To build a football contender in the Pac-12 Conference, Cal coach Sonny Dykes will need to deal with more than Oregon, Stanford and the Los Angeles schools. He also must contend with a new admission policy, implemented by the school.
Most Cal athletes going forward will be required to have a 3.0 grade-point average in high school. That’s substantially lower than the general student body at Cal, but it’s higher than any Pac-12 school except Stanford. The new standards begin to go into effect this fall, when 40 percent of the incoming athletes must have a 3.0 GPA or better. That number climbs to 60 percent next year and to 80 percent in 2017.
Can Cal thrive on the sports field — particularly in football and men’s basketball — facing those demands in the classroom in the ferocious modern landscape of intercollegiate sports?
Dykes said he is confident the Bears can win games and graduate players. “I believe that more strongly today than I did when I took the job,” said Dykes, who was hired in December 2012.
Basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, coming off his first season at Cal, is just as optimistic as Dykes that the higher academic standards won’t impact the won-lost record. “You understand it’s a tremendous institution when you take over the job. You know what you’re getting into.”
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