Cal football dead last in FBS graduation rate

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Last in the Pac-12. Last in FBS. LAST.

It's nice to know I can say "it can only get better" and immediately have it follow up by only getting worse.

I'm never going to believe graduation rates are as big a deal as people make of it. Stanfurd could recruit 25 Vontaze Burficts and 23 of them would probably walk out of Leland's Playhouse with high honors in English. But last place is just plain embarrassing, even for a school as rigorous as Berkeley.

So basically since Jeff Tedford went hard on the recruiting trail and found the players that would provide his program with the greatest success, Cal has managed to graduate less than half its players. And yes, the GSR does take into account the Marshawns and Deseans of the world who left a year early to go to the NFL, so they're not part of the overall calculus.

I'm beginning to wonder if Tedford knew from the start of last season he would be persona non grata in Berkeley, because the moment these graduation rates came out he would probably have been handed his walking papers. It would at least partly explain why the ground crumbled beneath their feet last year. And if this is how the GOOD classes looked, I can only imagine the disaster that awaits us in years to come with the graduation rate.

On the bright side, APR should be on the rise for football when the new scores are released in the spring.

From the time Dykes joined the Golden Bear staff, [a] total of 24 football student-athletes earned their degrees from December 2012 through August 2013. The team also posted its highest term GPA in five years during the spring 2013 semester, and the average rose to the team’s highest in 10 years over the summer term. As a result, the squad’s NCAA Academic Progress Rate, which will reflect data for student-athletes for the 2012-13 academic year, is expected to show a significant improvement from past years when it is released in the spring.

Cal men's basketball's numbers also stand at a pretty bad spot. But these are Ben Braun numbers, so hopefully that disaster is being corrected under Mike Montgomery.

Men’s basketball, for example, has seen five of its six seniors over the past three years earn their degrees, and the sixth is taking one class to complete his bachelor’s requirements this fall. Included in the group is Harper Kamp, who was named the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2011-12 season. In addition, the program bolstered its academic support two years ago with a new director of student-athlete development specifically assigned to work with the team to ensure continued progress.

"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 degree," men’s basketball coach Mike 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."

Other than that, things are peachy! Graduation rates are below (and you can find more graduation rates here)

Women's water polo - 100%
Women's volleyball - 100%
Women's tennis - 100%
Women's lacrosse - 100%
Women's crew - 96%
Women's swimming - 95%
Women's soccer - 93%
Men's golf - 92%
Men's track - 92%
Men's swimming - 89%
Women's golf - 88%
Men's tennis - 86%
Men's gymnastics - 86%
Women's track - 76%
Women's basketball - 75%
Baseball - 74%
Men's soccer -  63%
Men's water polo - 58%
Women's softball - 57%
Football - 44%
Men's basketball - 38%

Cal finished with an overall graduation rate among student athletes of 78%, ninth in the Pac-12 overall.

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