Football: Chris McCain dismissed from team

Coach Sonny Dykes announced Sunday that junior defensive end Chris McCain has been dismissed from the team due to “conduct detrimental to the team.”

Dykes said he would have no comment on the matter until after Monday’s practice, but McCain’s issues did not involve academics or legal trouble.

It’s the latest setback for the Bears (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) and comes the day after their 55-16 loss at No. 2 Oregon.

McCain, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound native of Greensboro, N.C., was an honorable mention all-Pac-12 linebacker last season.

He was moved to defensive end during spring ball, then briefly lost his scholarship after spring semester because of academic shortcomings. But Dykes gave McCain the chance to earn back his scholarship with a strong performance during summer school, and McCain got it done.

McCain entered this season as the team’s active leader in sacks and tackles for loss. His 16 career starts were the most by any Cal player.

McCain was ejected from the season-opening game against Northwestern after being flagged for “targeting.” The latter ruling later was overturned, but he sat out the Bears’ game against Portland State with a concussion and has had marginal impact on a defense that is allowing 45.3 points per game, worst in the Pac-12.

Cal already has played this season without defensive end Brennan Scarlett, regarded as perhaps the team’s most talented defensive player. Scarlett never has been cleared medically after breaking his hand twice last season, then undergoing surgery.

JC transfer Sione Sina is redshirting due to a knee injury that has not allowed him back on the practice field.

Kyle Kragen, another JC transfer, started in place of McCain at Oregon, although McCain played and recorded three tackles.


Jeff Faraudo

  • Drizzlyboy

    McCain has great potential. I hope he can rebound, straighten himself, and find a new opportunity (though but not in the PAC12). After attending last night’s loss I hope that no matter how our good or bad our performance on the field is, at the very least I’d like our team, our school, and our fans to be known as class acts. I wish McCain the best and hope Dykes is making the right decision here.

  • Juancho

    What a weird weekend.

  • Josh

    Um. What. The. Fack??

  • al

    And the hits keep coming! It’s adding more insult to insults & injuries. This season can’t end soon enough! I expect next season to be different & fully expected this year to be bad – but not THIS bad.

  • covinared

    Shows character counts. Tedford ignored that in Mcains recruiting class. Cal is paying for it now.

  • Steve W

    Good riddance. He was the biggest disappointment on the field this season after several promising games last year. I have heard this young man being interviewed a couple of times, and no way he was going to pick up his dimploma at Cal anyway.

  • dan

    He is/was part of the whole Caroline connection – McCain, Maynard, Allen, Maurice Harris and Gabe King- that came here with so much excitement and promise. Maynard and Allen were both detrimental to the Cal program- Allen despite a prolific receiving career- and now McCain joins the other two in leaving a seriousy negative residue.

    Can you imagine Stanford recruiting these tyoe of guys? No way. This is EXACTLY why we got blown of the field last night and still more evidence of what a disservice Tedford did to this program the past several years. Tedford sold his soul to get Allen – that has really worked out- and the prgram continues to suffer.

    You don’t breed “team’, brotherhood, family and winning with these type of guys. These guys are not worthy of Cal, they should have never been brought here. I have tried to reserve judgment on McCain, Harris, and Gabe King. McCain now joins Maynard and Allen in being less than esteemed as Golden Bears. I am hoping Harris and King keep working and working hard, that they have great, positive attitudes to contribute in revitalizing this program, as opposed to further sinking this program.

    Juancho is right, what a weird weekend. This is shaping up to be a really weird year. Dykes has even more to contend with than I think anyone could imagine. Man, he darn well better be a miracle worker.

  • 707 Bear


    Read the SI article on the Oklahoma State football program; article mentioned that scholarships are often one-year-at-a-time deals. Several stories of young men put on the streets for “minor” team infractions.

    Are Cal’s scholarships one year or what?

    Does this young man loose a scholarship and therefore a chance at a Cal degree—assuming he would want to stay and finish?

  • Kev

    He wasn’t gonna come back for a senior season anyways. Now, he’ll take a break and go back to North Carolina and train for the combine for the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s too talented to not be drafted whether in the regular draft or supplemental draft.

  • Joey

    The first defection. More will be leaving this team and coaching staff. I hope we get some good replacements but I don’t see it yet.

  • Tedford should have been fired two years ago when he lost interest, recruited bums and let team scholarship go into the toilet. While we’re at it, let’s fire Sandy too. I get so damn tired of Cal bragging about success in the minor and female sports. Who give a damn. That’s not going to fill up our new stadium, which may hopefully doom Sandy too.
    A pathetic showing, and it’s not Sonny’s fault. The football program was crap when he inherited it.

  • Raf

    We’re losing them. In so many ways.

  • Eric


    As the current nom de guerre for the Moron, what’s your take on Kiffin being fired, given how much you defended him over the years.

  • Woj

    Cal is officially the doormat of the Pac12. Bad coaching, bad talent, defections, infighting, half empty stadiums, fan disinterest, and a clueless Cal AD. She brags about succes in chess, women’s swimming, women’s basketball and rugby. 90% of the fans don’t care at all about those minor sports. Everyone now plays Cal expecting a W and the upper division teams expect a rout to give their 2nd stringers some playing time. Heck even the FCS teams expect a close game – look at Portland St. Where are the excuse makers now for Tedford and this current awful D – Tedford alone took millions and ran outta town like the hamburglar.

  • milo

    Well the timing on this stinks and the circumstances stink too, all the way around.

    McCain had issues but dumping a player after a big loss is a stinky time, tinge of scape goating.

    Yes I understand you have to take control but now, 4 games in? Shouldn’t that have happened in Spring?

  • 66Bear

    Milo’s right. McCain was talented, whatever else he was, and this is not pretty. And then throw in benching Goff and whatever the aftermath of that is. If Sonny Dykes can turn the Oregon debacle from a jump off the cliff to a bump in the road, he will prove that he is a great leader. I’m rooting for him to turn this thing around and for the team to pull in behind him. A victory over the Cougars will go a long way toward getting the bad taste of Saturday’s loss out of everybody’s mouth. Go Bears! Beat the Cougars!

  • CalBearister

    Disagree with Milo and 66Bear.

    Goff took his benching like a man. Didn’t complain, didn’t pout, didn’t make excuses. He’s got a positive attitude, took responsibility, said he’s coming out to work hard this week.

    I suspect that Chris McCain didn’t take it like a man when he got benched for the second half (although I don’t mean to disrespect him, lest I get challenged to a fight at the 50 yard line), and Dykes sent him packing. Dykes seems like a no bull____ kind of guy who isn’t going to put up with the sort of stuff Tedford let slide. Sort of like Mike Leach when he sent Adam James to the equipment shed to wait out the rest of practice. You show up at practice with an attitude problem, then Coach needs to adjust that attitude.

    I’ll never forget learning that lesson, albeit on a far smaller scale. I got winded after sprinting down the field, and on my way back asked my coach to be subbed for. He looked at me and said fine, but if I didn’t have my conditioning down, he was going to work on that every day in practice until I didn’t quit (and I knew that meant he was going to destroy me with stadium stairs, hill runs, and anything else he could think of). Strangely enough, I found my second wind. And kudos to coach for doing that – if he let me just take a breather, it would have sent a message to me that being a quitter is cool, and that message would be as contageous chicken pox.

    I’m not thrilled with how we’ve looked to date, but I like what I see/hear from Coach Dykes. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Oldskool Blue

    To the panicking naysayers calling for Buh’s head immediately and Dykes’ head at the end of the season based on how theses coaches have handled a very young, inexperienced, and injury depleted team going up against the #16, #4, and #2 teams in the country, I just gotta say the rest of Bear Territory sure is lucky that none of you are in Sandy Barbour’s shoes. Rather than vent uncontrollably after a bad loss, maybe next time (and there will be several next times with the caliber of the Pac-12 this year) you can offer the rest of us some more constructive comments on what parts of the team played well and where they didn’t. For example, at Oregon I think the special teams were far worse than the defense – giving up not one but two punt return TD’s. Trying to simply blame the defense and Andy Buh for this loss after the Cal offense repeatedly turned the ball over – giving the top offense in the country numerous opportunities and consistently great field position to start the game – is short-sighted. I would however place a lot of blame on Dykes if it turns out he did not have the team practice with drenched footballs once he saw the forecast. If Dykes did make that mistake, he seems bright enough to not make it again. I still like what I see in terms of his leadership and football smarts.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I love that everyone assumes this was completely on McCain, when a few weeks ago you would have defended him to the death.

    How do you know he wasn’t openly questioning what Buh has done to the defense? Which is ridiculous, and this is HIS college career put in Buh’s hands.

    We don’t know.

  • Cal football 4 life

    Can I play devils advocate for a second?

    1) The youngest team in the nation
    2) The hardest first 4 games in the nation
    3) A brand new coaching staff on both sides of the ball
    4) Brand new schemes on both sides of the ball
    5) A defense decimated by injuries
    6) A true freshman quarterback making his first road start in one of the loudest PAC 12 stadiums
    7) Weather conditions that heavily favored a run attack and made it nearly impossible to pass the ball

    I am as disappointed as anyone by the poor showing on Saturday, but looking at the facts makes me wonder “What exactly were we expecting?”

    Sonny dykes is trying to install his system with Tedfords players. Buh is trying to install a 4-3 with players recruited to play in a 3-4 defense. Do you think we might be overreacting just a tad?

    Sad to see McCain go, but if he wasn’t the right fit for this team then he should move on.