Cal football 997 APR tied for highest in Pac-12, Cal basketball posts perfect 1000 APR

A record 13 Cal athletic teams posted 1000 Academic Progress Rate scores over the past year, with the Cal football team coming in at 997 -- a high-water mark for the program.

California men's basketball has posted a 1,000 single-year APR (a perfect score), and the Cal football team football has posted a record 997 single-year APR, as reported by BearTerritory back in January.

13 Cal athletic teams scored a perfect 1,000 for the 2014-15 Academic Progress Rates, released today, showing a perfect score for head men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin's first year in Berkeley.

“I am happy for our program and our student-athletes," Martin said. "I would like to thank Mike Williams and our academic support team, including Kasra Sotudeh, Ed Wright and Jennifer Hunter, for their tremendous support and help in putting our players in the right position to attain these results. Our players take a lot of pride in their academic achievement and they understand the effort it takes to be successful student-athletes on and off the court.”

Football's score moves the program's rolling four-year average up to 960 -- a 19-point jump. Both the 1,000 for basketball and the 997 for football are the highest single-year score either program has achieved in the history of the NCAA metric.

The four-year Academic Progress rate for men's basketball now stands at 960, its highest score in seven years. The year before Martin arrived, Cal had a four-year score of 954, and the year before that, 939. Cal's highest four-year score since the 2004-05 season (when the Bears scored a 921) was 967, in 2008-09. 

Martin's full, official contract with the University is still awaiting the signatures of University officials, though, a source said, it's already been signed by athletic director Mike Williams and Martin himself. He has been working on his original term sheet since he was hired. The signing of the contract is awaiting the conclusion of an official review of the reporting of a sexual harassment complaint brought against now-former Bears assistant Yann Hufnagel. That review, a source said, could be done as early as this week.

“This latest APR report shows that the great majority of our teams and student-athletes continue to perform very well in the classroom,” Williams said. “It is a testament to their hard work and dedication to their academic pursuits to witness such consistently high scores. In addition, for those sports where we had been deficient in recent years, we are seeing the tangible results of systems and culture changes we have put in place. Under Sonny Dykes, our football program’s trajectory remains on an upward path, and the first-year results for our men’s basketball team under Cuonzo Martin couldn’t be any better.”

After successive one-year scores under 930 in the two years before head coach Sonny Dykes was hired, the past three rates for the football program have been 969, 946 and now 997 to lift the squad’s four-year APR average to 960 – its highest since 2008-09 (968). Cal's +19 move in football four-year APR was the highest among Cal programs, men or women. Cal’s 997 one-year APR ties the Bears with Utah for the highest in the Pac-12 for the 2014-15 academic year.

"This has been a lot of people, a lot of work, really from the day I got the job," Dykes said. "We've all been waiting for this. This was obviously a priority when I was hired, with Sandy, and it's continued with Mike. They've given us the resources we needed to improve it.

"You want to be the best, because the institution is trying to be the best, and we need to pay the respect the institution, to go worst-to-first in three years, I'm really proud of it."

In May of 2015, Cal football's multi-year APR climbed three points from 938 to 941, last in the Pac-12. This year, a 923 mark from the 2010-11 season will come off the books in the four-year rolling calculation, leaving scores of 923 in 2011-12, 968 in 2012-13 and the 946 from 2013-14, plus the expected 997. The 2009-10 APR was a conference-worst 921. The 2012-13 single-season APR was 969, but dipped to 946 in 2013-2014 (only ahead of Arizona in the Pac-12) with transfers of Johnny Ragin, Chad Whitener and Jacobi Hunter, and NFL early-entrants Kameron Jackson, Villiami Moala, Khairi Fortt and Brendan Bigelow.

"It was a day-by-day barrage of people leaving the program," Dykes said. "Any time you have change, change is painful for everybody, everybody has a different set of expectations. We all have to decide if it's worth it. They've got to decide, 'Do I want to invest what they're asking me to invest?' Credit the guys that stayed and grinded through it, because it was certainly different for them. You've got to give them a lot of credit for sticking with it and having faith, because is isn't easy when you have a new regime, and the new regime doesn't do well its first year. I can't tell you how much respect I have for them."

Other Cal programs with 1,000 APR scores for 2014-15 were: men’s and women’s cross country, women’s golf, men’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, men’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s water polo. Five other teams scored at least 990.

In terms of the four-year average score, six sports showed an improvement of 10 or more points from previous reporting four-year period, led by football’s +19 and a +16 from women’s track & field. Among other teams, men’s swimming & diving rose 15 points and women’s basketball was up 13 points. A total of 15 teams produced multi-year APRs of 975 or higher, with nine at or above 985.

The Academic Progress Rate is a metric used by the NCAA to determine how many student-athletes make progress towards graduation over a one-year and four-year period. Each student-athlete receiving financial aid earns one point for staying in school and one for being being academically eligible to compete. A team's total points are divided by points possible and multiplied by 1,000 to equal the team's APR.


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