Football: Tedford weighs in on athletics

Jeff Tedford said today that he feels bad about the sports that were cut from Cal’s athletic program yesterday and that the football  program will continue to try to be creative in cutting costs.

“The football budget has been reduced. We do everything we can,” Tedford said. “It’s a team effort. Everybody has to shoulder the burden of the budget crisis and things like that. We try everywhere we can to make sure that we’re very responsible with the budget and do our part.

“It’s unfortunate that athletes and coaches have to make different plans. It’s never a pleasant situation when something like that happens. It’s unfortunate, but something that needed to be done. We’re going to continue to do our part to make sure we’re responsible financially.”

Just to clarify, Tedford’s annual salary, which comes out to $2.8 million per season, doesn’t have much effect on the athletic department’s operating budget. Only a little over $200,000 of it is paid for by athletics. The overwhelming majority of his salary is paid through private donations.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • rollonubears

    JT has brought more $ in to cal athletics than any individual in history. Seriously. By putting Cal back on the map and averaging over 50k bodies at memorial since 2002, he’s made a mega impact, and the athletes, coaches and fans of the surviving sports owe him a debt of gratitude, if nothing more. I still don’t think he’s doing a 2.8mm coaching job. that’s sort of ridiculous, really. but thanks for setting the record straight about the 200k. tired of hearing people try to link tedford to the school’s athletic problems. quite the contrary.

  • Bobby

    “Just to clarify, Tedford’s annual salary, which comes out to $2.8 million per season, doesn’t have much effect on the athletic department’s operating budget. Only a little over $200,000 of it is paid for by athletics. The overwhelming majority of his salary is paid through private donations.”


    So many people commenting on the cuts do not understand this extremely critical point. Rollon nails it: this is not football’s problem. Not at all. Baseball needs to find their own donors; maybe Kent, Navy et al can rally some support?

    Also, I wonder if the Athletic Department will consider bringing baseball back once the renegotiated TV contract nets more revenue for Cal.

  • Bobby

    Whoops, meant Nady

  • Eric

    Can someone please answer what happens if the University were to terminate Tedford’s contract early? If $2.6 million is paid by private donations, would the University be on the hook if it terminated early?

  • Bobby

    Eric, always the optimist.

    You’d imagine the donors would get their money back.

  • Eric

    I don’t think that answers my question. If the University were to fire Tedford today, presumably the University would be obligated to pay the net present value of whatever Tedford would be owed for the remainder of the contract term (which, if his contract goes until 2014 or 2015, would be millions of dollars). Is that the case even if private donors pay the salary due under contract? If yes, then the University is hostage to a burdensome contract (if you subscribe to the view that Tedford is overpaid) and thus cannot get out of the deal in this distressed economic environment even if it wanted to hire a younger coach. That would be unfortunate, especially in light of the cuts just made.

    Of course, if another school wanted to take Tedford and thereby mitigate the damages, that would solve the problem, but it has been a while since I have Tedford’s be in the mix for any other school or NFL team. Certainly another AD would have to be pretty desparate to pay $2.8 mm a year for Tedford now.

  • Rocko

    Has CAL ever fired a football coach mid season? I can’t recall any. Do you have a copy of his contract?

  • CM

    Well Tom Holmoe was fired/forced to resign in the middle of the 2001 season.

  • Bears07

    Pardon the bluntness, but get a life guys. Tedford’s no Holmoe and Sandy Barbour isn’t firing your most hated Cal football coach any time soon, let alone mid-season. The whole point of the contract extension was to see what he could do with the new facilities. And no, the bungalows on the rugby field don’t count as the “new facilities”.

  • rollonubears

    tedford’s here through 2015. we might as well get used to it. doesn’t mean we can’t apply the pressure to take a more aggressive “play with nothing to lose” approach like he brought to the team in 2002, though.

  • Ho

    seriously? you don’t think Tedford wants this team to be successful? you seriously think Tedford is happy with the way things are going right now?

  • rollonubears

    yes, i think he is happy with the way things are going right now, and he thinks the team is fine and just caught a couple bad breaks in the last game.

  • Bobby

    He can think the team is fine and still be unhappy with their record

  • rollonubears

    that’s exactly how i feel. team is fine. record is not. and the reason the record is not, is not because of the team.

  • Juancho

    Did the football stadium redo and new facilities have anything to do with the athletics budget being gone? Or was that money from private donors. I’m ignorant on the situation. Please advise.

  • BlueNGold

    I seem to recall that Tedford’s current contract was put in place a few years ago. At the time, it was perceived that there were other schools and pro teams that wanted to hire him away from Cal. I do not recall any people, or at least a significant number, complaining about his new salary and contract at the time. Of course, a lot has changed since then. The national and state economies is are the tank, Cal as a whole has had to deal with substantial cuts in state funding, and the football team, and Tedford by extension, are perceived by many as underachieving and not living up to abilities and expectations.

    Clearly, what is now being viewed by some as an extravagant and perhaps unnecessary expenditure on a coach’s salary was looked upon as necessary and justified at the time the decision was made. It just goes to show that issues of this nature have to be evaluated in a broader context than simply the here and now. Cal could probably have hired a football coach at a much smaller salary, but with the horrid memories of the Holmoe/ Gilbertson era fresh in people’s minds, I am sure the people involved in the decision at the time thought it was the right thing and best for moving the program forward.

    Hindsight is a lot easier than having a clear vision of the future.

  • Juancho

    How much does Barbour make?

  • rollonubears

    i think most people would be fine with 2.8mm, regardless of the economy, as long as they get 2.8mm results. we’re not getting those results. the salary was to lock him up long term, and what we got was something more like aaron rowand in return.

  • 2x Gldn

    You can’t look at JT’s salary in isolation. He’s being compensated for being able to deliver the results he did while at Cal, not Oregon. Up until JT, we basically had 50 years of misery (except ’91). He’s overpaid because he’s able to deliver decent football results while getting his players to study, graduate, not steal (or some other criminal offense) and having the worst facilities in the conference, by far.

    It’s the same reason Greg Schiano can go 8-5 and 9-4, but make $2.25MM at Rutgers or June Jones makes $2.0MM at SMU.

    Yes, he should be making strides in the program and playing the brand of football that fans want to see. But, I do see him improving in areas (new DC, new ST coach, keeping RB coach Gould, giving Tosh more recruiting responsibility) and hope he will continue to do so. Now if we go 3-5 the rest of the way, he’s going to have some ‘splainin to do.

  • GldnBear71

    I do not believe we are receiving the benefits from being the second highest paid coach in the Pac 10 and the highest paid employee in the state.

  • oski88

    Tedford was the second highest paid coach in the Pac 10 for years. He delivered the second best record in the Pac 10 since he has been here – only Carroll had a better record.

    Now, JT is the third highest paid coach in the Pac 10.

    JT record is market average for a team that is 8-4 consistently – which is what his teams are. Are you all surprised that coaches make a lot of money? they are not janitors. These guys get paid a lot, and JT is not the only one. Get over the salary issue – it is stupid.