The Cal football and men’s basketball teams, whose poor academic performance received scrutiny in recent years, made incremental improvement in the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data released by the NCAA.
The football program improved one percent from 2014, eight percent from two years ago to a 52-percent graduation rate. The men’s basketball program scored 55 percent, up nine points from last fall and 17 points since the 2013 report.
Cal’s GSR scores remain last in the Pac-12 in football, but have inched to No. 9 in men’s basketball.
The information used to generate the GSR is based on scholarship student-athletes who arrived as freshmen or transfers from 2005-08 and completed their degrees within six years. As a result, none of the athletes involved in the current results played for either Cal football coach Sonny Dykes or basketball coach Cuonzo Martin.
As recently as 2013, Cal’s GSR for football was 44 percent, worst in the Pac-12. The men’s basketball program ranked no better than second-to-last in the conference for six straight years through 2013 and had not reported a GSR score above 50 percent dating back to at least the 2004-05 school year.
Cal stresses that the classroom performance of its football and basketball players is better reflected by looking at the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR). The football team showed a 46-point APR jump from 2011-12 to 2012-13, and the university expects another leap when the next results are released in the spring.