Coach Sonny Dykes, in his first public comments on results of the Task Force on Academics and Athletics, said he is supportive of the findings, but declined specific comment on coming changes to the admissions policy.
“What does it all look like? I think it’s too early to tell,” he said during his weekly Sunday night media teleconference. “It doesn’t do a lot of good for me to speculate. I don’t know a lot of the details yet. I don’t think they’ve been decided yet.”
In fact, while the task force said athletes will generally face the same admissions standards as the entire student body in the future, the exact admission policy still is being revised, according to Panos Papadopoulos, chair of the Academic Senate, which determines admission standards.
“I’m in favor of all the things the NCAA has done in terms of making life better for student-athletes,” Dykes said. “At the same time, I’m also in favor of expecting more and more academically from them. These kids are capable of that.
“Like most kids, if you set high expectations, they’re going to meet those expectations. I’ve been in favor of all the things that have taken place, all the changes to make them more accountable.
“Our mission is to graduate student-athletes. That’s what they come to college for. I really believe this university wants to do things the right way . . . have tremendous success on the field, but have tremendous success in the classroom. That’s something that can clearly happen.”
When hired after the 2012 football season, Dykes was given a mandate to improve the football program’s academic performance. Athletic director Michael Williams said Friday that about 80 football players attended summer school and posted an average GPA of 3.0.
“I’m really proud of what’s going on in our program right now academically,” Dykes said. “I like their commitment to academics, their maturity, the way they balance football and academics.”