Gavin Newsom wants reform at Cal

In a pair of letters sent this week to the heads of the University of California and California State University systems, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed concern in how he thinks academics are not being prioritized to the correct standard in athletic programs throughout the state.

To change this, Newsom believes contracts for every athletic director at the universities in both systems should "stipulate aggressive benchmarks for improvement in graduation and academic progress rates of face termination, period."

In a letter addressed to Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California system, which includes Cal, UCLA and six other NCAA-affiliated schools, Newsom cited the poor graduation success rate of the Golden Bears football team -- 48 percent in 2012, and 44 percent in '13 - as examples that show change is needed.

"We have some of the lowest graduation rates in all of college sports and we're talking arguably the finest public university in the world, not just the United States, and it's a disgrace," Newsom said.

Fresno State and Sacramento State, which are part of the CSU system, and Cal are all in the process of finding new athletic directors, which is where Newsom believes reform can begin.

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