The fact that we didn't even send them an application packet, or try to push/flag them through means that their grades were simply not good enough to make the UC admissions hurdle, and therefore, a special admit tag is not going to do much good anyway. I think this is just an example of the changing landscape of college football recruiting. I'm sure the coaches would much rather just keep in good contact with the recruits and then only make the offer when it's clear that the student can clear admissions - no one wants to tell a kid "here's a scholly, congrats - but we may take it away from you if you don't perform in the classroom" or worse, "sorry, no more scholarship, good luck at JC," but that's the reality of the times I guess.
From my own personal perspective and NOT speaking as a representative of Cal, selecting a major is often problematic for student-athletes.
1) They are restricted by class times. Practice and class offerings are often the same time semester after semester. For soccer, example, Spring practices are always in the afternoon and Fall practice is always in the morning. That knocks soccer players out of Architecture, Int. Biology, Chemistry & Chem Engineering, Art Practice and other majors because a required class is in conflict with practice. Architecture for example, offers a required 4 hour lab only in the Spring semester and only in the afternoon. Thus,no soccer player can be an Architecture major. Same thing happens in Biology, and the two Chemistry majors. I have an Italian soccer player who would love to take a basic Italian culture course, but it's only offered in the Fall and all discussions for the class meet on Friday, when he has games, so he can never take the class.
2) They are disadvantaged by competition. There are two ways of grading at Cal -- cooperative and competitive. Cooperative grading is when a prof has 100 points of total assignments, and announces that everyone who gets 90 points and above will get A's and if everyone earns that many points, then everyone gets A's. This tends to happen in social sciences and humanities. Competitive grading says that if there are 100 students in the class, the grades depend on where you stand in relation to your peers. If you earn 96 points out of the possible 100, but most of the class earns 97 or higher, then your grade will be very low. Competitive classes work off of the curve and pre-sets percentages of final grades. For example: only 10% of grades will be A's, 25% will be B's, 40% will be C's, and the remaining 25% will be D's and F's. Bus Ad 10, which is a prereq to getting into Haas Undergrad major, works that way. So it's now how well you perform, but how well you perform compared to your peers. And that puts an athlete at a huge disadvantage because while the s-a is spending 40 hours a week on their sport, others in the class can spend those 40 hours doing extra studying, writing another draft of the paper, etc. And that's why you don't see a lot of athletes in Econ or Haas because they use a competitive gpa to get into their majors.
3. They need flexibility. S-A's need flexibility as much as possible. That is why inter-disciplinary majors such as American Studies, Social Welfare, Media Studies get a lot of athletes because there are more options of what kinds of classes can fulfill requirements. When you can't take any class that starts before noon, or after 2pm -- you need as much flexibility in your course options as possible. The same holds true for majors with large course offerings such as Sociology.
Like you mentioned, he took the advice from JT and attended JC, achieved in the classroom and on the field, but didn't fit in the Cal recruiting picture 2 years later.
He attended a rival school, did well on the field..started two years, but did not graduate..Had huge disciplinary problems which were not attended to while in school, and it affected his draft status. Looking back, he completely wished he had gone to Cal, even with his football success elsewhere.
One last comment: We also had a recruit who both Cal and Stanford were after - not an academic problem obviously. I followed his recruiting and the first thing the Cal recruiter asked him for when he stepped off the plane in Oakland, was his most recent high school transcript. In comparing the two schools, he commented the Cal seemed much more concerned about academic issues, and provided much more support, than Stanford. Funny enough, he chose Stanford and has never touched the field..<grin>..but had his four years paid for!
admission by exception", does not have to meet minimum UC requirements. Rules state that students "admitted by exception" must have a "reasonable chance for success at the University", so you're not going to get in with a 0.9 high school GPA. They also say UC schools can enroll up to 6% special admits.
Last edited by BearyWhite; 05-09-2012 at 09:23 AM.
30 years ago, I went to Cal on a football scholarship and was an Econ. major. Looking back at my teammates, they were mostly good students and not a lot of guys just chasing classes to stay eligible or in Mickey Mouse majors. Off the top of my head, I can think of dozens of guys that are doctors, lawyers, bankers and real estate professionals. Almost all of them, including myself, went on to get graduate degrees. Yes, I am sure there were plenty that pissed away the opportunity to graduate from Cal, and likely regret it now. However, a majority of us were able to contribute on the field and leverage a Cal degree into a very successful and rewarding life. I don't know if things have changed dramatically over the years but I think there is more to the story than those numbers indicate.
Cal has the graduation track record of a non-academic oriented football powerhouse, minus the wins and national recognition. This is a reality emotionally healthy adults should be able to absorb.
4 year graduation rate of a UC Berkeley student: 61% (84% in five years, but usually the first few years are what make and break an athlete at Cal)
Graduation rate of a Furd football player: 87%
4 year graduation rate of a Furd student: 78% (92% in five years)
I guess all our students are also non-academic beerheads?
Graduation rates are all about gaming the system and winning a pat on the back from the national media. It's something Cal doesn't trouble itself with because it's supposed to be hard to graduate from here.
Last edited by LessMilesMoreTedford; 05-10-2012 at 04:07 PM.