Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Oakland Tribune: Will renovation delay cause Tedford to bolt?


University of California coach Jeff Tedford watches a replay of a touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. on Thursday, December 28, 2006. The Bears beat the Aggies 45-10. (Dan Honda/STAFF FILE) An Alameda County judge's preliminary injunction has halted Cal's Memorial Stadium renovation project.   What Cal football fans want to know is, what the injunction — and the construction delays it could cause — means to coach Jeff Tedford's future in Berkeley.  Tedford recently agreed to a contract extension through 2013, but the deal is awaiting approval of the UC Regents and has not been signed.

Tedford has stated numerous times that Cal must upgrade its facilities to remain an elite program.   The first phase of the Memorial Stadium renovation project — construction of a $125 million training center along the west side of the stadium — is considered essential to the future success of Cal football and to keeping Tedford happy.  Cal had hoped to break ground on the training center this spring. The injunction, issued Monday, means construction — expected to take two years — could be delayed until next winter, if not forever.  Tedford did not comment Monday, and his Walnut Creek-based agent, Mike Sullivan, did not return a phone call.  "I'm sure coach Tedford is equally disappointed in the decision," said Cal vice chancellor Nathan Brostrom, who oversees athletics. "His disappointment ... is mirrored by other coaches."   The second phase of the renovation project — an earthquake retrofitting of the stadium, which sits on the Hayward fault — is many years and hundreds of millions of dollars away.

Cal has raised approximately $100 million for the training center, which was approved by the UC Board of Regents in December.  But neighborhood and environmental groups are trying to block the construction. To protest the planned destruction of several dozen oaks, activists have been living in trees for almost two months. Opponents of the project also have raised seismic concerns.  Three groups filed lawsuits: the Panoramic Hill Association of Berkeley, the California Oaks Foundation of Oakland and the city of Berkeley.  Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller ruled Monday that their objections were strong enough to justify a preliminary injunction until a trial can be held. Cal has not decided whether it will appeal.  "I think it ill befits this university to chop down its cathedrals in order to promote a student gym," attorney Stephan Volker of the California Oaks Foundation told the Associated Press.  Brostrom, the vice chancellor, called the injunction a "temporary setback" and said the university will proceed with the bid process and preliminary site work so that it can avoid delays if Cal wins in court.  The university's attorney, Charles Olson, said that a trial could start "no later than June."   The Bears had hoped to open the performance center in the spring of 2009, but the injunction means the project might not start until next winter — pushing the opening back a year. The delay could add $10 million to the cost, Brostrom said.   "We're certainly disappointed that the judge has chosen to grant an injunction in this case," athletic director Sandy Barbour said in a statement. "The campus has done tremendous work — very thorough work — in regards to the seismic issues and the environmental impact of this project.  "I'm confident that in the end we will prevail on the merits of this case."   Barbour did not address Tedford's future.  When asked about the injunction's impact on Tedford's future, Janet Gilmore of Cal's public-affairs office said simply that the athletic department is "optimistic" that situation will be resolved in Cal's favor.  Tedford's existing contract calls for a $300,000 annual buyout — the amount he would owe the school for leaving before the deal ends in 2009.  But until the Cal breaks ground on the stadium project, the buyout is only $150,000 annually.


Profile of Treesitter Zachary RunningWolf

This guy’s a real gem.

He never went to Cal; he simply graduated from Berkeley High School. He’s 43 and proudly notes “I have already been surviving without getting paid (economically) for the past 11 years.” When he ran for mayor last year, he called for a hunger strike against UC to “get the downtown back,” as well as protests against UC for involvement in genetically altered food. He demanded that all Berkeley buses run on vegetable oil, and was against RFID tags in Berkeley public libraries, as they apparently prevent people like him from stealing books. He’s active in the “Free Mumia Abu-Jamal” movement (insisting on the release of a convicted cop killer).

From EastBay Express:

RunningWolf was charged with misdemeanor vandalism for defacing a stop sign at Fourth Street and Bancroft Way. Police also nabbed him back in December 2005 for allegedly spray-painting other stop signs, a transgression the district attorney's office says violated the terms of RunningWolf's probation. That's right, probation. The 43-year-old candidate was on probation for a 2003 misdemeanour conviction.

According to court documents and police reports, RunningWolf's December run-in with the cops went down like this: A witness driving westbound spotted a guy with a ponytail and a red bandanna spraying the word "driving" on a stop sign at Bancroft and West. The witness called the cops; while waiting for them to come, the witness watched the ponytail guy tag another stop sign. When two officers later confronted RunningWolf, he was "immediately hostile to us, saying we were racially profiling him, that he had been stopped before and harassed," the police report says. "He stated several times he was an 'Indian Warrior' and would 'put a foot in our ass.'" He also denied defacing the signs, even though police spotted a stencil that said "DRIVING" sticking out of his courier bag, and found a can of white spray paint in the bag.

A few weeks later, another cop on patrol spotted RunningWolf kneeling near a stop sign on Fourth Street putting a "DRIVING" stencil in his bag. If that wasn't incriminating enough, the sign was freshly spray-painted and RunningWolf had white paint on his fingers.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Send a Message to the Tree Sitters!

The non-students living in the trees have a website…, where they ask that messages be sent to the tree sitters at  Feel free to send your thoughts!

SF Chronicle: Tedford's reaction: 'I'm not panicking'

Injunction halts plans for Cal's $125M facility

Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer

When Chad Nightingale went on his recruiting visit to Cal, he was led into Memorial Stadium.   "It was one of the most beautiful facilities I had ever seen," he said. "I remember thinking, 'There may be bigger weight rooms, but nothing can compare to this site.' "  But that was more than 20 years ago. Nightingale, who lettered for the Bears in 1988 and '89, has become the head football coach at Salesian High. Meanwhile, few upgrades have been made at his alma mater.  Now it appears that current Cal players might have to wait a year or more for new facilities.  Plans to retrofit Memorial Stadium and add a $125 million high-performance athletic center were delayed Monday, when a judge issued a preliminary injunction that blocks construction and brings into question the effect the decision will have on the future of head coach Jeff Tedford, who has guided the program's turnaround over the last five years.

"Anybody who's asking those questions is very uneducated to my feelings to Cal and this program," Tedford said. "My commitment is unwavering. My commitment is 100 percent to Cal. I'm not panicking. I'm not fazed by this at all.  "I want those statements to be clear to our players, our recruits and anyone else who is wondering."  The project is the subject of several lawsuits, claiming nothing should be built so close to the Hayward Fault and trying to protect a grove of oak trees, among other contentions. Cal officials counter, saying their seismic evaluation proves the new facility will enable staff and athletes to move into a safe building and promising to plant three new trees for every one removed.  UC attorneys, who have yet to decide whether to seek an appeal, said the injunction could delay the project at least a year. The bigger point of interest for Cal football fans is if the project ever will get under way and how to keep Tedford, who repeatedly has spoken about the importance of facility upgrades.   Tedford has agreed to an extension through 2013, but the contract won't be made public until it is approved by the UC Board of Regents. It has been widely speculated that Tedford, who has been sought after by NFL teams and higher-profile colleges, will have outs regarding a lack of facility upgrades in his newest extension.  "There's no doubt that this project is terribly important to Jeff's vision of success for this program," Cal athletics director Sandy Barbour said. "He understands, believes and sees the commitment to getting this project done."

She said there is "nothing different in the extension than in the previous contract" regarding the stadium upgrades. In his last contract, Tedford received bonuses for staying with the program as each of the planned phases reached completion and his buyout of the contract became more expensive for each.  Tedford, who was on the recruiting trail, admitted that the injunction couldn't have been announced at a worse time.  "I mean, we're a week away from signing," he said before quickly recovering, "but there are still positives.  "It's a chance for me to say that I'm extremely confident that this project is going forward. This is a temporary setback, but I remain confident that our current recruiting class will be able to utilize and enjoy these new facilities."  UC Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom said the university will go ahead with the bid process and any possible site preparation that the injunction allows.  It does, however, put Tedford in a predicament when answering recruits' questions.  "The questions are usually about ground-breaking, and I am honest with them," he said. "It's not going to get started on the timeline we envisioned, but that's not say it won't be finished when we thought."

In comparison to some other national powerhouses, Cal's facilities are sorely lacking. That hasn't stopped Tedford from grabbing receiver/return specialist DeSean Jackson from USC's backyard two years ago and nabbing this season's top-notch local talents such as St. Ignatius High lineman Matt Summers-Gavin and Salesian tailback Jahvid Best, who received a letter Monday that he was one of 58 players named to the Parade All-America team.  "UC and its athletics department need, and more importantly, have earned and deserve a new facility," Nightingale said. "The fact is you can solidly stand behind the program and, in particular, coach Tedford. He has won with excellent players, who graduate at an amazing level and go on to represent the university well."

Tedford said that the Bears lose some prospects who have seen other schools' facilities.  "Facilities are a huge part of recruiting, and our facilities are old," he said. "The shape of our facilities is nowhere near our competition, and our student-athletes deserve a place to come to everyday that has all the amenities of 2007.  "We have fallen behind the times quite a bit."  The 142,000-square-foot Barclay Simpson High-Performance Center is supposed to be the solution to that. Along with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities within the building, the center's roof would serve as a 68,000-square-foot plaza, which would be open to ticketed fans on game days and give Cal extra concession opportunities.  That hasn't been enough to convince the opposition pushing for the facility to be built at a different location. Brostrom said during the last six or seven years, the university has looked at a number of sites as far away as Albany and none is better than the current plan.  "It is the optimum site to preserve the historic nature of the stadium and integrate athletics and studies," he said.  The proposed plan would house 13 of the school's 27 sports.  "That's a huge point that has been missed by the masses, because they think this is just about what coach Tedford is asking for," Barbour said. "This will positively and directly impact 13 programs on a daily basis, and in many ways, will impact all 900 of our student-athletes."  Many of whom are like Nightingale and his running back.   "Jahvid has his head in the right place," Nightingale said. "I think he would love to have a beautiful weight room, but he's focused on other things. Academics, the coaching staff and his future teammates made Cal the obvious choice for him."

Monday, January 29, 2007

San Jose Mercury News: No charges against Cal football star Marshawn Lynch

OAKLAND - Citing several reasons, including "some grave inconsistencies" in the complaining woman's story, Alameda County prosecutors decided Monday not to file domestic violence related charges against UC Berkeley football star Marshawn Lynch. The decision was made by Senior Deputy District Attorney Kim Hunter, an expert in domestic violence cases. Hunter said one of the key reasons for the decision not to prosecute was that the woman making the complaint gave conflicting statements in the police report and to officers doing the follow-up investigation. "The victim's story has some grave inconsistencies," Hunter said. In the initial police report, there was only a mention of Lynch "grabbing and pushing" the woman. But the woman added other details of the confrontation in later interviews and documents.  One of those documents was a petition for a restraining order in which the woman said Lynch, "choke me. slap me then slap himself. pick me up and though(sic) me in the car laid on top of me with his hands over my mouth."  Other reasons cited by Hunter for not charging the case included no visible injuries to the woman, no pictures of any injuries and a statement from someone who knows both Lynch and the woman and was present at the so-called confrontation that "nothing happened" between them.

"We cannot prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt," Hunter said. Lynch's attorney, M. Gerald Schwartzbach, said he was "delighted" that no charges were filed and suggested the accuser had money as a motive. The accuser and Lynch had graduated from Oakland Tech together in 2003. At one point, they had a relationship. Lynch is also expected to be a first round pick in the upcoming National Football League draft, a position that could earn him millions of dollars.  "Marshawn had broken up with her and she didn't take it very well and her mother did not take it very well," he said. "People had known that someday (Marshawn) would have been making a lot of money. There are people out there that might think he is their ticket out of a certain lifestyle or a certain living situation."  In addition to the conflicting statements, court documents show Lynch's accuser also had a troubled relationship with her own attorney.  While trying to win a permanent restraining order, the accuser's lawyer, Sandra Banks, was also trying to take herself off the case. Banks claimed the accuser did not want her as an attorney and that their "communication has deteriorated to such a degree that counsel cannot continue to represent petitioner," Banks wrote in a court document.  "The communication is far too hostile for counsel to communicate in any reasonable way," she added.  Banks did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Authorities also said that some statements made by the woman in an application for a restraining order against Lynch -- which was granted last Friday by a judge -- "were never told to police." Hunter said the woman made a report to Oakland police on Dec. 15, two days after she claimed she was victimized by Lynch outside her mother's North Oakland home. Hunter said the report came in as a misdemeanor domestic violence case with no injuries. She said police Special Victims Unit officers "went above and beyond"  the normal scope of an investigation in such cases "for the protection of both sides."  That included getting statements from the woman and her mother, the third party -- who Hunter would not identity - and other people she would not identity. No formal statement was taken from Lynch but interviews were conducted with people Lynch talked with about the accusations.


SF Chronicle: Judge issues preliminary injunction to stop UC stadium plan

(01-29) 10:46 PST BERKELEY -- A judge this morning granted a preliminary injunction stopping UC Berkeley's plans to build a training center next to Memorial Stadium, handing at least a temporary victory to a group of environmentalists who have been camping for weeks in old oak trees that would have to be cut down for the development.  In the four-page ruling, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller said the plaintiffs -- the city of Berkeley, Panoramic Hill Association and California Oak Foundation -- made a sufficient case that the project violates the Alquist-Priolo Act, a state law prohibiting new buildings on earthquake faults.  Despite today's ruling, a half-dozen protesters roosting in an oak grove next to Memorial Stadium said they will not be coming down for at least another several months, when a trial will decide the fate of the proposed training center.

Zachary Runningwolf, who has been living in a redwood tree on and off since Dec. 2, choked up this morning when discussing the judge's decision.  "I'm very emotional," he said via cell phone from his perch in the tree. "It's been a long road -- 59 days. But we're going to keep the pressure on. The lawsuits have helped, but we feel that we've been the pressure in this movement."  The Hayward Fault runs under the 84-year-old stadium.  UC drilling found no fault traces under most of the proposed training center, but two of the drilling tests were inconclusive.  The injunction means that UC cannot begin work on the project until after the trial, if at all. The trial likely would begin in early summer.  The delay pushes back the construction schedule at least a year, due to conflicts with the football schedule, costing UC $8 million to $10 million due to rising construction costs.

Friday, January 26, 2007

KCBS: Cal Football Star Accused of Assault on Ex Girlfriend

OAKLAND -- A former girlfriend is accusing former Cal star running back Marshawn Lynch of domestic violence and sexual assault. KCBS has learned the Alameda County District Attorney is reviewing the woman's claims following an Oakland police investigation. Lynch's attorney Gerry Schwartzbach denies the allegations.  KCBS has confirmed the woman was granted a restraining order against Lynch Friday morning. Schwartzbach says Lynch was unaware of the court hearing and did not attend.

In her complaint, the woman alleges Lynch choked, slapped and sexually assaulted her in Oakland the night of December 13th. She filed the civil complaint on December 19th, according to court documents obtained by KCBS.  Shwartzbach says Lynch was at the woman's home with a friend that night, but denies that any violence or sexual assault took place. He says Lynch was questioned by police and is co-operating with investigators.  Oakland police declined to comment, as did the deputy district attorney handling the case.  Lynch, the Pac-10 offensive player of the year and a first team All-American as a junior last season, left school early to enter the NFL draft. He is considered a likely first round draft choice.  His last game for Cal was the Holiday Bowl victory over Texas A&M on December 28th. He attended Oakland Tech high school.



Thursday, January 25, 2007

Contra Costa Times: Cal offensive coordinator leaving for Minnesota

By Jay Heater

BERKELEY - Offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar and Cal have parted ways. Dunbar has accepted the offensive coordinator's job at Minnesota after serving one season in that capacity for the Golden Bears.  It was an experiment that was partially successful for head coach Jeff Tedford, who wanted to add tactics from the spread offense to his game plan. Dunbar had run one of the nation's top spread offenses at Northwestern and hoped to have similar success at Cal.  However, Tedford didn't want to part with many of the staples that had given the Bears one of the top offenses in the country since his arrival in 2002. "Mike was more comfortable running the spread solely," Tedford said from Dallas on Wednesday. "There were professional opportunities for him in Minnesota, and I think he is going to be more comfortable there." Tedford was asked if it was a mistake to bring Dunbar to Cal. "No," he said. "He brought some new ideas and concepts. Our goal was to meld those together. It's not that it didn't work. We were fine.

"But our goal was to meld the two concepts and not to be solely a spread team. I think he is of the mind to be 100 percent in the spread. He has had a lot of success doing that."  Although Dunbar has left, Tedford said Cal will continue to utilize spread offense concepts. "But we're always going to have some aspect of two backs, with tight ends involved," he said. "I liked what we were doing with the spread and we're going to continue to do some. But we're never going to do it every down." Tedford said he has a few people in mind to fill the vacancy but said he was going to take his time. "I'm not going to rush into something," he said. Although Tedford was involved in setting up the offensive game plans, Dunbar called all but a few plays in every regular season game and the Holiday Bowl. Tedford said he will continue to be involved in some play calling, but he said he hasn't decided to what extent.


Real Football 365: '07 Volunteers must survive an early-season minefield

The wolves have retreated from Phillip Fulmer's door. For now, at least. A year ago, Fulmer was sifting through the shards of a 5-7 season and wondering what chips he might be able to call in to land on someone else's staff should the axe fall. It's always like that at Tennessee, which bills itself as "The Winningest College Football Program Since 1926."  And Fulmer has won -- repeatedly, and generally consistently. He just doesn't win the national championship every year, and that's a problem with Knoxville's orange horde.  Moreover, Fulmer is an old-style coach in a mediacentric world. He does his job without a lot of flash, and his press conferences are known more for cliches than sound bites. It doesn't matter, as long as he wins. This past season, he did -- 9-4 and a 5-3 Southeastern Conference record before a 20-10 loss to Penn State in the Outback Bowl.  Moreover, the Vols lost to eventual national champion Florida by a point, 21-20, and to Sugar Bowl champion LSU by four, 28-24. Quarterback Erik Ainge, who was wretched in 2005, threw for an eye-popping 2,989 yards and 19 touchdowns, wideout Robert Meachem caught just about everything Ainge threw his way, and the Vols moved the ball against everyone on their schedule.

The only glaring weakness was an inability to stop the run that doomed UT in losses to LSU (231 rushing yards), Arkansas (259) and Penn State (183). Part of that, however, could be blamed on a season-ending injury to stud D-lineman Justin Harrell and nagging injuries to several of his linemates. So what does 2007 look like for Tennessee? The proverbial good news and bad news. Even though the team's top three receivers -- Meachem, Jayson Swain and Bret Smith -- are all either graduating (Swain and Smith) or turning pro (Meachem), the Vols return their top three running backs in Arian Foster, Montario Hardesty and LaMarcus Coker. Several young wideouts received significant playing time in 2006, but you might see Ainge throwing a lot more to two of the best tight ends in the SEC, Chris Brown and Brad Cottam. Cottam is 6-foot-6, 280 pounds and can run -- and what's even scarier is that his younger brother, Jeff Cottam, is pretty much a clone. The O-line loses All-American tackle Arron Sears, but has a few other key pieces back. Defense is where the problems may lie. A flock of redshirt freshmen, sophomores and juniors will be asked to step up and fill the holes surrounding DB Jonathan Henfey, T Turk McBride and LB Jarod Mayo, and it would be nice if the Vols had a couple of "gimme" games early on to allow the new mix to season.  Unfortunately, UT's opener is at Berkeley against a Cal team anxious to avenge its 35-18 pounding in Knoxville last year. Like Tennessee, the Golden Bears will take some graduation hits on defense, but an offense led by QB Nate Longshore, RB Justin Forsett and WR DeSean Jackson is still scary. After that, Tennessee has a classic "trap" game against improving Southern Mississippi at home, then plays at Florida.  Beyond that, it really doesn't matter in the SEC. Every year, you get a few tough teams at home and equally tough challenges on the road -- it's just a matter of shuffling the deck. The Vols do get to host Arkansas, a definite plus.  If the Volunteers can win two of their first three games, they should be on the way to another good season. Win all three, and they'll be tearing up Fulmer's contract again. 0-3? Remember those wolves?




SF Chronicle: Dunbar leaving Cal to go to Minnesota

Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer

Cal offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar, who led the Bears to five consecutive games of 40-plus points, is leaving Berkeley to take a similar position at Minnesota, head coach Jeff Tedford said Wednesday.  "I think a lot of it has to do with getting back into a comfort zone," Tedford said. Dunbar "knows that conference, and he wants to get back to running his offense on an every-down basis."  Dunbar could not be reached for comment, and Minnesota officials said he won't be available until a formal announcement later this week.  Dunbar's stint at Cal lasted only a year, a largely successful one in which the Bears averaged 32.8 points, 162.4 rushing yards and 253.2 passing yards per game. To get Dunbar and his spread-option offense from Northwestern, where he led the nation's fourth-most productive unit that broke nearly every school record, Tedford ceded the majority of the play-calling duties.

Though the Bears used some parts and even some plays from the spread, a complete switch was not made. Cal, which only one time in the last 85 years (1991, 36.9) has averaged more points than any of Tedford's five seasons, simply couldn't stray from what has worked and doesn't have the personnel even if the dramatic switch were desired.   "Our offense is still what we put in," Tedford said. "We're always looking to bring in new ideas, but we've been very successful with what we do."  The same goes for Dunbar, who is headed to a Minnesota program that is in flux. It hired as head coach Denver Broncos assistant Tim Brewster, who has not been a top coordinator, let alone a head coach, in the pros or college. Glen Mason was fired two days after the Gophers blew a 31-point, third-quarter lead in the Insight Bowl to lose 44-41 in overtime to Texas Tech in the biggest comeback in major college bowl history.  Tedford said he has a short list of possible replacements, one which he wouldn't share, but he's in no hurry to make a hire.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Spread is Gone? Dunbar Leaves Cal Coaching Staff

Brewster hires Dunbar, Withers as top coordinators

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota coach Tim Brewster started rounding out his new staff Wednesday, hiring former Cal and Northwestern offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar to run the Gophers offense and Tennessee Titans secondary coach Everett Withers as the defensive coordinator.  Dunbar spent last season at California, helping coach Jeff Tedford refine the spread offense en route to the school's first share of the Pac-10 title in three decades. The Golden Bears were 12th in the nation in total offense last season and 11th in scoring offense, averaging nearly 33 points a game with quarterback Nate Longshore, running back Marshawn Lynch and receiver DeSean Jackson.  Prior to coming to Berkeley, Dunbar presided over a prolific offense at Northwestern for four years. The Wildcats averaged more than 500 yards of total offense a game in 2005, good for fourth in the nation, and quarterback Brett Basanez finished his career second to Drew Brees in Big Ten career passing yards, total offense and completions.  "This is a good opportunity for Mike and his family," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said in a statement. "It's a good chance for him to be more involved in a spread offense. We appreciate his contributions to the program and wish him well in the future."

Tedford said he will begin looking for a replacement immediately.  Withers has a history with Brewster. The two coached on Mack Brown's staff at Texas from 1998-2000, with Withers coaching the defensive backs and Brewster the tight ends.  Withers has previous experience as a defensive coordinator in the college ranks. He held the position at Louisville from 1995-97 and at Austin Peay in 1989.  In 1996, the Cardinals' defense led the nation in turnovers with 41 and ranked fourth in total defense and rushing defense.  Brewster's entire staff is expected to be introduced at a news conference on Thursday.

San Jose Mercury News: Cal, SJSU football teams winning recruiting battles


By Jon Wilner

Mercury News

Two weeks from letter-of-intent day, all is proceeding as you'd expect for the Bay Area's college football teams. Cal, one of the top programs in the West, is expected to land another top-25 class. San Jose State, fresh off a breakthrough season, has received commitments from players who might not have considered the Spartans in the past.  And Stanford, which fired Walt Harris after a 1-11 season -- and was without a coach for the crucial December recruiting period -- is grasping for mediocrity.  ``They aren't involved in a lot of top-tier kids,'' said Greg Biggins, who tracks recruiting for Student Sports Magazine. ``But I think Jim Harbaugh will do a good job. He has a personality that's going to attract kids. Give him another year, and he'll do better than what they've done the last two or three years.''  Hired Dec. 18, Harbaugh persuaded receivers Evan Moore and Mark Bradford to return for their senior season and secured the oral commitments Stanford had received during the fall.  The Cardinal's top-rated prospects are David Green, an elite kicker from Mission Viejo; receiver Sean Wiser, who plays for Oaks Christian with mega-prospects Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame) and Marc Tyler (USC); and Kellen Kiilsgaard, a quarterback from Auburn, Wash., who could play safety.

``Everyone's fighting over whether Kiilsgaard is a quarterback or a safety because he runs well,'' said Randy Taylor, who oversees's West Coast recruiting operation.  Stanford received an important commitment last weekend from Matt Masifilo, a defensive tackle from Hawaii who considered Cal and Washington. But two other top recruits, Byron and Brandon Clear, twins from Alabama, opted for Clemson.  Cal Coach Jeff Tedford has a bevy of young talent at the skill positions and has focused recruiting efforts on restocking the offensive line. The Bears have 19 oral commitments, according to, and five of them are offensive linemen, including well-regarded tackle Sam DeMartinis of Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks and St. Ignatius guard/tackle Matt Summers-Gavin. . ``It's the best offensive line class in the West,'' Biggins said.

The Bears also have commitments from two tailbacks: Shane Vareen, from Valencia, who could end up at cornerback, and Jahvid Best, from Richmond. Known for his speed, the 185-pound Best is rated the No. 18 tailback in the country and reportedly received scholarship offers from Notre Dame and USC.  As usual, Tedford has landed a highly rated quarterback: Brock Mansion, a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder from Dallas. ``Because he's a big, strong-armed athlete, he's one of my favorites,'' Taylor said. ``He has a huge upside. ``Some people compare him to Nate Longshore, because both have good size. But Longshore is a bit more technical. Mansion is not as pure a thrower, but he's more of an athlete who can run. And he has the frame to put more weight on.'' That's the challenge facing San Jose State's top recruit, 270-pound lineman Fred Koloto of Palo Alto. He picked the Spartans over Nebraska, Fresno State and Washington -- schools SJSU could never have outdueled in the past -- and could play on either side of the ball in college. The Spartans also have oral commitments from Joe Bates, a cornerback from Laney College in Oakland, and David Richmond, a four-star receiver from Santa Ana College who had offers from Brigham Young and Oregon. (Because oral commitments are not binding, other schools have continued to recruit Richmond.) ``He's a deceptive guy,'' Taylor said. ``He doesn't look real smooth, but he can go get the ball. He has very good body control. He just makes catches.'' SJSU is hoping to land Latu Moala, a defensive end from the College of San Mateo who is also considering Oregon State and Washington State. The Spartans' biggest ``recruits'' won't appear on any prospect lists: All-America cornerback Dwight Lowery will return for his senior season, and defensive end Jeff Schweiger has transferred from USC and will be eligible in 2008.

Profile of Judge Deciding Stadium TRO Request

Judge Miller was elected to the office of Superior Court Judge in 1996. Previous to her election, she served as a Court Commissioner in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda from 1987 - 1996. Prior to her judicial career, she practiced law for ten years, including six years with the firm formerly known as Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges in San Francisco. Judge Miller has served as a faculty member for the annual California Judges College since 1989, and other judicial education programs, including the areas of Probate, Family Law, and Domestic Violence. She serves as a faculty member for various attorney educational programs. Judge Miller is active in the community and played a key role in developing and implementing a court educational outreach program for youth in local public middle schools.

Judge Miller was admitted to the California Bar in December 1978. She attended and graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law (1974 - 1978), receiving her Juris Doctor Degree, Cum Laude while working full time. Judge Miller was formerly a member of the McAuliffe Honor Society and the recipient of Am Jur Awards for Civil Procedure (1976) and Estate Planning (1978). She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of Kentucky (1969-1973), while working part-time and was an Honors student.

BLOG EDITOR’S ANALSYIS OF JUDGE MILLER: She’s from the South, where they love football and don’t care much for tree-huggers. After conducting research, I’ve found nothing to suggest that she is an activist judge. She worked for Thelen Marrin (Now Thelen Reid Brown) formerly one of the city’s top law firms. Thus she wasn’t working for EarthFirst! or the migrant workers’ legal defense fund. The big question is why she would go to USF, after having done well at U of K. USF is a tier 3 school, which she attended in the mid-70’s. My guess is that she either specifically chose USF because of its location in liberal SF, or her husband was transferred to the Bay Area. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

SF Chronicle: Judge to rule on plan to fell grove of oaks near stadium

City, neighbors fight proposed sports center

A judge said Tuesday that she will rule by 5 p.m. Monday on whether a contested UC Berkeley development can proceed.  The judge's pronouncement came after five hours of arguments about seismic safety and the value of an oak grove next to Memorial Stadium.  As tree-sitters maintained their well-publicized protest in the grove of trees, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller questioned attorneys for the defendant, for UC and for the three plaintiffs -- the city of Berkeley, the Panoramic Hill neighborhood association and the California Oak Foundation -- about the project, which includes a $125 million sports training center that would uproot the oaks.  The plaintiffs claim that UC's plan violates state laws on the environment and building in seismic zones. UC denied the claim.  "It's been a very long day," UC attorney Charles Olson said as he was leaving the Hayward courtroom. "The judge was paying close attention to a very complicated issue. Hopefully, she'll have enough time to review everything and make the right decision."

Tedford Comments on Raider's New Coach

Here is the article.


Cal coach Jeff Tedford was Kiffin's quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Fresno State. When Kiffin began interviewing with the Raiders late last week, Tedford was one of three coaches he called for advice.  Tedford, who has been pursued by various NFL teams since coming to Cal, encouraged him to jump at the opportunity.  "He's always had a bright mind and has always been a very dedicated, hard worker," Tedford said. "I think this is a good decision by both sides."

New York Times: A Dose of Maturity for a California Protest

BERKELEY, Calif., Jan. 22 — It is not every day that tree-sitters are older than the tree, but on Monday three environmental activists with a combined age of 247 climbed into an oak tree here for an hour to protest a hotly contested building plan.  A stand of 50 coastal oaks just outside Memorial Stadium at the University of California, Berkeley, would be mostly cut down as part of a $125 million project to build a new athletic training center. That plan prompted protesters to begin a tree-sit (a not uncommon form of civil disobedience in California) in early December, a campaign generally staffed by a group of scruffy-looking younger people in perches 30 or 40 feet above the ground.   But the protest received a shot of maturity on Monday morning when Shirley Dean, 71, Betty Olds, 86, and Sylvia McLaughlin, 90, climbed a ladder and mounted a jury-rigged platform about 15 feet up.  “Nobody’s going to cut us down,” Ms. Dean, a former Berkeley mayor, told a crowd of about 75 supporters, “and nobody’s going to cut these oaks down.”

The pro-oak lobby is among several groups that have sued the university over the new center and elements of a larger plan for renovations and seismic retrofits on the stadium, which sits on the Hayward Fault. Marie Felde, a spokeswoman for the university, had no comment on Monday’s protest, but said the new athletic center was necessary to help move athletic personnel and student athletes out of the 83-year-old stadium, where the coaches have offices and where the athletes train.  Doug Buckwald, an organizer of the protest, said the oaks, which create a shaded acre just outside the stadium’s western gates, were too precious to lose. “An urban forest is a rare thing to have,” Mr. Buckwald said, “and we have a beautiful one here.”   Mr. Buckwald added that at least one of the oaks could be more than 200 years old, though the tree sat in on Monday was relatively youthful, probably about 90. That made it about as old as Ms. McLaughlin, a prominent California conservationist who seemed comfortable up a tree, reading a book and eating a candy bar while dangling her legs off the platform.  Not so for Ms. Dean, who stood holding tight to a branch during the hourlong sit-in, and was the first one out of the tree. “I’m scared to death because I’m scared of heights,” she said. “But maybe this will cure it.”

Contra Costa Times: Bears get byes added to their 2007 schedule, but it also means switching their game in Seattle to mid-November

Cal will take the rain with the rest

By Jay Heater


Talking by telephone from Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Monday, Cal football coach Jeff Tedford should have stepped outside to take note of the nasty, cold weather.  It probably will be close to what he will see next Nov. 17 when his Golden Bears travel to Washington's Husky Stadium.  Originally scheduled for Oct. 6, the Cal-Washington game was moved because the two universities had concerns about playing 12 consecutive games without a bye week, as had been scheduled for both.  "This will give us a little break," said Tedford, speaking by telephone. "We're going to roll the dice as far as the weather. I don't think you are guaranteed good weather (in Seattle) at any time. It can be really nasty there.  "But 12 straight games is no picnic."

The NCAA's move to a 12-game regular-season schedule for the 2006 season led to scheduling problems for many schools. Cal's original 2007 schedule had the Bears opening the season on Sept. 1 against Tennessee and playing straight through until a Nov. 17 date against Stanford.  "You get worn down playing 12 straight games," Tedford said. "Look what happened to Washington State (which lost its last three games to finish 6-6). They played 12 straight."  Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour and associate athletic director Steve Holton decided to look into moving some games in 2007.  "I think we all had concerns about the 12 straight games, knowing the physical nature of the game," Holton said. "Washington had concerns as well. I think (Washington) actually approached Sandy first about moving the game."  At the same time that Cal negotiated with Washington to move that game, Holton and Barbour worked out a deal with Stanford to move the Big Game to Dec. 1. That gives Cal two byes during the regular season, on Oct. 6 and Nov. 24.  Holton said playing the Big Game on Nov. 24 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) wasn't an option.  "The students are gone," Holton said. "And at Stanford, they give the students the whole week off. In reality, the future of all of our programs depends on our students being involved. To take the Big Game away from the students would not be a good situation."  Tedford said the first bye comes at a perfect time. The Bears will have played five games, including their first two Pac-10 contests against Arizona and Oregon.  Then will come a six-game stretch before the second bye.  Cal hosts Tennessee (Sept. 1) and Louisiana Tech (Sept. 15) and travels to Colorado State (Sept. 8) in the nonconference portion of the schedule.  Holton currently is working to secure one more nonconference game for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.  He said the Big Game is likely to be held the first Saturday of December for the next few years.


2007 Cal football schedule

Sept. 1 Tennessee

Sept. 8 at Colorado State

Sept. 15 Louisiana Tech

Sept. 22 Arizona

Sept. 29 at Oregon

Oct. 6 Bye

Oct. 13 Oregon State

Oct. 20 at UCLA

Oct. 27 at Arizona State

Nov. 3 Washington State

Nov. 10 USC

Nov. 17 at Washington

Nov. 24 Bye

Dec. 1 at Stanford

Monday, January 22, 2007 Bears Get a Surprise Commit

By Jim McGill

On one of the final recruiting weekends of the year, the Cal Bears picked up a commitment from another player that caught Cal recruiting fans by surprise.  John Tyndall was one of the most productive players in the state in 2006. The Pacific Grove (CA) High School FB/LB put up some of the most complete stats you’ll ever see on both sides of the ball. As a running back, Tyndall compiled a Monterey County-best 1552 yards and 27 tds on the season.  At linebacker, Tyndall continued his extraordinary production, with an area-best 141 tackles on the year. “My trip was great,” said Tyndall. “Zack Follett was my host. He’s a real cool guy –and he’s huge. Read the entire article here.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

AP: At Cal, building a winning team is easier than building a gym


BERKELEY, Calif. - The protesters have been perched in the oaks for seven weeks, peacefully enduring frost and rain and the occasional earthquake from 40 feet above the University of California campus.  Their supporters congregate below in tie-dyed sarongs and spiked leather jackets, chanting, dancing and hanging oversized drawings of eyes from the trunks of the decades-old trees that could be gone in a few months.  "We Can Have Old Trees And New Gyms," one banner reads.  Grass-roots protests are part of the landscape in this cradle of activist politics and environmental awareness. But these protesters at the base of Memorial Stadium are fighting an uphill battle over the fate of a small oak grove caught between sports and science.  The school intends to remove 42 trees, including 26 ecologically valuable coast live oaks, to make way for a $125 million athletic training complex that will anchor a badly-needed renovation of the Golden Bears' dilapidated stadium, which is nestled among hundreds of similar oaks and redwoods in Strawberry Canyon. "We think it's outrageous that UC Berkeley, which consistently presents itself as an environmental leader, would take an action that goes against what its professors teach every day on campus," said Doug Buckwald, a 1982 Cal grad and a member of Save the Oaks at the Stadium, one of several groups protesting the school's plan.

Such a project would be welcomed in most any other big football town with a winning team like coach Jeff Tedford's, which won a share of the Pac-10 title this season for the first time in three decades. Though Cal claims it has made extensive efforts to appease every environmental and safety concern, the school faces a slew of lawsuits and growing public condemnation.  Tedford and athletic director Sandy Barbour are learning that in Berkeley building a conference champion might be easier than building a new gym. "I really believe this campus has gone about it the right way," Barbour said. "This project fills a significant need, not only for our athletes, but for the school. Every aspect has been designed to improve the safety of our student-athletes, and it's really just a fabulous project for this campus." But a growing groundswell of protest says the university's plans are rife with flaws. Buckwald can cite a laundry list of mistakes, from city laws that prohibit the removal of such trees to the dangers of building on an earthquake fault. Four lawsuits have been filed, and several groups will seek a preliminary injunction against the project next week. Some of the nation's most prominent activists, from Woodstock emcee Wavy Gravy to veteran tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill, have turned up in support.

The protesters insist they don't hate football or begrudge the training needs of the 12 other Cal teams, from field hockey to lacrosse, that will train in the 142,000-square-foot training center. They simply believe Cal should put it somewhere else.  "If they had any kind of legitimate public process, we never would have seen this spectacularly bad plan put forth," Buckwald said. "They wouldn't have come up with an unreasonable plan to build their sports facility in a dangerous place right by a fault and without planning to destroy this ancient grove of trees."  The project never would have started without Tedford's success. The coach is 43-20 since taking over in 2002, winning three bowl games and restoring pride and enthusiasm to a program that had little of either in the quarter-century before he arrived. But even Tedford, who agreed this week to a contract extension through 2013, knows the Bears' recruiting potential is limited without a home that measures up to the nation's best. His coaches now work in cramped, dungeon-like offices inside Memorial Stadium, with a sub-par weight room and a leaky locker room. "We've been fairly successful recruiters, and it obviously hasn't been because of the facilities," Tedford said. "This is going to give us everything we need to recruit, to compete and to build a program the school can be proud of." Led by Barbour, Cal already has raised approximately $100 million - about 80 percent of the cost of the training center. The stadium renovation will take place in two later phases. But the oaks must be removed to make the current plans work, and that has sent protesters scrambling into the trees - and to their lawyers.  There is a city law against removing such trees, but the university is a state entity that's not required to follow such city regulations. There also are laws against building on an active fault, but Cal vice chancellor Nathan Brostrum cites geological studies saying there's no active fault under the training complex.

And the public anger isn't directed just at the training complex. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, who played for Cal's 1959 Rose Bowl team, worries that a planned parking garage will create traffic hassles and emergency-response delays. Cal has promised to address such safety concerns.  Even a group called Save Tightwad Hill is suing, claiming the university's plan to slightly raise the east side of Memorial Stadium will block the view from the famed hillside where fans have watched for free for more than 80 years. Cal insists it has done as much as possible to minimize the environmental impact. The training complex is mostly underground, and a spacious plaza atop of the facility has an elaborate groundwater resource system designed to help the remaining trees. There are already 600 live oaks on campus, including huge stands in the Strawberry Canyon nature preserve. The school has pledged to plant three new trees for every removed tree, spending nearly $1 million - though the saplings wouldn't all be oaks. Until a court decides what's next, the protesters and the campus will be uneasy neighbors. Police say the tree-sitters are violating the law, but they don't currently intend to remove them. On Jan. 12, police removed most of the encampment below the protesters - everything from sleeping bags and chairs to laptop computers and a barbecue grill - because of public safety concerns with classes about to resume. The tree-sitters were allowed to stay, and more than 50 people turned out for a rally that afternoon.  One sign in the sea of protesters summed up the collective sentiment: "All we are saying is give trees a chance!"

"People have come forth that haven't been active in years, because they see that if you stand up for things, you can make a difference," Buckwald said. "You can almost hear the wheels turning: 'Here's a way that I can make a difference.'"


Contra Costa Times: Five top-rated prep offensive linemen, all friends, orally commit

Hey, guys, let's go block for Cal


BERKELEY — E-mails were zipping back and forth between some of the nation's top offensive line high school recruits.  They were sharing their thoughts about how great it would be to play at the same place, to become the foundation of a dynamic college offense.  That idea is about to become a reality at Cal.  As national letter-of-intent signing day Feb. 7 approaches, Cal coach Jeff Tedford has received verbal commitments from five blue-chip offensive line recruits. rates St. Ignatius Prep guard Matt Summers, Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks tackle Sam DeMartinis and Bakersfield offensive guard Justin Cheadle as four-star (with five being the highest rating) recruits.   Center Todd Huber of Palos Verdes Peninsula-Rolling Hills and guard/tackle Mitchell Schwartz of Palisades-Pacific Palisades were three-star recruits.  Of Cal's current 18 oral commitments, five are from offensive linemen. Tedford obviously has put the emphasis on building a wall of security for his future skill position players.   Coaches can't comment on recruits until they sign, but the players already are looking forward to working together in Berkeley.   "Basically, I learned from my coaches in high school that it all starts up front," DeMartinis said. "I believe that is 100 percent true. I know that Cal has put together a great offensive line class. We are going to do some damage in the next couple of years."  Through camps and recruiting trips, the future Cal linemen have become familiar with each other.

"We've been contacting each other through the Internet, and we already have formed a good bond," DeMartinis said. "We all knew that Cal was at the top of our list. We know that it is possible that we all could be starting next to each other one day." Huber said that besides the fact that they all are rated highly, they are a good mix. "The cool part is that I am a center, and we have two guards and two tackles," he said.  Tedford is a huge proponent of the power running game, and that strategy should be intact with the signing of the linemen, along with running backs Jahvid Best of Salesian and Shane Vereen of Valencia.  "I was pretty excited when I heard that Cal got Best and Vereen," DeMartinis said. "Those are the two fastest (running backs) in the state."  Great speed makes a lineman's job a lot easier," Huber said. "I realized that when I played in a (high school) all-star game in Florida."  Other than the glut of offensive linemen, Cal's verbal commitments are spread across the board.  Tedford addressed a huge issue when he received an verbal from Camarillo punter Bryan Anger. Current Cal punter Andrew Larson will be a senior next season, and the Bears don't have much depth at that position. currently ranks Cal's class as the 22nd best in the country. That rating will move much higher if Tedford can steal Long Beach Poly cornerback Donovan Warren away from USC. Cal is the underdog, but it remains in the mix.  No matter what Cal's national ranking will be, it has again been the dominant force in the East Bay, getting verbal commitments from arguably the top two talents in Best and San Lorenzo wide receiver Mike Calvin.  Calvin is likely to redshirt next season and then begin his career at the same time as Nyan Boateng, who announced last week that he is transferring from Florida to Cal. Boateng will have to sit out next season and then will be a junior.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Bear Insider: Bears Come Up Big On Defense

By Jim McGill

The Cal Bears finally got on the board on the defensive line in a big way today, receiving a commitment from one of their prime DL targets.   St. Louis Honolulu defensive end Scott Smith gave the Bears word today that he committed to Cal. The 6-7/240 Smith was a high priority for the Bears, with the impending graduation of defensive ends Nu’u Tafisi, Abu Ma’afala and Steve Kelly and a serious injury to Philip Mbakogu, who missed all of the 2006 season when his knee failed to respond to surgery.  “We’re very proud and very happy for Scott,” said Brenda

Read the entire article here.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

SF Examiner: Don't read too much into Tedford's deal


So the folks at Cal have announced that football coach Jeff Tedford just got a contract extension through 2013, which can mean but one thing:  He'll be out of here by month's end.  Maybe the Dolphins, or the Steelers, or maybe even the Raiders, though the pay cut and loss of station would seem to be deal-breakers. Maybe he'll take the USC job when Pete Carroll replaces Marty Schottenheimer, A.J. Smith and both Alex and Dean Spanos. Hey, in these treacherous times, any rumor is as good as gospel.  In fairness, there is no particular reason to think that Tedford just hooked up for four more years because he is ready to find a new gig. It only seems that way given the Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino and everybody-else-in-the-business stories. Indeed, the Onion just reported that Bill Parcells admits to having always hated football, and that's as convincing a tale as anything else concerning a coach these days.

But maybe it's only because Saban went a few too many lies over the line, or that Petrino has alternated between staying at Louisville and the next pretty pro job that comes along for the last five years. Or maybe it's Carroll as the biggest elephant in the herd while Schottenheimer's job is hanging by a spool of floss. Who knows?  But when Tedford's new deal becomes public record, presumably after the Cal Board of Regents stamps the deal on Thursday, the only significant bit of information we need to glean is the value of his buyout. Everything else is, well, silliness.  Four years? Why not 40? Why not a lifetime deal? You have to be willing to believe that he wants to be at Cal forever to think that the length of the contract matters, and frankly, that seems awfully far-fetched.  And when we say far-fetched, what we mean is preposterous.  This is not to say that Tedford isn't content at Cal, or that for the moment, he means what he intends to sign. Today, he seems happy, his wife seems happy, his sons, who are 20 and 18, seem happy. In addition, athletic director Sandy Barbour, whose three principal jobs seem to be trying to get Memorial Stadium prettied up without offending the Berkeley political establishment and handing out contract extensions to Tedford and men's basketball coach Ben Braun in alternate years, seems happy.

And Cal fans? Well, the ones who have decided that the Golden Bears weren't actually meant to go to the Rose Bowl and don't resent Tedford for not beating a superior USC team in L.A. in November, they're happy, too. Everybody's happy.  For now. It's a coaching contract in a market gone mad, in a business where the truth has been undermined to the point where every statement now falls under the heading "a lie in training."  You see, Saban and Petrino have helped turn the contract into confetti, and the words behind it into great and steaming whoppers with prepositional phrases on the side. In other words, nothing is as it seems, not even mutual respect and convenience.  The working logic as it pertains to Tedford's future at Cal always has been that once his kids had finished high school, he would be available for other offers, and that date soon will be passed. In other words, one of the biggest non-job factors keeping him at Cal has been reached.  All of which tells us what, exactly? Well, given the prevailing market, it means that 2013 is an affectation on a contract that at this point can be considered only year-to-year. It tells us that Cal understands its vulnerabilities with Tedford, especially, given the still-uncertain status of the stadium upgrade, and because he cannot be given the final word that the stadium will be upgraded, he at least can get a contractual promise that he can stay as long as he likes until the upgrade.

True, the previous deal included a retention bonus that, if he stayed through 2009, would have made the deal worth $10 million over the five years. How this new deal affects that clause remains unknown until the deal is approved by the board and released to the public.  But this is important when you recognize that Saban got $32 million over eight years to go to Alabama, because suddenly Tedford's looking at a market that is running away from his next deal, let alone the one he already has. At some point, the math simply becomes oppressive.  In other words, Jeff Tedford is the Cal coach today, but you should exhale only after all the other jobs for 2007 are filled. Then go year to year, because that's all you are promised, no matter what the news release says and no matter how the contract reads.  And if you all behave very, very well, Tedford will be up-front and honest when the itch to wander finally strikes. It might not make you feel any better when he does decide to find a new bliss, but you can take at least minimal comfort in the fact that using something as antiquated as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth would elevate him far above the current industry standard.  Besides, by 2013, he'll probably have had two other jobs, anyway.



Austin-American Statesman: It's never too early for a preseason top 25

Here is the link.

16. California

Will miss Marshawn Lynch, but Nate Longshore-to-Desean Jackson is an electrifying connection. Justin Forsett has to be a running threat and the defense needs an upgrade.

CSTV: Pre-Spring, Post-Bowl 2007 Preseason Top 25

Here is the link.

8. Cal

Nate Longshore and DeSean Jackson. That's nearly reason enough as the quarterback and wide receiver/special teamer make up the best deep threat combo in the country. Losing Marshawn Lynch won't be easy to stomach, but Justin Forsett has shown he's capable of stepping up for Cal.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

NBC Sports: Countdown to 2007

Top 10 Games of 2007


4. Tennessee (9-4) at California (10-3), Sept. 1

Vol quarterback Erik Ainge comes as close to his Oregon home as he will get during his college career. Last September 2 Tennessee humiliated the Golden Bears in Knoxville. Can Cal quarterback Nate Longshore, wideout/punt returner DeSean Jackson and tailback Justin Forsett return the disfavor? Maybe not, but the Bears have lost just two home games (one to USC) in head coach Jeff Tedford's three seasons.

Read the entire article here.

SF Chronicle: Cal signs Tedford to lengthy contract extension

Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer

Jeff Tedford and the University of California have reached an agreement on a contract extension that will keep the Cal football coach in Berkeley through 2013, pending approval by the UC Board of Regents.  Deputy athletics director Steve Holton confirmed the agreement and said approval could come as early as Thursday. Tedford is out of town and couldn't be reached for immediate comment, and athletics director Sandy Barbour is out of the country.  "Sandy has always been very alert to what the future holds. Having seen the success of the program and knowing where it's going, we wanted to make a commitment," Holton said. "To do that, we thought it was smart to keep Jeff as part of the program."  Terms of the new contract were not available. Tedford's previous compensation package was thought to be approximately $1.5 million a year, making him the second highest paid coach in the Pac-10 conference.  Tedford is 43-20 (.683 winning percentage) in five seasons, including leading the Bears to four consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history. He led Cal to a co-Pac-10 championship, a 10-win season, and a dominating win over Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl this year.  His name is often batted about as a possibility for openings in college and the NFL. Most recently, he was rumored to be getting interest from the Atlanta Falcons, the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers.

Through all the rumors, Tedford has showed that blue and gold blood has begun to pump through his veins.   After a practice late in the season, he greeted a fan and signed a football and a banner as they talked about Big Game viewing plans. After the team's Fan Appreciation Day, security guards tried to pull Tedford away from a drove of fans, but he wouldn't allow it.  "I'm going to stand here as long as they're willing to wait," he said.  Tedford told The Chronicle earlier in the year that he wouldn't entertain a move until his youngest son, Quinn, graduates from high school. He just finished his junior year at Monte Vista High in Danville.   After the 2004 season, in which Cal went 10-2 and reached a No. 4 national ranking, he received a five-year contract that will be worth $2 million a season if he collects a retention bonus for staying the length of the deal. Financial terms of his proposed extension weren't available, but should be public record when the deal is approved.



Monday, January 15, 2007

Online Petition in Support of Cal's Stadium Renovation Project

(Thanks to Jim for forwarding this to me.)





"An online petition has been developed to enable expressions of support for Cal's stadium renovation project.”


To: UC Berkeley and the City of Berkeley

The undersigned support the proposed stadium upgrade project at UC Berkeley and whole heartedly support the construction of the high performance athletic center at the proposed site. We believe Cal's football program has added significantly to the student experience at UC Berkeley and these additions and upgrades will further the program's success.

The new facility has been vetted by engineers and is environmentally sound. Trees that will be lost will be replaced in other parts of the campus, by three-fold.

It's time the voice of Cal fans is heard, that the 64,000 plus fans that attend Cal home games are heard. Cal football is an important and integral part to UC Berkeley and we believe these improvements are vital to its future.


The Undersigned


Saturday, January 13, 2007

San Jose Mercury News: SJSU's Thompson hired as Cal's LBs coach

BERKELEY, Calif. - California hired San Jose State assistant coach Kenwick Thompson on Friday to replace retiring linebackers coach Bob Foster.  Thompson was the Spartans' defensive tackles coach last season, playing a key role in their resurgence. He had been at San Jose State since 2001 after seven seasons at Texas Southern.  "He has visited our program before, and is familiar with our staff," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "We already have had a good relationship with him, and I have a lot of confidence in his abilities."  Foster announced his plans to retire after the Bears' victory over Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl. He coached for 39 years, including two stints at Cal.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Berkeley Daily Planet: Judge Orders Hearing for Suit Against UC

By Richard Brenneman

With a tentative date for a hearing on an injunction to impose a freeze on UC Berkeley construction plans at Memorial Stadium set for Jan. 23, attorneys were negotiating Thursday to define terms for an interim agreement. Meanwhile, the tree-in protest by opponents of the university’s plans to fell a stand of native Coastal Live Oaks next to the stadium entered its 42nd day today (Friday).  In a ruling issued Tuesday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ordered consolidation of three of the four lawsuits challenging the $300 million-plus in UC Berkeley development projects planned at and near the stadium.  A second hearing Thursday morning ended with the county court’s Presiding Judge George Hernandez setting the Jan. 23 hearing before Judge Barbara Miller in the court’s Hayward Branch.

Attorney Stephan Volker, who represents the California Oaks Foundation, said the judge rejected a request by UC Berkeley attorneys to issue a court order demanding the removal of protesters who are camped out in the branches on trees slated for demolition if the projects are approved. “They wanted to be able to erect a fence around the trees and to remove a redwood tree and to announce the contract for removal of the trees,” Volker said. “They want all the protesters out of there.” The tree-in has drawn national media attention, most recently with a major article in Thursday’s USA Today. The redwood in question is the current abode of Zachary Running Wolf, the former Berkeley mayoral candidate who launched the tree-in Dec. 2 by ascending the branches of a redwood in the grove adjacent to Memorial Stadium’s western wall. The activist was cited last month and ordered off-campus for a week, but he returned last week and reclimbed the redwood—where he is currently one of a half-dozen protesters inhabiting the foliage of the grove. It is that same tree the university asked Judge Hernandez for permission to ax. “They also asked for permission to prune the trees, and we’re negotiating that,” Volker said.  “I’m still here,” Running Wolf said Thursday afternoon, speaking by cell phone from his plywood platform high up in the threatened redwood. Told that the university had singled out his perch for destruction, the activist replied, “Of course. They know it’s our power base.”

As attorneys for the City of Berkeley, the Panoramic Hill Association and the California Oaks Foundation negotiate with university officials, the protesters are continuing to organize.  UC Berkeley students from Lothlorien Hall, a vegetarian coop at 2405 Prospect St., have joined the protest are occupying one of the six trees.  “We are hoping to get more coops involved, and we are going to be organizing among students when they return on the 15th,” Running Wolf said.  The protesters have also strung lines between five of the six trees they occupy that will allow quick traverses from one tree to another if university officials attempt to remove them from the branches, Running Wolf said.  “We’re really excited. We want to used the protest as an educational tool for understanding the importance of trees in the environment and the need to preserve old growth,” he said.  While the media’s attention has been drawn to the arboreal environmentalists, more pragmatic concerns have driven the city’s lawsuit, which charges that the university failed to consider all of the environmental impacts of a set of projects that will cost at least $330 million and result in massive loads of outgoing excavated earth and incoming building materials on crowded city streets.  Another concern is the impact on city emergency services and surrounding neighborhoods in the event of a disaster affecting projects built on or near the Hayward Fault, rated by federal geologists as the likeliest site of the next major Bay Area earthquake. All of the suits allege the university violated both the California Environmental Quality Act and the Alquist Priolo Act, which governs construction on active faults. A fourth suit, relying on similar grounds, was filed by fans of Tightwad Hill, the slope above the stadium where fans watch games for free. Volker said he expects that action to be joined with the others.  Levelling the grove is the crucial first step to develop the first of the university Southeast Campus Integrated Projects—construction of a 132,500-square-foot, four-story gym and office complex demanded by Cal Bears football coach Jeff Tedford before he would accept a seven-figure contract to coach what had been a losing team. Another demand, for renovations of the stadium itself, is slated to occur later in the course of the projects.