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Football: Dykes seeks to repair academics

Cal’s emphasis on repairing the academic reputation of its football program became painfully real to Chris McCain one day last spring. That is when he had to phone his parents with some bad news.

“They took me off scholarship,” he told them.

McCain, a junior defensive end from North Carolina, is back on the team. He gained reinstatement by meeting coach Sonny Dykes’ requirement of a B-plus average in summer school. McCain didn’t just meet that goal, he beat it.

“I got an A-minus,” he said.

Dykes was hired in December to resurrect Cal’s football fortunes, which had spiraled the past few years under coach Jeff Tedford. Besides finishing with a 3-9 record on the field last season, Tedford’s program had the league’s worst marks in the classroom.

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Jeff Faraudo