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Football: Keenan Allen healthy and eager; makes fair argument for college players to be paid

Three months after undergoing surgery on his right ankle to repair a pickup basketball injury, Cal preseason All-America wideout Keenan Allen is moving well and excited about a season now just two months away.

I visited with Allen this morning at the Bears’ football offices, and he said his recovery is ahead of schedule.

“My ankle is doing very good. It feels completely normal — it doesn’t have any pain,” he said.

Doctors told him three or four weeks ago he could beginning running straight ahead, without making changes of direction.

“A week and a half ago, I started cutting. That was feeling real good so they said I could start running a little bit of routes,” Allen said.

Cal’s players report to training camp Aug. 3 in preparation for their Sept. 1 opener at renovated Memorial Stadium against Nevada.

“Right now I think I’m back full speed,” he said.

Allen’s only restriction: Basketball.

“I would say (it’s) on hold, not over,” he said of his hoops career. “It’s definitely not going to make me any money.”

Allen likely will be preparing for the NFL by this time next season — he said he only would reeturn for his senior campaign if he’s not going to be a first-round draft pick.

In the meantime, he continues to earn exactly what every other Division I football player does — a full scholarship and not a dime more.

Given the news this week that college football is headed to a four-team playoff following the 2014 season – bringing more money still to the sport — I asked Allen whether it’s time players get a slice of the pie.

“I definitely would like to see college football players get paid,” he said. “I think it would bring another encouragement, motivation to the players. It’s definitely — I wouldn’t say a struggle — but it’s definitely hard. Just going from high school, being with your parents for 18 years, then you come here by yourself and it’s hard to maintain (the standard of living).

“Being paid would definitely be great.”

And perhaps only fair, given that every other participant in college football cashes in on some level.

“On behalf of the guys who have jerseys out there that are being worn, that could be another reason to get paid, too,” Allen suggested.

When I asked if being paid is ever discussed among players, Allen said, “We always talk about it.”

So I asked him how much would be fair or appropriate, and Allen gave it a bit of thought, trying to figure how many games BCS playoff teams could wind up playing (as many as 15, possibly), and came up with a number.

“I would definitely say about $10,000, something like that.” he said. “”Why not? I don’t see what would be wrong with it. I think it is fair.”






Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 29 Comments »
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A break for summer vacation

Hoops are a memory. Spring sports are over. Football season will be here before we know it.

In the meantime, I’m off for a bit of vacation with the family.

I’ll tell you all about it upon my return. Hope all of you find some time to exhale and recharge.

And try to get along with each other while I’m gone.


Posted on Monday, June 11th, 2012
Under: off-season stuff, Uncategorized | 106 Comments »
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Football: Grad rate low in conference

Cal ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in the latest Graduation Success Rates released today by the NCAA. Of the football players that began their careers at Cal in 2004, 54 percent received their degree. The only school with a worse mark in the confernce is Arizona, at 48 percent.

Posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 32 Comments »
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Football: Recruiting notes’s Greg Biggins had a couple of significant news items today, both with ties to Cal:

  • Biggins reported that Aric Armstead, a mammoth offensive lineman considered one of the top overall recruits in the nation, has decommitted from USC. Armstead mentioned Cal as one of his possible visits, but sounds fairly wide open now.
  • Biggins also reported that Shaq Thompson really enjoyed his visit to Oregon last weekend and now considers Oregon, Washington and Cal as co-leaders. My hunch is Cal is still the leader, but the way the rest of this season goes down could be a factor.

Posted on Monday, October 17th, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 15 Comments »
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Football: Cal building a WR class

The Bears reportedly have received an oral commitment from athlete Cedric Dozier out of Washington. Dozier is believed to be head to Cal to play wide receiver. Dozier had offers from much of the Pac-12, among others.

If Dozier ends up at WR, that means Cal already has three wide receivers among its eight oral commitments so far, with the others being five-star recruit Bryce Treggs as well as Kenneth Walker.

If Shaq Thompson winds up at Cal as many believe he still will, he’s expected to play wide receiver as well. That could give the Bears one of the top WR classes in the country, and there could be others.

It’s a good thing, too. The receiving corps would look pretty thing without an influx of talent next season. The Bears are losing Marvin Jones, Michael Calvin and Coleman Edmond. That would leave Keenan Allen and not much else, especially with the academic status of Kaelin Clay up in the air. Certainly, these incoming freshmen know they have a chance to play right away at Cal, possibly even start.


Posted on Sunday, October 16th, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 8 Comments »
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Football: Tavecchio on Campbell list

Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio has been named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, given annually to the top student-athlete in college football. This is the award that former Cal center Alex Mack won in 2008 (when it was called the Draddy Award) and linebacker Mike Mohamed was a finalist for last season.

Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 1 Comment »
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Football: Ross to Indy

Former Cal wide receiver Jeremy Ross was signed to the Indianpolis Colts practice squad today.

Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 3 Comments »
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Football: Cal gets safety

Cal picked up its sixth oral commitment of the 2012 class when safety Zach Hoffpauir of Peoria, Ariz. pledged to the Bears. Hoffpauir is the 22nd-ranked safety in the country by and No. 32 by He hopes to play football and baseball for Cal.



Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 3 Comments »
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Football: The Pac-16 won’t happen

The Pac-12 office has announced it will not further expand. The conference’s presidents and chancellors reaffirmed their preference to remain a 12-team conference. So much for those road trips to Austin…

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | 11 Comments »
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Football: Former Bears cut

Four former Cal players have been released by NFL teams. WR Jeremy Ross (Patriots), DT Derrick Hill (Raiders), DB Darian Hagan (Browns) and OL Donovan Edwards (49ers) were all cut as NFL teams got down to the 80-player limit required Tuesday. Ross was in Berkeley today watching Cal practice.

Posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2011
Under: Football, off-season stuff | No Comments »
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