Swim With Mike fundraiser set for Sunday

Feel like doing something to help someone else?

Here’s your chance: On Sunday, Cal is hosting “Swim With Mike,” an annual swim-a-thon event that raises money for education to help physically challenged athletes who have overcome tragedy and are trying to realize their potential.


For more information, go to http://swimwithmike.org/


The event was established in 1981 after Mike Nyeholt, a three-time All-American swimmer at USC, became paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. The first event was held at USC, but “Swim With Mike” now also holds events at Cal, Stanford, Hawaii, UConn and UC San Diego.

Sunday’s event at Berkeley will be held at Spieker Aquatics Complex from 2 to 4 p.m.

If you’re feeling energetic, you can swim, run, walk, cycle or participate in other activities. Otherwise, you can simply pledge money.

Former Cal water polo players Mike Sample and Bryan Schnugg are primary organizers for the Berkeley event. Also helping plan the day are Austin Whitney and Kie Fujii, two current Cal law school students who are past recipients of “Swim With Mike” scholarships.

Tod Spieker has pledged to match every dollar raised at Swim With Mike — Cal. Spieker was an All-American swimmer at UCLA and is the brother of Edward “Ned” Spieker, who provided major funding for the aquatics facility.

According to the SWM website, the 2011 and 2012 Cal men’s and women’s NCAA championship swimming and diving Teams will be participate, along with the 2010 NCAA runnerup, and 2006 and 2007 Cal men’s water polo teams that won NCAA titles.

Click here to download the donation sheet: http://swimwithmike.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/SWM12_SponsorSheet_4page.pdf



Football: A lump in your throat for 11 minutes

Do you remember John Tuggle?

Bill Parcells will never forget him.

Tuggle played on Joe Kapp’s first team at Cal, a senior in the fall of 1982. He was the last player selected in the ’83 NFL draft, taken by Parcells, a rookie head coach with the New York Giants.

If you don’t mind fighting some emotions, check out ESPN’s latest 30 For 30 Short Film: The Irrelevant Giant, by Shaun Silva and Don Lepore. Very nice work.


Football: Tyre Ellison embraces 49ers pro day

If Tyre Ellison is a football household name, it’s only in his family’s San Francisco household.

He spent five seasons on the Cal football team and never earned a starting assignment. Until now, his biggest football moment may have been deflecting a two-point conversion pass to clinch his team’s win in the 2012 Cal spring game.

But on Wednesday afternoon, Ellison was among more than 50 recent college football seniors who showed off their stuff in front of the 49ers coaching staff at the club’s local pro day in Santa Clara.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Ellison said, “but it’s still football at the end of the day.”

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Football: Zach Maynard says Keenan Allen is coping well despite drug-test controversy

Former Cal quarterback Zach Maynard said half-brother and first-round NFL draft hopeful Keenan Allen is coping well, despite an ESPN report this week that his drug test at the combine was red-flagged.

“He’s not down at all,” Maynard said Wednesday after participating in the 49ers’ local pro day in Santa Clara. “I guess he was over-hydrated — that’s what they said about it. I don’t know what they’re going to do about it.”

Allen’s agent, J.T. Johnson, maintains the ESPN report is incorrect.

Twelve former Cal players participated in Wednesday’s event, but Allen was not among them. Neither were center Brian Schwenke and defensive back Marc Anthony,

Maynard said he’s not sure what happened in Allen’s situation, but suggested the test could have been faulty.

“It can happen to anybody. I tell him not to get down on himself because he had an amazing pro day,” Maynard said. “The guy’s a high-caliber athlete. He knows what he can do. There’s down times for everybody but he can pull himself out of it.”

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Basketball: Bears add some size with Rooks

The Cal basketball team got what it needed most on Wednesday — size.
On the first day of the spring signing period, the Golden Bears secured 7-foot, 280-pound center Kameron Rooks of Mission Hills High in San Marcos. Rooks oriinally committed to Cal back on Jan. 1.
Rated the nation’s No. 22 center prospect by ESPN, Rooks is the son of Sean Rooks, who played for Arizona two decades ago when Cal coach Mike Montgomery was at Stanford.
“He told me (Montgomery) is a good big man’s coach, he knows how to teach big men the right stuff,” Rooks said of his dad’s input.
“I am happy to have a Rooks on my side for a change after some great battles with his dad through the years,” Montgomery said.
Rooks will be a valuable piece in the Cal frontline. Starting forwards Richard Solomon and David Kravish return, but departing walkon Robert Thurman, who played well in two NCAA tournament games, gave the Bears their only real girth up front.
“I expect to play as hard as I can and be a dominant force inside. That doesn’t have to be scoring. I’m going to try to get rebounds, anything to help the team.”
Montgomery said Rooks “has an unlimited future.”
Rooks joins a strong four-man recruiting class headlined by Jabari Bird, a five-star shooting guard from Salesian-Richmond. Rivals.com has rated the Cal class among the top-20 in the nation.
Cal still has two open scholarships after freshman forward Kaileb Rodriguez decided to transfer. Rodriguez did not play in 2012-13.

Swimming: Cal-bound Franklin wins Sullivan

Cal-bound swimmer Missy Franklin, who won four gold medals at the London Olympics last summer, took home the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete on Tuesday night.

Still a month shy of her 18th birthday, Franklin is a senior at Regis Jesuit HS in Denver.

“This award means a lot to me because of how much I’ve given up to be amateur,” Franklin said at the awards ceremony hosted by the Amateur Athletic Union in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “I absolutely love being an amateur athlete, and to be a part of something so special that honors that is amazing.”

Franklin, the most decorated athlete at the London Games, joins past Sullivan winners including Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Frank Shorter and Shawn Johnson.

She is the 11th swimmer to win in the 83-year history of the award, the first since Phelps in 2003.

“I’m looking at awards won before me, and there’s Tracy Caulkins and Bruce Jenner and Peyton Manning. It’s incredible,” Franklin said. “All these athletes have won the award. It’s such an honor. I can’t believe my picture’s going up next to theirs.”




Basketball: Rooks set to sign at 11 a.m.

The Cal basketball program will get a lot bigger at about 11 a.m. today, when 7-foot, 280-pound Kameron Rooks intends to sign his national letter-of-intent at Mission Hills High in San Marcos.

Rooks is rated a three-star prospect and will be a valuable piece in the Cal frontline beginning next season. Forwards Richard Solomon and David Kravish return, but departing walkon Robert Thurman, who played well in two NCAA tournament games, gave the Bears their only real girth up front.

Rooks, the son of former Arizona star Sean Rooks, is not a finished product, especially on offense. He said he hopes to lose at least 10 pounds, improve his jumping ability, get stronger and “get in college shape.”

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Football: Bears get commit from junior wideout

Jalen Harvey, a junior wide receiver from El Cerrito HS, gave Cal an oral commitment, according to Rivals.com and Scout.com.

A 6-foot-1, 175-pounder, Harvey is rated as a three-star prospect by both websites. Scout reported that Oregon also offered Harvey, but wanted to use him as a defensive back.

He is the second member of the Class of 2014 to commit to the Bears, joining Koa Farmer, a four-star “athlete” from Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks.


Football: Heavy Cal presence at 49ers pro day

Keenan Allen won’t be there, but there will be a significant Cal presence Wednesday at the 49ers’ local pro day workout in Santa Clara.

Allen’s agent told me the wide receiver won’t be in the Bay Area on Wednesday.

Here’s a rundown of former Cal players expected to show their stuff to the 49ers: RB C.J. Anderson, CB Marc Anthony, DB Josh Hill, QB Zach Maynard, DL Kendrick Payne, C Brian Schwenke, RB Isi Sofele, FB Eric Stevens, G Matt Summers-Gavin, DT Aaron Tipoti, CB Steve Williams.