Cal’s football and men’s basketball team received low marks Thursday, when the NCAA released its latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) scores.
The football team’s score was 44 percent while the basketball team was at 38 percent.
The NCAA average for FBS football programs was 71 percent, the highest ever. The men’s basketball national average was 73 percent, down one point from last year’s all-time high.
Cal athletics had an overall GSR of 78 percent, based on a four-year average for freshmen who entered school between 2003 and ’06. The NCAA national average was 82. Student-athletes are given a six-year period to graduate for purposes of the GSR.
Athletic director Sandy Barbour said the results are disappointing, but that steps already have been taken to potentially improve scores in the future.
“Although we still have a lot of work to do and have put systems in place that we believe we raise the success rate for under-achieving teams, we are proud of what we gave accomplished over the past year,” Barbour said in a statement.
“The rates we have seen with the majority of our programs shows what can be accomplished across the board. We have an obligation to deliver what our student-athletes need to excel, learn and grow in all facets of their experience at Cal and we won’t be satisfied until we reach a 100 percent level with all our sports.”
Cal football was one of just two Pac-12 schools whose GSR score dropped from a year ago. The Bears and USC both suffered a 4 percent decline.
None of the players whose graduation rates are measured in the current statistics are playing for first-year Cal football coach Sonny Dykes.
A total of 24 Cal football players earned their degrees from December 2012 through August 2013, the school reported. The team also posted its highest term GPA in five years during the spring 2013 semester, and its scores rose to the highest point in 10 years during the summer term.
“We are proud of the outstanding progress our football program has made academically in a short period of time,” Dykes said. “We look forward to a time in the near future when we will release positive academic data that will speak to our improvement.”
Cal basketball coach Mike Montgomery, who arrived on campus before the 2008-09 season, noted that five of six seniors from the past three years have graduated and the other one continues to take classes toward that goal.
“A top priority for this program since this staff was formed has always and will always be for our student-athletes to complete their undergraduate degrees,” Montgomery said. “We stress this principle each day and have taken steps to ensure the continued support of each of our student-athletes both in the classroom and on the court.”
Four Cal women’s teams — lacrosse, tennis, volleyball and water polo — had percent 100 percent GSRs. Fourteen of 23 measured Cal sports had scores of 85 percent or better and nine were above 90 percent.
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