Cal will practice tonight in Berkeley and then board buses for a six- to seven-hour ride to Pasadena for Saturday's game against UCLA, a move that was an attempt to help the university with budget shortcomings but may end up being more symbolic than fiscally responsible.
Because the game is at 12:30 p.m., the Bears are getting to Southern California a day earlier than they would have if they traveled via charter flight as usual. It is estimated that the road travel would have saved about $20,000, a number all but wiped out by the extra night of hotel and food costs. Cal officials couldn't immediately confirm the monetary estimates. "We all understand the financial constraints that we're in, and we want to do anything we can do to help out the department," coach Jeff Tedford said. "It felt like it was something that we could help with and do our part."
Left tackle Mike Tepper, who is from Cypress (Orange County), has mixed emotions about making the trip via buses, a trek he's made a number of times in a car. "When I heard we were taking a bus, I started thinking, 'OK, when I'm blazing home, it takes five hours. On a bus, it's going to be a long, long ride,' " he said. "I'm glad we're getting there (today), because we'll have time to stretch back out, and I'm glad we'll have the time with our teammates. Any time you hang out with your teammates for that long, it makes for a bonding experience."