Football: Lupoi exit fallout


Still awaiting a response from Cal and coach Jeff Tedford, who we are told was on a plane this morning. Expect to talk with him later when the question of the day, of course, is to what lengths did he and Cal go to keep Tosh Lupoi from bolting to Seattle.

It seems not all the current players knew this was coming.

Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Gabe King, on Twitter this afternoon, said of Lupoi’s exit: “he bounced, no call, no text, no subtle insinuation… Nothing.”

In the meantime, quick reaction from Cal commits:

WR Bryce Treggs tweeted: “Tosh leaving has no affect on my recruitment. I’m still solid with Cal”

And he added: “No disrespect to Coach Lupoi though. He was a great coach and a even better person”

And: “Cal’s ranking as the #1 public university in the world can’t leave and go to another school.”

From another Cal recruit whose dad played for the Bears: “@HardyNickerson: Nothing will make me change my mind I committed to cal not to a person so it’s #calgang for life”

For others, the choice is now less clear.

Arik Armstead, who may have planned to commit this morning to Cal, tweeted: “ish just got real”

Reached by the Sacramento Bee, Armstead said, “Tosh was a big reason I’d go 2 Cal.”  Added, now “I’ve got more to think about.” Armstead told the Bee he may announce Tuesday now.

This, regarding safety Shaq Thompson: @TaraFOXSports Just got off the phone with 5-star S Shaq Thompson, who says he is now torn,”I am 50-50 between #Cal and #Washington.”

Obviously, Cal’s coaches are already in damage-control mode. And if you’re defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast or DBs coach Ashley Ambrose, you’re telling Thompson that he wasn’t going to be playing for Lupoi anyway, unless he was bulking up and moving to D-line. So why would Lupoi’s departure cause him to change schools.

There will be panic in the air about this for the short term, but if Cal’s coaches play this right they have time to patch things up. This is why oral commitments are non-binding. Teen-agers change their minds. Nothing is official until papers are signed on Feb. 1.


Jeff Faraudo

  • 1brsfan

    This is why student athletes are advised to choose a school not a coach. What happens when Lupoi leaves UW for a DC position in 2-3 years? You’re stuck at a school that was not your top choice and without a coach. If they felt comfortable at Cal they should stick with Cal.

  • Suttree

    This will be quite some test for Tedford. If he can hold this class together it will be a major feat. Interested to hear what he has to say.

  • RWCBear

    Someone needs to start a spreadsheet tracking which recruits are still on board and which are wavering. My head is spinning from trying to keep track.

    Ge Bears! Let’s keep the Cal Gang together!

  • Juancho

    Shaq is fifty fifty. Mccarthy is reconsidering. Treggs kline n harper n powe still solid.

    Not sure on jordan payton.

    Armstead delayed decision until tomorrow.

    I wonder how many of the top guys still considering us commit. Darius hamilton, aziz shittu, dj foster, yuri wright, stefon diggs, etc.

    To simplify though it comes down to shaq and armstead. If armstead sticks with cal i think so does shaq. If shaq bolts i tjink this class falls apart.

  • Suttree

    True Shaq is the key…

  • rollonubears

    1brsfan, I agree completely. Unfortunately, most of the top recruits have realistic visions of the NFL, and you have to put yourself in the best possible position, to get the best possible coaching, and the highest possible draft selection. Cal has the facilities, and certainly with a good recruiting class, we’ll have the exposure, but for defensive lineman, I could understand why they might be concerned. This really shouldn’t affect Shaq though. Even Armstead, who will be great no matter where he goes, should still be a solid Cal guy. He can play hoops. He could shift to o-line if it means that much to him. And I still think we’ll get a solid d-line coach. The biggest thing is that Lupoi got in close with these guys (wearing a big C), and then dumped them without warning. I’d be so pissed at Lupoi, as a recruit, and I don’t know how anyone can take him seriously at Washington now. Not only is he not a true UW guy. He can’t be trusted to stick around. I’d be willing to bet we offered Lupoi about 50-100k more to stay, which is still half of what he’s getting up there. How do you justify paying your line coach 500k though, when most DCs don’t even make that much in the NCAA? You’d have rampant animosity amongst the others, and that’s exactly what you’re going to have amongst the coaches at UW. So when you strip this all down, it was basically an underhanded move by Sarkesian to dismantle the Cal momentum. It’s going to backfire on them long term, but it could really hurt us short-term. And I now hate UW more than any other program.

  • Crawford

    How did Tedford let this happen? What a joke, its time for head coaching change

  • Juancho

    The story is shaq knew he was considering it and they talked last night. That is shady.

    Ill be at the bars in san francisco this evening. Ill be e depressed looking mexican guy in a cal track jacket.

  • 1brsfan

    @rollonubears: I agree with you that Lupoi should lose credibility with some of the recruits. How can you sell Cal so hard one day and then go to UW? If he really wants what is best for the players he should tell them to stick with their verbal commitment to Cal. If Cal was best for them yesterday it should be the best for them today. Disappointing but I was never 100% sold that all of these commits would end up signing with Cal on national signing day. I figured a few would defect so I’m not completely devastated.

  • H8sRed

    All the anger with Tedford is misplaced. Tosh just transformed himself from a good guy and a great recruiter to a money wh@re. Sure he has a right to seek greener (pun intended) pastures, but to do so two weeks before LOI day, when your alma mater is on the cusp of a major recruiting breakthrough is unconscionable.

    Tedford took a chance on Tosh years ago and nurtured him into the recruiter and coach he is today. Tosh returned the favor by spitting in Tedford’s eye. Actually, if I were one of the recruits, there’s no way I would follow a turncoat like Tosh to UW.

    Seems to me also that the Pac-12, if not the NCAA, should have a no poaching policy in place for at least 30 days prior to LOI day.

  • rollonubears
  • discdude

    I can’t read that Rollon, maybe you can paraphrase? But if it’s a bunch of supposition on Biggin’s part, without actual first hand knowledge, I don’t trust it at all. That guy has been proven wrong more than once.

  • Gobears49

    Cal should have upped the offer. Hell, Tosh has been so much of a part to make Cal at least respectable that Tedford should have offered to forego part of his ludicrous salary to keep him.

  • ThisisCal

    According to that article, Tosh is trying to lure Shaq Thompson to washington. What a disaster this is becoming.

  • Suttree

    One good thing is Treggs, Kline, Tagaloa, Powe are all circling the wagons. Lots of tweets from the majority of our kids saying they are still solid. #CalGang!

  • Will

    Other take away from the article – he visited Shaq at his home to tell him he was considering going to UW, while he didn’t even bothering telling his own team (Gabe King seemed caught off guard)

  • rollonubears

    Yes, the article says Lupoi contacted Shaq last night to tell him he was thinking about going to UW. Then called him today to invite him up there.

    I’m liking the core group we have more and more. Hope they can add to it. And I hope Shaq stays (it’s his brother’s alma mater for goodness sakes!).

    This should still be an awesome class, with a fire in their belly to destroy what has quickly become a big division rival.

  • discdude

    I just want to know how Biggins knows this…did he talk to Shaq or Tosh? Or did he hear it 3rd hand? I just find it hard to believe either would say something about that at this point. I can’t read the article, but I’m curious.

  • Dawgfan

    No offense but what did u expect tosh to do? Cal is a great school in a beautiful setting but when you factor inthe fact the state of Washington doesn’t have a state sales tax and the cost of living in Seattle versus the bay area if tosh is going to make 500,000 at uw it would be the same as making 700,000 at cal. If your boss walked into your office tomorrow and offered to quadruple your pay who wouldn’t take that? You’d be a fool not to.

    It’s not sark’s fault. It’s tedford’s. You guys spent way too much on the stadium renovation. And uw football generates 10 million more in revenue per year than cal football and that is before the new husky stadium. Washington drew 60000 fans a game when we were 0-12. I remember watching the game last year at the end of season with a bowl game on the line and the last game before the remodel and memorial stadium was 60 percent empty.

  • rollonubears

    Oh, one other thing. How about the guys on the team from last year? Are they all solid, or are some of them going to take a year off and head out as well? That would be a shame.

  • Bears

    I sang Lupoi’s praises and he’s obviously a good recruiter but he left us for huge huge huge money. Wonder where UW gets that kind of cash for a DL coach?
    If Tosh left Cal, really thought it would be for a DC position. Not just cash.
    Question I have now is what does the rest of Cal’s coaching staff have up their sleeve?
    Were all these recruits really only coming to Cal because of Lupoi or was he just a part of what makes Cal great? Top school, great location, Pac 12, new facilities, other top coaches.
    We’ll see what Cal and the staff have up their sleeve to close recruiting strong. Bet this got their competitive juices going. Will be very interesting to see if these great recruits just saw Tosh or all that is Cal…I’m hoping they want to be at Cal and like the rest of the coaching staff. DL coach will obviously be important for the DL recruits.

  • discdude

    I really don’t think anyone faults him for the move from a salary standpoint (ok, maybe some do, but they aren’t rational), but it’s the timing that is suspect.

    Enjoy him while you have him, Dawg. But if Wilcox is as successful as you hope he might be, Tosh is there only a few years and then moving on. DL and “run game” coordinator is just a stopping point if you can’t move up to DC.

  • rollonubears

    Washington’s stadium was nearly empty the last 3 games I saw on tv, prior to last year. I don’t see how they make that much more than we do, but I’ll take your word for it.

    Yeah, I’d bolt for 4x the salary, but I wouldn’t poach my clients on the way out the door. That’s reprehensible.

    Shaq Thompson reeling after Lupoi news
    January, 16, 2012

    By Greg Biggins
    Defensive back Shaq Thompson (Sacramento, Calif./Grant) committed to Cal officially at the U.S Army All-American Bowl, but the truth is he had been a silent commit to the Bears for months. With the news Monday morning that Cal DL coach Tosh Lupoi is leaving for Washington, Thompson said his recruitment is now totally up in the air.

    “I don’t know what I’m doing to do,” Thompson said. “I know this is a business and everyone has to do what’s best for them, but this one still hurts. I’ve known Tosh forever. He has been recruiting me for the last three years and, even though he won’t be my position coach, he’s a big reason I got interested in Cal in the first place.

    “He came in for a home visit last night and told me he was thinking about taking the UW job and wasn’t sure what he was going to do. I had heard the rumors for the last week but thought there was no way he was going to leave. Then he called me this morning and said UW gave him an offer that he couldn’t refuse and he was leaving. He asked if I would be interested in looking at Washington and said he wants to come back and visit me next week.”

  • rollonubears

    This is redefining how colleges do business. You can’t play the players so you throw 4million at the coaches. Now it’s almost a million on “the closer.”

  • discdude

    Thanks Rollon…I’m calling Shaq solid and welcoming him to Cal next fall, despite all of this. You don’t go to a school because of one person, especially if that person isn’t even your position coach. But if he switches, oh well, not much you can do but move on.

  • 1brsfan

    Sounds to me like Shaq feels betrayed by Tosh saying that the Tosh’s decision still hurts. I’d be surprised if he followed him to UW. I think he was one of the reasons why he loved Cal but not the only reason as he was never going to be his coach. We’ll know in a few weeks.

  • rollonubears

    I hope he stays. I loved watching Syd. It’d be great for him to be in Cal uniform, and I think the rest of the calgang agrees.

  • Dawgfan

    I agree that recruiting is ridiculous and cutthroat. We lost our db coach to ucla and he has since flipped four commits to ucla. It is the nature of college football today. If you don’t Play the game you’re gonna get stomped.

    In 2010 uw’s football revenue was 34 million. Cal’s was 24 million. That was obviously before the PAC 12 media deal.

    The current uw admin will pay any amount of money necessary to win. And that’s the difference. We are tired of losing.

  • H8sRed

    So if Biggins article is true, Tosh was recruiting Shaq for UW while still an employee of Cal. Such ethics (or lack thereof) would not make me want to follow him. It also leaves Tosh and UW as potential defendants in a hefty lawsuit.

  • abe

    First. Steve Sarkisian just became public enemy number 2, Mack Brown is still holding steady at 1.
    Second: while we may never learn how we let this happen, any chance of Cal football ever winning the conference just got buried for the foreseeable future.

  • discdude

    The results will still be determined on the field Dawgfan and Abe. Either UW and Cal will get better in the next year or two, or both head coaches and their staffs will get fired. They are remarkably similar, actually, in that both the coach and the staff got paid a lot this year for 7 win seasons. Well, except for the fact that 2002 to 2004 (Tedford’s first 3 years) far trumps anything Sark has done so far.

    We’ll just have to wait and see what the 2012 season brings. I’m positive Cal will be better next year, I’m just not sure how much.

  • randumbear

    Still no word from Tedford. Long plane ride.

  • go8ears

    this was a cold move by tosh. i don’t care how much money uw offered him. he’s a traitor. i don’t wanna see anybody trying to justify his motive for deserting cal his own alma mater. this news makes me sick!

  • Easy Ed

    Nice work Tosh. You contact Shaq and recruit him while an employee of Cal. While still working for Cal you tell him you’re thinking of leaving and then when you accept the UW position you invite him to join you? You’ll fit in just fine with the other ex Trojan low lifes on Washington’s coaching staff. BTW Arik I don’t care what Tosh is saying to you about Washington, it ain’t Cal and never will be!

  • Will

    It’s not so much the fact that he left that bothers me – he was likely going to leave at some point, and the pay increase is hard to resist. It’s the timing and circumstances of the move that raise eyebrows, and make me lose respect for the guy. At least have a spine and inform your own players of the move – don’t tell a potential recruit that you’re thinking of leaving before telling the current players that you coach.

  • go8ears

    that’s what i am mad about – thanks for clarifying it for me. f him. let’s get someone else awesome to replace that POS.

  • Jim

    As to attendance at Mutt games – the xenophobic, hydrophobic Mutts have little else to do in Seattle. Any visitor to the Dawgman pages will immediately see the low level of literacy of the Mutts faithful.

    As to Seattle being “greener” … lol
    Seattle may still call itself the Emerald City but the clear-cuts through the woods, replacing trees with strip malls, have destroyed the scenery. Seattle is now the “Grey Ghost” … grey skies, grey concrete, everything grey, not green.
    Seattle’s weather is a massive post-nasal drip.
    Mutt fans are massive drips (to be most polite).

  • eric

    Didn’t I say last week that UW was trying to lure Tosh?

    Didn’t others say he was a Cal through and through, and said no way?

    Didn’t I say we needed to pay him what he is worth, because just because he is a Cal guy who is A+ at recruiting doesn’t mean he doesn’t go try his luck at UW to position himself for a head coaching job (a la Wilcox and Oregon, and maybe Tosh after 2015, when Tedford’s contract is up).

    I’d like to find out what exactly went down. Maybe Tosh is just a predator who wants $$ (though, below the head coaching ranks, can you blame anyone?) or maybe he sees where the future is headed.

  • eric

    Funny how the usual suspects who blindly support Tedford no matter what immediately turn on a guy as a traitor and a “wh$re.” This is the same guy who made Cal’s last three recruiting classes, and took the fall for the Oregon playing injured fiasco last year.

    Nice work, fellas.

    I hope Tosh does well, because maybe he’ll be the right choice to be HC a few years down the road.

  • go8ears

    i am calling Trash a traitor but i am not one of the usual, blind supporters of Tedford just to set the record straight. regardless of his past doings, this hurts Cal football program in many ways. if he cared about it, he could’ve handled this in a lot better way to minimize the fallout that now we are facing. the sh*t now will get only worse. i dread what news tomorrow will bring.

  • Rollonubears

    Lipois recent antics make it hard to believe anyone other than he was to blame for the Oregon flopping.

  • Jan K Oski

    I’m with GoBears. Lupoi is a traitor and a cheater. There I said it. Let’s not forget this guy told his player to cheat against the ducks. I kept silent, because everyone was Tosh this and Tosh that, but the fact is he thought it was acceptable to cheat. That’s the one thing I respect Tedford for, cheating isn’t acceptable. Thirdly, I haven’t been awed by the performance of his line, since he has been their coach. Yet, there are two former players in the NFL. I look forward to a coach who can get his great lineman double digit sacks. That never happened at Cal under Lupoi. Let’s give someone else a chance.

    Go BEARS!

  • go8ears

    RGBearTerritory Ryan Gorcey
    hearing the Oregon debacle played a HUGE part in Lupoi leaving #Cal, from multiple sources.


    if he had a beef with tedford, he should’ve settled it between the two, not against and at the expense of the school, program, team, players, and their fans that cheered for his success. that some people are now saying that tedford “threw him under the bus” as an excuse is weak at best. that Trash exactly knew what would hurt Cal the most.

  • rollonubears

    Amen Jan K. Haven’t seen a d-line sack in 2 years. And little if any pressure on the quarterback.

    By the way, can monty and tedford do a double-team on Armstead to make sure he makes it to class tomorrow?

  • randumbear

    really, really long plane ride. why no statement from tedford or the university? Hmmm.

  • wehofx

    Checking for updates.

    Jeff, great job while being overworked. That said, do you think you/anyone will get the story on why Tosh left? Why JT didn’t do more to keep him?

    JK and Roll, I didn’t think of it but you’re right about Tosh’s D lines. Maybe that’s one of the reasons he didn’t make Tosh a BIG $$$ Assistant.

    I still like Tosh but if he’s really trying to poach Shaq and McC, then I will reconsider. (As far as Tosh MAYBE being the dc or hc in the future, the guy is 30 and has never been out of the East Bay. Ever. He’s never been homesick. The guy needs life experience.)

    Finally, jt identified Tosh potential and nutured it. He will find someone to replace Tosh.

  • Esquire Joe

    After reading that ESPN article on Tosh, I am floored by his behavior here. I wonder what his grandfather would think about him leaving Cal on the eve of the signing deadline for nothing more than a bigger paycheck. If UW really wanted him and his recruiting/coaching skills, they would have waited until Spring. If Tosh maximized his price by agreeing to woo Cal commits away, he’s even worse than I thought he was.

  • wehofx

    Randum, JT & Co are doubtless on nonstop emergency firefighting duty till Arik commits and prolly till loi.

  • Juancho

    So now reports are armstead was set to snnounce his cal committment today. Then he got the news now hes waiting for registrar office to open tomorrow and will announce for notre dame with brother.

    Lupoi is a piece of garbage who sold us up the river. Hes not welcone back.

  • Juancho

    Lupoi is fredo from the godfather movies. I told one of my baseball kids about this and he ummediately said “why didnt this guy wait until after signing period, bc now it sounds dirty”. Thats a 13 year olds reaction. And its right. Lupoi shoukd have told sarkisian ill join but after feb 1. Or if its before all cal commits are off limits. Now hes just a big phony who pur homself before our school.