Last week, while most of his classmates and people his age were heading to beaches, malls, and house parties to celebrate their time off from school, incoming freshman lineman Chris Adcock was...building a bathroom? In Africa? Ah, yes and yes. Adcock, and 20 others including Dallas Christian High School classmates, teachers, and parents took a trip to Ateiku, Ghana as part of an annual mission trip. The mission? "We are just here to help this community of Ateiku in anyway we can," messaged Adcock while still on the trip.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
California started spring practices last week looking to put a disappointing 2009 season behind it. The Bears, you might recall, jumped to a 3-0 start and rose to No. 6 in the country before being humiliated in back-to-back games against Oregon and USC. Combined score: 72-6. Coach Jeff Tedford takes responsibility for the Bears' lackluster finish last season. Then they rallied to win five of six, including an upset win at Stanford in the Big Game. Redemption and recovery? Not really.
Two weeks later, the Bears got bombed 42-10 in a surprising season-finale at Washington and looked flat in a loss to Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl. Suffice it to say, the Bears were hard to figure, other than they were consistently unpredictable. So we decided to check in with coach Jeff Tedford and see what his plan was as he enters his eighth season in Berkeley.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Therapy comes in many forms. Some seek professional help; others confide in loved ones. Kevin Parker is comforted by hanging out with murderers and bank robbers. Parker is a recruiting assistant for Cal's football program, but that doesn't begin to define him. Shaped by a rough Oakland upbringing, a college football career at the University of Oregon and an innate urge to give back, Parker is a self-proclaimed "servant of others" who has become a big brother to Cal football players while simultaneously lending a hand to his community. "The thing about KP is it's not just about football," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "It's more about life. It's about making good decisions. He's been through a lot of hard times. The players and staff respect and admire him so much for who he is and what he does."
Parker played running back at Oregon when Tedford was the offensive coordinator there in 1998. Parker had a short stint in the Arena Football League before Tedford brought him to Berkeley when he became the head coach in 2002. A few years later, Parker was introduced to S.Q.U.I.R.E.S, a program at San Quentin State Prison where hard-core inmates meet with troubled youths to show them how they might end up if they make the wrong decisions in life. Parker, who saw lots of crime growing up and had always dreamed of going into law enforcement, was awed by the experience. He came up with the idea of getting Cal's players involved in the program, if nothing else to teach them not to take anything for granted.
"The first thing I thought was we have to get some of our guys over here," Parker said. "I thought our players needed to see it because we're only one bad choice and one bad decision away from coming here. That's true for anybody. I think anybody and everybody should go visit a prison, just to keep you on the straight and narrow. You don't want to be there."
Contra Costa Times
One way to move up the depth chart is to not have much of a depth chart in the first place. That's the position Cal junior Michael Calvin finds himself in this spring. The one-time heralded prospect is one of only four scholarship wide receivers on the roster, so never has the chance been greater for him to position himself for significant playing time this season. "I feel like I have to seize the opportunity," Calvin said. "This spring ball is going to make or break me. I just have to come out here and compete."
Verran Tucker and Nyan Boateng have exhausted their eligibility, and Charles Satchell has moved from wide receiver to safety. That leaves Calvin, Marvin Jones, Jeremy Ross and Alex Lagemann as the only scholarship receivers left. The Bears signed five wide receivers in February and will welcome them to Berkeley in the fall. Cal coach Jeff Tedford said the incoming group of receivers will compete for immediate playing time, but their inexperience makes them an obvious uncertainty. That's why now, more than ever, Calvin must prove he has finally overcome the hangover of his torn anterior cruciate ligament in the fall of 2008. "Hopefully, he can stay healthy and play all through the spring," Tedford said. "There's no question he should be in the (rotation) when fall comes."
Excellent summary of the legal problems up at Oregon. Even the Ducks’ kicker got in trouble after pushing a woman down, and then promptly getting his ass kicked.
Along with Heisman hopeful, Jeremiah Masoli, being suspended for the 2010 season, Oregon's suspensions and dismissals are beginning to rival the amount of bail their players have posted in the last six months. While the biggest suspension is QB Masoli for lying to his coach about stealing a pair of laptops and a guitar from a campus fraternity, other players have been suspended or dismissed for other transgressions.
Starting tailback LaMichael James will miss the first game of the season after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of physical harassment stemming from a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend. The reason Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is suspending him from just one game is because unlike Masoli, James didn't lie to his coach about the incident. Wide receiver Garrett Embry also pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary as Masoli's accomplice in the robbery. Embry was dismissed from the team Jan. 8 for 'unspecified rules violations'. Kicker Rob Beard was so inebriated Jan. 24 that he doesn't remember pushing a women to the ground or the ensuing butt-whipping he took from two other men soon after. Beard was beat unconscious, seriously injured (facial injuries), and then charged with a misdemeanor of physical harassment. Like James, he'll be suspended for one game.
Defensive end Matt Simms, a former walk-on, must have been as inebriated as Beard. He attempted to retaliate against the men who smashed in Beard's face, but ended up assaulting the wrong guy and getting charged with misdemeanor assault. Kelly dismissed him from the team for 'unspecified rules violations' and then Simms pleaded to a lesser charge of harassment.
Backup linebacker Kiko Alonso was arrested for driving drunk, and suspended for the 2010 season as well. The best suspension/dismissal is the case of wide receiver Jamere Holland.
While under the impression that Alonso had been kicked off the team, rather than his actual suspension, he posted on Facebook the following, "how the f@!% you kick kinko off the team,,,on some weak s#@$ n%$$@s always faded he slipped up but ive benn slippn up, and I'm still here, that s#@$ weak buff cuh could have done damage for the ducks, s#@$ is weak, weak a&$ f%$#, quote me"
The symbols are an attempt of some screening on my part, but you get the jist of what he said. This was before writing, "I wish I could block whites as friends and only have blacks LOL," and then, "For the record I'm not a racist.."
Sure he's not. It's reported that Kelly dismissed Holland from the team for the first comment, but the second one could have been cause as well. Whatever the reason, Holland is no longer a Duck. Those posts are no longer on his Facebook page, but you can see a screenshot of them by clicking here.
So, the next time you have a complaint about the Cal program, just remember that it could always be worse -- much, much worse.
Jeff Tedford's coaching staff increased by two on Saturday with the announcement of the additions of Akili Smith and Ronnie Bradford as administrative assistants.
Both men have ties to current Cal coaches on the staff. Akili Smith played for Tedford back in 1997-'98, when Cal's head coach was still an offensive coordinator for Oregon and Bradford was a defensive assistant for Cal's defensive coordinator, Clancy Pendergast, in 2009 for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Golden Bears' two new coaches also have playing experience in the NFL. Bradford was a defensive back for 10 years, with stops at Denver, Arizona, Atlanta, and Minnesota, while Smith played for Cincinnati, Green Bay, and Tampa Bay. Smith also played for the Frankfurt Galaxy of the now defunct NFL Europe, and had a brief stint with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Scouts from around the NFL will descend on Memorial Stadium this morning for Cal's annual pro timing day, in which pro prospects work out for the league's personnel evaluators in an attempt to improve their draft stock. Almost all of the Bears' graduating seniors, and early entry candidate Jahvid Best, will be on hand to audition in the weight room and on the field. Scouts will measure the players' strength and athleticism as they put them through a series of drills. Some players also could be asked to go through "Chalk Talk" sessions, in which they break down film and demonstrate their football acumen. It will be another important evaluation for Best, Cal's former star running back who decided to leave school after his junior season. Best demonstrated he is fully recovered from season-ending back and head injuries by putting up the fastest time among running backs in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine (4.35). He also led all running backs in the 3-cone drill (6.75).
While players such as Best, defensive end Tyson Alualu and cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson appear to be locks to be drafted, pro day can help others open some eyes to at least get a look in training camp. Players such as wide receivers Nyan Boateng and Verran Tucker and linebackers Eddie Young and Devin Bishop are some of the players who will be attempting to do that.
Jahvid Best, Syd'Quan Thompson, Tyson Alualu, Mike Tepper, Verran Tucker, and Nyan Boateng get another opportunity to impress NFL scouts and talent evaluators Wednesday at Cal's Pro Day. All of them, besides Best, will need it. At the NFL's annual scouting combine held in Indianapolis, Best erased all except for the most important doubt, durability, with his performance. The College Football Performance Awards' 2009 Elite Running Back posted the top 40-yard dash (4.35s), top 3-cone drill (6.75s), and the fourth-best 20-yard shuttle (4.17s) for running backs at the event, proving that he can be just as elusive on a pro field as he was on a college campus. The question that is surrounding Best is whether or not he can survive a 16-game season without missing time -- something he didn't do in a 12-game college season.
Proving that he's durable is problematic for the early-entry draftee. Best missed the last three games of the season and Cal's Poinsettia Bowl loss to Utah with a sore back and a concussion -- injuries that doctors aren't able to ascertain potential future problems.