Here’s our story, courtesy of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, on the Alameda County district attorney’s decision not to file criminal charges against the unidentified Cal football player who injured walk-on Fabiano Hale in a Nov. 1 locker room altercation.
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Cal junior Brittany Boyd is one of five finalists for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced. The award goes to the nation’s top point guard.
Boyd, who also has been a candidate for the Wade Tropy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy this season, averages 14.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.9 steals for the Golden Bears.
She was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection and a Pac-12 All-Defensive team pick. Boyd leads the conference in steals and assists.
In her most recent game, against Washington State, she had 13 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
Other finalists for the Lieberman award are Odyssey Sims of Baylor, Jerica Coley of Florida International, Moriah Jefferson of UConn and Heather Butler and Tennessee-Martin.
NOTE: I am on NCAA basketball duty this week, so Steve Corkran, our esteemed NFL writer, pinch-hit for me at Cal’s Pro Day. Here’s his report from Tuesday.
The moment running back Brendan Bigelow spent months preparing for got off to a fast start Tuesday. Two seconds later it was over, up in smoke as the result of a strained hamstring.
Or so Bigelow thought. Instead, he opted to finish his 40-yard dash so that he at least had something to show for the representatives of NFL teams in attendance at Cal’s pro day at Memorial Stadium.
Bigelow clocked a 4.48-second time in the 40-yard dash, according to several people who timed the event. Not quite the 4.2 Bigelow expected, but pretty impressive for someone who battled through a hamstring injury from the midpoint of his run.
“It’s a shocker because I was expecting like a 4.6 or a 4.7,” Bigelow said. “But I ran a pretty good time, even with a pulled hamstring.”
The 4.48 is a solid time for a running back. Bigelow said he’s hopeful that the 40 or so representatives from 29 NFL teams in attendance factored in his injury and graded him higher.
When juniors Brendan Bigelow and Kameron Jackson left Cal to turn pro after the 2013 football season, the news was greeted by resounding silence from the NFL.
Neither player was among the more than 300 prospects invited to last month’s NFL combine.
But Bigelow and Jackson, who will take part in Tuesday’s Cal Pro Day workouts at Memorial Stadium, get hope and inspiration from Seattle Seahawks’ linebacker Malcolm Smith, MVP of the Super Bowl.
Smith wasn’t invited to the combine out of college, either.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Let it humble you, and let it give you fire,” Smith said in a recent Sports Illustrated interview, when asked what he’d tell other young, overlooked prospects.
“You know, I have the 2011 draft bookmarked on my computer. I’d say once a month, at least, I open it up and scroll through and look at all the names, one through 254. I just want to see all those picked ahead of me and what happened to them.”
For Bigelow, a running back, and Jackson, a cornerback, it’s as if Smith were sitting right in front of them.
“I feel like he’s speaking to a lot of us in the same situation,” Bigelow said.
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Cal senior guard Justin Cobbs was named a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) First Team All-District 20 selection.
Cobbs is part of the five-member first team along with Arizona’s Nick Johnson, UCLA’s Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams, and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox.
In all, 252 players from 25 districts around the nation were recognized. Cobbs is now eligible for selection to the NABC Division I All-America team, which will be announced at a later date.
Cal women’s basketball player Mikayla Lyles has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Wednesday.
A senior from Pleasanton, Lyles will receive the $4,500 Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship Award presented annually to one female collegiate basketball player who intends to pursue graduate work and a career in sports communications or journalism.
“I am so proud of Mikayla for earning this prestigious award, and for being recognized on a national level for the qualities that we’ve seen her display day in and day out over the course of her time as a student-athlete at Cal,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said.
With spring football practice set to begin in three weeks, coach Sonny Dykes completed his staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Fred Tate as defensive line coach.
Tate spent the past two seasons at Cincinnati and Texas Tech, working under Art Kaufman, Cal’s new defensive coordinator.
Garret Chachere, who coached defensive ends last season, will handle linebackers, the position group he’s coached much of his 23 seasons.
Former defensive coordinator Andy Buh, demoted after the Bears’ 1-11 season, is being reassigned within the athletic department and will not have football coaching duties. Unless the department can arrange a buyout, it’s resonsible for Buh’s contract, which guarantees him $500,000 in 2014 and ’15.
Dykes said Tate was hired based on a strong recommendation from Kaufman and the track record the two established.
“He has a tremendous amount of energy that will carry over well to both on-field coaching and recruiting,” Dykes said of Tate.
Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs was named to the 10-man all-Pac-12 first team on Monday. Cobbs averages 15.6 points and is second in the conference at 5.8 assists per game.
“I don’t see how you could have a first team without Justin on there,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said.
Senior forward Richard Solomon was an honorable mention selection.
Junior forward David Kravish earned honorable mention on the all-defensive squad and Jordan Mathews was an honorable mention all-freshman selection by the coaches.
Regular-season champion Arizona swept the major awards, with Nick Johnson earning Player of the Year, Aaron Gordon of San Jose taking Freshman of the Year and Sean Miller named Coach of the Year.
Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski, who led the nation in blocked shots, was voted Defensive Player of the Year. Stanford’s Anthony Brown was named Most Improved Player.
Johnson and Gordon joined Cobbs on the first team, along with Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell of Stanford, Jahii Carson of Arizona State, Delon Wright of Utah and Josh Scott of Colorado.
Cal freshman Missy Franklin was named National Swimmer of the Week by collegeswimming.com after leading the Bears to the Pac-12 Conference championship last weekend in Seattle.
Franklin set meet records while winning all three of her individual events — the 100-yard free (47.17 seconds), 200 free (1:42.29) and 500 free (4:35.73) — and helped Cal to wins in the 400 and 800 free relay and 400 medley relay and a runnerup finish in the 200 medley relay.
This is the second time this season Franklin has been given the weekly honor as the nation’s top collegiate swimmer.
The college football rules change proposal that would have slowed the game by requiring offenses to wait until 10 seconds had elapsed from the 40-second game clock has been tabled.
There will be no vote Thursday by the NCAA rules oversight panel, as originally scheduled after the NCAA Football Rules Committee made the proposal several weeks ago.
The proposed rule change, designed to give defenses more time to substitute players between snaps, will not go into effect for the 2014 season.
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