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Swimming: Missy Franklin reaps honor

Cal freshman Missy Franklin was named National Swimmer of the Week by 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.

Franklin and her Cal teammates will next be in action at the NCAA Championships March 20-22 in Minneapolis.

Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Under: Honors, Swimming | No Comments »
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Football: Proposed 10-second rule is tabled

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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Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Under: Football | No Comments »
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Football: Cal coaching clinic this weekend

Space remains for the 2014 Nike Coach of the Year Clinic at Cal, scheduled for this Friday through Sunday at Memorial Stadium and the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa.

Registration will be available at the door in the conference room of the Claremont Hotel beginning Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Cal coach Sonny Dykes and fellow college head coaches Tim DeRuyter (Fresno State), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa) and Mike McIntyre (Colorado) are among the featured speakers. Other scheduled speakers include Denver Broncos’ quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp, legendary former De La Salle High School head coach Bob Ladouceur, the entire Cal football coaching staff and additional high school coaches.

Registration fee is $110 fee per coach and includes:

– Access to all speakers and clinic presentations

– Shuttle to and from Claremont Hotel to Memorial Stadium

– Lunch and dinner Saturday

– Friday and Saturday night socials

– Access to exhibitor booths

For additional information, contact Matt Russi (, 925-413-5679).

Daily schedule below:

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Posted on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Under: Football | 1 Comment »
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Swimming: Franklin up for sportswoman of year

Cal swimmer Missy Franklin, who won a record six gold medals at last summer’s world championships, is among six nominees for the 15th annual Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.

The freshman from Centennial, Colo., who won four gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, joins a list of high-profile female athletes nominated for the award.

Also up for Laureus honors are German soccer star Nadine Angerer, the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year; Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, winner of three sprint gold medals at the world track and field championships; Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, winner of the world title; Slovenia skier Tina Maze, the overall World Cup champion; American tennis star Serena Williams, winner of the French Open and U.S. Open titles.

It’s the second straight year Franklin was nominated.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Under: Honors, Swimming | No Comments »
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Football: Friends, family say goodbye to Ted Agu

In case you missed it this morning, here’s a link to my story on Monday night’s Ted Agu memorial service at Haas Pavilion.

Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Under: Football | No Comments »
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Basketball: Earl Shultz ready for his big day

Sunday’s game against USC is big for Cal, coming four days after a lopsided loss to UCLA.

But the occasion is no less significant for Dr. Earl Shultz, who will be honored at halftime with the Pete Newell Career Achievement Award.

For Shultz, who played on Newell’s two Final Four teams at Cal and became a lifelong close friend of the late coaching legend, there can be bigger honor.

“For the guys who played for Pete,” Shultz said this week, “it’s the ultimate to be associated with Pete.”

Shultz was a sophomore reserve guard on the 1959 Cal team that won the NCAA title, then became a starter the next season when the Bears returned to the Final Four at the Cow Palace, losing to Ohio State in the title game.

He jokingly refers to himself and his teammates as “dinosaurs,” but these were Cal’s greatest teams. His first two seasons as a varsity player, the Bears went 53-6, won a pair of conference titles and helped Newell close out his career with the last of eight straight victories over John Wooden and UCLA.

The Bears haven’t been back to the Final Four since.

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Posted on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Under: Alumni, Basketball, Honors | 1 Comment »
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Football: Barbour blasts Bret Bielema

On the day after Arkansas coach Bret Bielema used the death of Cal football player Ted Agu as an argument for making a rule change to slow the college game, Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour angrily responded, calling his remarks “misinformed, ill-advised and beyond insensitive.”

Bielema told reporters in Arkansas on Thursday that Agu’s Feb. 7 death, following a routine team training run, was evidence that college football should adopt a controversial rule that would prevent teams from snapping the ball until 10 seconds had elapsed on the 40-second play clock.

He made reference to a report that Agu carried the sickle cell trait, adding, “I have a half a dozen players on my team currently that have that trait.”

Asked for concrete data that supports the notion that no-huddle, up-tempo football is a threat to the health of players, Bielema said, “Death certificates. There’s no more anything I need than that.”

After Agu’s funeral service Friday in his hometown of Bakersfield, attended by Cal’s players and coaches, Barbour blasted Bielema for his remarks.

“Bret Bielema’s comments about our Ted Agu are misinformed, ill-advised and beyond insensitive,” she said via Twitter.

“Using the tragic loss of one of our student athletes as a platform to further a personal agenda in a public setting is beyond inappropriate.”

In a series of tweets, Bielema offered an explantion for his comments and condolences, but stopped short of an apology.

“In my press conference last night, I referenced information about the tragic loss of a life of a student-athlete,” Bielema said. “My comments were intended to bring awareness to player safety and instead they have caused unintended hurt.

“As a head coach who works with young individuals every day the passing of Ted Agu is a reminder to us all how short and precious life is. I would like to extend my deepest condolences and sympathy to the Agu family, Coach Sonny Dykes and to the University of California family.”

Bielema and Alabama coach Nick Saban are among high-profile coaches who favor the change, which must be approved by a playing rules oversight panel on March 6.

Posted on Friday, February 21st, 2014
Under: Football | 8 Comments »
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Football: Arkansas coach invokes Ted Agu’s death as reason to pass new 10-second rule

Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema stooped to using the recent death of Cal player Ted Agu to advance his agenda of passing a controversial rule proposal to slow down college offenses.

Challenged to provide data that shows the rule should be implemented for health and safety reasons, Bielema, according to the Associated Press, said, “Death certificates. There’s no more anything I need than that.”

Speaking to reporters Thursday before a booster club meeting in Searcy, Ark., Bielema offered Agu’s death on Feb. 7 following a team training run as an argument to implement the rule proposal, which would prohibit snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds run off the 40-second play clock.

He made reference to a report that said Agu had tested positive for the sickle cell trait. An autopsy is being performed to determine cause of death.

Bielema said the inability to substitute an injured player between plays could lead to injury or death.

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Posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Under: Football | 5 Comments »
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Football: Jahvid Best says he’s healthy, excited to be back at school to help coach running backs

Jahvid Best, back at Cal as a student assistant running backs coach, said he currently has no lingering effects from the series of concussions that ended his NFL career in 2011 after just 22 games.

“My health is fine,” he said Thursday during an informal media gathering to announce his return to school as a student and part-time coach. “I have no issues that are dragging on. It’s good that I left the game healthy. That’s very important to me.”

Best, 25, whose All-America career at Cal was ended when he suffered a head injury on a spectacular fall after a midair collision during the 2009 season, suffered two additional concussions in his second season with the Detroit Lions. He hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 16, 2011.

The Lions kept Best on the payroll through the 2012 season, but he never was cleared to play and the team finally released him last July.

“Oh man, that was tough for me,” Best said of leaving the game. “My playing days are over. I knew it was going to happen eventually. It happened a lot quicker than I wanted it to. So now I’ve decided to come back to school and figure out what’s next for me.”

Click here to read the rest of my story.

Posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Under: Alumni, Football | 4 Comments »
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Football: Ted Agu service set for Monday

Cal will host a memorial service for the late Ted Agu on Monday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

Agu, a junior defensive end on the Cal football team, died Feb. 7 after an off-season team training run.

Agu’s teammates and fraternity brothers organized a candlelight service outside Memorial Stadium last Wednesday night. This event was scheduled to allow members of Agu’s family, from Bakersfield and Nigeria, to attend.


Posted on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Under: Football | No Comments »
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