cal athletics

10 Questions for Cal Football’s Favorite Bookworm

Cal running back and rising senior Patrick Laird is known for more than just his walk-on career and impressive collection of awards. An avid reader since childhood, Laird isn’t afraid to flaunt his bibliophilia—on the football field and now, in the classroom. With the support of Cal Athletics, he’s using his platform as a standout football player to encourage younger students to pick up a book (or four, or six) this summer.

Opening a New Chapter

On a late morning in July, 17 days after formally beginning work as Berkeley’s 11 th chancellor, Carol Tecla Christ sat in her sunlit office in California Hall, reflecting on the meaning of her new job title. “It’s essentially a representational role,” she said. “As the chancellor, you’re the storyteller-in-chief.”

From the Fall 2017 Bugged issue of California.

Olympics Preview: Cal Athletes Aim to Make a Splash and Score in Rio Games

With so many world-class athletes, UC Berkeley is always well represented at the Olympics. The joke in 2012 was that if Cal were its own country (and isn’t it, in its own way?), it would have tied for sixth in the world for the number of gold medals won. That number was 11, by the way.

The Bear, Re-Branded: Cal Replaces Its Live-and-Let-Live Mascot With Vicious New Model

Like Memorial Stadium, the brand identity of Cal Athletics has recently been renovated. Nothing too radical, mind you; the colors are unchanged and the Cal script remains the chief identifier. The only big change is the new bear logo. Gone is the striding giant of yesteryear, its stately silhouette imparting a certain timeless nobility to football helmets and hoodies. The new bear does not pass by. The new bear charges—teeth bared, ears back, eyes narrowed.

The old bear was live and let live.

The new bear is fixin’ to maul your @$$.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

Kabam? Ka-Ching: Naming Rights Bring Cash to Campus

Even on a football field it sometimes helps to tread lightly. That’s why as Berkeley administrators were deciding how to pay down the $445 million price tag associated with the retrofit and expansion project at California Memorial Stadium, the idea of selling naming rights to the structure itself was never on the table.

From the Spring 2014 Branding issue of California.

Tough Stance: A Q&A With the Authors Who Say Cal Athletics Should Learn from Stanford

All hell was breaking loose over UC Berkeley’s abysmal graduation rates for football and men’s basketball players as California magazine was doing final edits on the Winter 2013 issue. That magazine was to include an in-depth interview with the authors of a paper on the Cal Athletics program, which, in singling out graduation rates and the commercialization of sports on campus, helped spark the recent controversy.

Bad News Bears: Report dings Cal’s strikingly low admissions bar for student athletes

If they were winning, the news might not seem so bad. But they’re not. And it is.

Cal football is currently 1-10 on the season and has the worst-ranked defense in the country. As of the latest available statistics, they also have the lowest graduation rates of any BCS school—that is, of any major college football program in the country. Only 44 percent of players admitted between 2003 and 2006 graduated within a six-year time frame.

For the men’s basketball team, the rate was even lower—just 38 percent.

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