We will not be satisfied until each and every team measures up to the level of excellence expected at Cal.”

Here is Cal’s full statement on Thursday’s NCAA grad rates.

Click here for a portal to check the scores of any sport at any school or conference.

Here’s a link to the NCAA’s news release on the latest GSR results.

Jeff Faraudo

  • daredevilfan

    This feels a bit odd, because while I believe Tedford is out of date with football strategy and oversight, I believe he does uniquely care about these things more than most. But its probably just an indication that his guidance isn’t being followed up all the way down the chain and throughout his organization, which is another clear sign that he has lost control of the ship. New leadership is needed for so many reasons.

  • Juancho

    Tedford paaaaasssing the buck. Daredevil, my interpretation is it’s just another sign Tedford is burnt out and doesn’t have what it takes to manage this program from top to bottom anymore.

  • Beastmode

    This is unacceptable, and unsurprising… a trend for several years. Hopefully this data is used as leverage when negotiating his buyout/retirement package.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Please read the comment section of the original Wilner article. The arrogance of some of the UC East Bay posters amazes even their own.

    BTW where is the esteemed advisor to the Social Welfare stars when he is needed the most?

  • GoldenTrailsDave

    unacceptable. As before, fire Tedford.

  • bigdruid

    Agreed that this is unacceptable. I would also like to know what the overall student body graduation rate is at Cal, for context. Anyone know?

  • Steve W.

    My brother went to the University of Utah on a football scholarship many moons ago and did not graduate within the requisite period of time with his class. He got caught up in the party culture and found it pretty easy to start skipping classes and stay eligible for the football team. This was at a time when Utah had a crappy program and lousy coaches. Ultimately, the responsibility of keeping your athletes in classes lies with the coaching staff. Another tick mark against Coach Teddy.

    I sense that something else is at work here, too. For a long time I have suspected that Tedford and his staff have been caught up in recruiting stats and much less so with high character and leadership qualities. I can’t prove that, of course, but it makes a little sense to me when you see the under achievement on the field with all of that NFL talent that Cal has had in the past six or seven years. Ultimately, it’s the kid who has to decide whether he wants to make the most of his scholarship and attend classes.

    I don’t buy any of that crap that the academic load at Cal is too difficult for many Cal student athletes. If you attend class, and with all the tutoring available for these kids, you are going to get your degree. Russell White got his degree at Cal while overcoming Prop 48 and dyslexia.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Daddy went to the mall yesterday to buy some birthday gifts at a nationwide store selling athletic apparel.

    Here is his story. At the store, he was helped by a very nice young man. Daddy said he wanted to buy some Cal clothing. The young man said he went to school there and played 5 years of football.

    Daddy recognized the name (he was one of your very good players) and he thanked him for playing at Cal. Daddy asked him if he was happy that he went there to play football and, better yet, to get his education.

    This is no joke but the young man said he loved playing football there but he regretted that “they” made him take the kind of courses he did. He said he regretted not getting a better degree because even though he graduated his degree is worthless. That is why he is working at this store in the mall. Daddy said he wasn’t bitter but he was more disappointed in himself that he allowed this to happen.He asked Daddy if he had any Cal connections so that he could get settled in a good job and start on a nice career.

    I think you can guess what he got his degree in. Daddy said he had no connections in that field but suggested that he apply to the county. Maybe CPS might have an opening.

    Daddy also suggested that he consider doing graduate school or maybe some tech training.

    I know you will dismiss this but it is a true story.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    By the way to add more to the story (which I left out in my previous post), Daddy said this young man was bright, well spoken and intelligent. Daddy said it was sad that a young man with this kind of potential would have been encouraged (I will use the word “advised”) to take that kind of study.

  • Dan

    Cheat-o Kid- heres the problem with your story. It could be 100% true. But most on here discredit everything you post, or they ignore it. You could be making a great point, but little to no credibility. When you trolling on another teams site always exhibiting little to no class, when you have something pertinent or important to to, you’re just Chicken Little.

    I believe this story, whether true or not, happens all the time at almost every D1 football program in the country – including $C. Shame on the program, shame on the coaches, but also shame on any player that squandered the chance of a lifetime to be on scholarship at any school, let alone Cal.

    The flip side I one of my best friends played at Cal, graduated in 1983, and is CEO of a biotech company here in the Bay Area that is entertaining offers from every leading medical company in the world. Another good friend played and graduated the same season, had a long pro career, is an announcer now and is financially set for life despite never making huge dollars that players make now.

    I was a walk-on at another D1 program, I have a great well paying job at one the largest tech companies in the world. My two best buddies who were teammates are both extremely successful businessmen, one in the corporate world and the other as a business owner, investor and entrepreneur. Many of our teammates range from big successes to blue collar guys to struggling.

    The points you try to make that put down Cal make no special, unique or relevant point. And the manner in which you frequently do it insures it falls on deaf ears or is deservedly dismissed immediately.

    Maybe if you went to Cal or graduated from any respectable university, you would grasp that. Maybe if you put down the Cheetos and got out the basement and into some daylight you could figure that out?

  • BlueNGold

    hey parasite- maybe you should put ‘daddy’ on this blog. I have a strong feeling that daddy would find far more interesting and compelling things to post about than the mindless, repetitious and completely obvious pablum that you dish up here continuously. At least we could read something posted by a person with accomplishments (assuming, of course, that daddy is even a real person). HAHAHAHAHAHAHA