Statement on Men's Basketball Graduation Rates

July 13, 2012

A recent news story on KPIX TV focused on graduation rates within our men's basketball program, quoting figures that are clearly not up to our standards here at Cal. However, the piece omitted significant information that does not provide an accurate representation of the statistics cited nor the current situation within the team, leaving a damaging impression that puts current student-athletes and coaches in a negative light that was both unfair and unwarranted.

The federal graduation report used as the foundation for the story is based on students who enrolled at Cal from 2001-04 (20% overall and 0% for African Americans), and none of the student-athletes or coaches at the time remain on campus. Yet nowhere in the piece was this mentioned despite the fact it was expressly discussed with the producer.

In fact, once the Athletic Department recognized that graduation rates for men's basketball were poor, an Academic Improvement Plan was drafted specifically for the team back in 2004-05. All three basketball players who enrolled in the fall of 2005 graduated - including two African Americans - and progress is continuing to be made. And as told to the producer, one of the reasons behind the hiring of Mike Montgomery as head coach in April 2008 was his proven track record of high graduation rates throughout his career.

As an example, both of Cal's seniors - Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp - graduated this spring, and Kamp was named the Pac-12's Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's basketball. It is true that graduation rates within the men's basketball program during the years in question were unacceptable. Yet the piece told only part of the story and did not mention improvements made or action taken over the ensuing years.