Michelle Richardson on the NCAA by Morris Phillips
SEATTLE–It’s real sad news that Cal’s graduation rate is at number 72 out of the major colleges in the nation and the team is not winning and their supposed to win in the classroom that’s what the university is all about. That’s why universities in the Pac 12 conference which is an academic conference but not at the highest level unfortunately but near the highest level.
The football team is not performing well on the field and it hasn’t been a good first year for Cal head coach Sonny Dykes in his program and that’s some bad news. I don’t think the Bears are going to win this weekend either as they get ready to face the Huskies in Washington so they would fall to 1-7 on the season.
The academic news is disturbing because if guys can’t perform in the classroom they can’t get on the field, they can’t help the school. It’s surprising but I’m sure they’ll get it worked out while it’s depressing you have to assume the school is going to work it out with the group they have now with guys going to class.
Back in 2009 Cal had some of the worst graduation rates in the NCAA until former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford got his students to turn around their academic scores in the classroom and got the team to start winning. Tedford won a bunch of recruiting battles. He had successes with his students, with recruiting and getting them good test scores even though Tedford was heading out the door.
Tedford bears a great deal of responsibility of getting the program off the ground at that time but Dykes is the coach now and these are his kids and this is his team he needs to get on the football field and to coach his problem. Dykes is not going anywhere there’s so much money involved in getting Tedford out and paying the new coach there won’t be any changes.
Cal must clean their problem up, they have to internally, they have to get it fixed. It’s not what the university is all about. Once again Tedford is the origin of the problem but it is truly and squarely on Dykes at this point. Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour did not comment on the story only to say that she will look into the low academic situation of the graduation rates and “put systems in place that we believe will raise for under preforming teams.”
None of the players with graduating issues were recruited by Dykes and a majority of them were not on the Cal Men’s basketball team, “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.” said Cal men’s basketball head coach Mike Montgomery.
Tedford said about the low graduation rate, “(it was) very concerning, it makes it seem like we weren’t dedicated to academics, no matter what anybody says that’s not true, people have good intentions but life goes in a different direction, they rarely come back. Looking back the lesson I learned was to have them graduate in four and half years.”
Morris Phillips is filling in for Michelle Richardson on NCAA commentary this week