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Thread: Shameful report on Cal graduation rates

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Vandalus View Post
    Just for clarity's sake: they were recruited at one time, offered a scholarship (conditional or not?), and then when they either did not bring their grades up, or did not get admitted, they were dropped? Are you saying they were admitted into the school and matriculated, or that they were never admitted. If they were never admitted, then I think your anecdotal examples are irrelevant to this discussion, or am I missing something here?
    All 3 were offered scholarships (pending grades no doubt) and were simply "dropped" from the recruiting process when those grades/SAT scores were not achieved during their junior/senior years. They did not apply to Cal, and the recruiter/coach simply dropped them out..didn't try to push them through.. One player was advised to attend JC. Two of the three ended up playing at other P12 schools.. one recently signed as a free agent. To finish this - they all had "character issues" in addition to deficient grades from my point of view. Relevant to this discussion? You decide.

  2. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by BearyWhite View Post
    I don't think his examples are irrelevant, I think they're instructive even if they do beg for a few more details. As that article stated, these stats are furnished at the discretion of the schools every ten years, so they're indeed old data. It does seem odd that kids would be good enough for scholarship offers but not good enough for the special admit status. Maybe times have changed, or maybe the athletic dept needs to make the case for each applicant, and these students didn't have convincing enough athletic resumes.
    Why? All the time an offer is made when the kid is a HS junior. He may have not taken the SAT's. Perhaps the offer was conditional on reaching a certain blend of SAT/GPA that he just didn't get. Even special admits have to meet university standards for being admitted - so a scholarship offer more than 2 years before matriculation can turn into a revocation of said offer when they can't get past admissions.

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by 72CalBear View Post
    All 3 were offered scholarships (pending grades no doubt) and were simply "dropped" from the recruiting process when those grades/SAT scores were not achieved during their junior/senior years. They did not apply to Cal, and the recruiter/coach simply dropped them out..didn't try to push them through.. One player was advised to attend JC. Two of the three ended up playing at other P12 schools.. one recently signed as a free agent. To finish this - they all had "character issues" in addition to deficient grades from my point of view. Relevant to this discussion? You decide.
    Thank you for the reply. That makes much more sense - they were offered a conditional scholarship, like you said. I'm fairly certain that years ago, we tried to do more due diligence early on with kids, and thus, we trended towards offering kids later - typically their senior year, and sometimes after watching them play as a senior. Unfortunately, with the recruiting going how it has, we have been forced to start offering earlier than we probably are comfortable with. I think it's probably a bit of - offer now conditionally, do some more homework on the kid, and if they aren't panning out, then rescind the scholarship offer.

    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.

  4. #49

    a few words about majors

    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.


    --- Sherman

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Vandalus View Post
    Thank you for the reply. That makes much more sense - they were offered a conditional scholarship, like you said. I'm fairly certain that years ago, we tried to do more due diligence early on with kids, and thus, we trended towards offering kids later - typically their senior year, and sometimes after watching them play as a senior. Unfortunately, with the recruiting going how it has, we have been forced to start offering earlier than we probably are comfortable with. I think it's probably a bit of - offer now conditionally, do some more homework on the kid, and if they aren't panning out, then rescind the scholarship offer.

    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.
    Yes, that does seem to be the reality now - at least from what I have seen these past few years at my high school. The upside for Cal is that "the word is out" - You need your grades to get in! One of the recruits I mentioned above was very high profile and was recruited by 3 other P12 teams..loved Tedford and Cal (visited twice), but openly admitted he dropped the ball grade-wise.

    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!

  6. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAdvisingBear View Post
    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.


    --- Sherman
    BTW - Competive grading in DEEPLY flawed. It is probably the major reason why 60%+ of kids that intend to major in STEM ulimately switch to a non-STEM major. And then policymakers wring their hands about lack of STEM graduates.

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoBear1 View Post
    Not trying to get in to the holier than thou argument, but the fact that Cal takes a very large number of special admits does not say anything about the quality of football recruits we take versus other schools. Cal cannot take the pure number of 'idiots' as other schools as they still have to pass classes, which is harder to do. A special admit is not a person/athlete who doesn't qualify for minimum UC standards, but one who would not be admitted to Cal under regular admissions practices.... huge difference.
    No, I think this is incorrect. "Regular admissions practices" include weighing someone's special talents like athletics to give them a better chance at admissions than their GPA and test scores might suggest. They still have to meet minimum UC requirements though. A "special admit" on the other hand, also known as "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.

  8. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by BearyWhite View Post
    No, I think this is incorrect. "Regular admissions practices" include weighing someone's special talents like athletics to give them a better chance at admissions than their GPA and test scores might suggest. They still have to meet minimum UC requirements though. A "special admit", also known as "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.
    That's exactly how it was explained to me by Cal football recruiters.

  9. #54

    Here's what men's golf does.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAdvisingBear View Post
    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.


    --- Sherman
    A model for helping to get around this problem is provided by the Cal Men's Golf team, coached by Steve Desimone. He now has four players that have been admitted to Haas School of Business. His approach has been to allow players who want to attend Haas to play as freshmen, then redshirt as sophomores, allow them to take Bus Ad 10 and other prerequisites for the major. They then resume play after the redshirt year and continue to fulfill their eligibility. I'm assuming that players who finish an undergrad in four years, and can get in, can then try to move into the Haas MBA program. I consider this a great example of a coach using the school's academic reputation to help recruit good players (Cal men's golf is current ranked No. 2 going into the NCAA championships), and then figuring out a way to help the athlete succeed in both sports and the classroom.

  10. #55
    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.

  11. #56
    CalReason
    Guest
    Well, it's been no secret Cal football has had generally bad graduation rates for awhile. I just found out about this because oddly enough this important news was not covered by CGB ... how strange.

  12. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by HaasBear04 View Post
    That is the major facepalm aspect of this whole mess. Worst of both worlds; meanwhile our "rival" is number one in grad rates and been to three bcs bowls. It drives me crazy.
    Everyone who gets into Furd graduates unless they assault someone in broad daylight. That isn't a big deal.

  13. #58
    CalReason
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by LessMilesMoreTedford View Post
    Everyone who gets into Furd graduates unless they assault someone in broad daylight. That isn't a big deal.
    That's quite a stretch and an ignorant way to dismiss a very real stark difference between the athletes we are bringing in at Cal and the ones Stanford is bringing in.

    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.

  14. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by CalReason View Post
    That's quite a stretch and an ignorant way to dismiss a very real stark difference between the athletes we are bringing in at Cal and the ones Stanford is bringing in.

    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.
    Graduation rate of a Cal football player [at its nadir]: 54%
    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.

  15. #60
    CalReason
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by LessMilesMoreTedford View Post
    Graduation rate of a Cal football player [at its nadir]: 54%
    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.
    Anything to make you feel righteous for going to Cal in light of Stanford doing something better than us. You honestly think Cal football players are not graduating for the same reasons normal Cal students are not graduating (in 4 years, mind you)?

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