Make the grade?



In a different sort of Causeway Classic, Sacramento State edged out UC Davis in a new NCAA report that tracks student athletes’ academic performance.

Released this month, the controversial NCAA Academic Progress Rate data links the academic success of Division I student athletes to their coaches in six sports. The benchmark for success is a score of 925, or a roughly 60 percent graduation rate. That’s a D-minus grade, for those keeping score at home.

The report’s 60 percent graduation-rate benchmark is higher than the national average for all students in the United States; nearly 50 percent of those who enroll in four-year colleges complete degrees.

In a matchup of local D-I schools, Sacramento State’s women’s basketball team had the highest average APR score, 977. However, Sacramento State also had the lowest average score, 917, for football. UC Davis posted a high score of 965 for men’s baseball and women’s basketball, respectively, and a low score of 942 for men’s basketball.

The APR report, based on graduation rates between 2003 and 2009, aims to provide academic-performance transparency and accountability for coaches. Schools receive points for athletes who stay academically eligible, but the NCAA does not assess penalties or reduce scholarships for low scores. The report has generated controversy, particularly regarding the level of accountability for coaches compared to that of university administrators.

According to Sacramento State, the overall graduation rate for “the freshmen cohort of 2003 and transfer cohort for 2005 are 43 percent and 60 percent.” At UC Davis, as of 2004, 34 percent of entering first-years students graduated in four years, and 79 percent in six years. Read the report at (Hugh Biggar)

Second Saturday after dark

Midtown neighborhood activists took to the Internet this past Monday morning, firing off a flood of e-mail missives to law enforcement and local media complaining about vandalism and drunken nuisance in the late hours following August’s Second Saturday.

Specifically, residents cited public urination and defecation, vandalism to cars and homes, and excessive noise well past 3 a.m. Residents also complained that city police dispatchers were unavailable during these hours.

“Downtown’s always a struggle between the neighborhoods and entertainment,” says city police Sgt. Norm Leong, who notes that Second Saturday is “still a really good event” but police resources are limited. At most, only 20 on-duty officers work Second Saturdays, which draws upward of 15,000.

City police attended last Monday’s Neighborhood Advisory Group meeting and are reviewing resident concerns. (Nick Miller)

No buzz

The Sacramento Bee unleashed its first iPhone application recently, which you can download for free. Users complain that there’s no commenting feature for mobile-friendly trolls and that it lacks iPad-level resolution. And Bee scribes surely must be miffed that stories do not feature their bylines—except on yarns by columnists such as Marcos Breton.

Most iPhone users likely will stick with the Bee’s pre-existing mobile site. For instance, if you want to check, say, movie showtimes, the Bee app simply reroutes content from its mobile site, anyway. (N.M.)