Monday, December 18, 2006

HEADED TO HOLIDAY BOWL

Bear Fans,

This is a bit droll, but the season is sapping my strength. Like some of you, I waffled, but happily, we are headed to the Holiday Bowl. To be a big time program, it’s important that we travel well and show that we are major players. I’m gathering from my e-mails, that many fence sitters have come around and are falling off and are going down.

There’s quite a “booster” luncheon on Wednesday (already sold out), the Alumni Tailgate on Thursday, and a post game party at the House of Blues—among other things. If anyone needs a room, we have one extra room at ground zero, where the team is staying. It’s the Manchester Grand Hyatt ($188 a night for Wednesday and Thursday).

No charge if you look like a Playboy Bunny and sport a bumper sticker: “I break for flabby old white guys, who think they still got it, but ain’t got a clue.” SC cheerleaders who make U-Tube, screaming with joy when the opposition scores, also come under this latter category.

Following the game Mike McHugh’s band will perform at the House of Blues in the Gas Lamp district. Admission is $15. In addition to the main room there is an adjacent room that reserved for SF Grid Club members and guests. This room includes food and a private non-hosted bar. Passes are $75…………………But it if for Grid Club Members and their guests.

Go Bears and Merry Christmas,

Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70


Some amazing news on the academic front published in The Chron:

When Randy Bundy turned in a 30-page paper Tuesday, his college class work was officially complete.

The celebration will have to wait.

"It was a relief, because it's been a long-time coming," the Cal senior cornerback said. "But I haven't had a party yet. I just got ready and went to practice."

That scenario encapsulates a special group of 13 Bears who this month will complete their course work or will be able to participate in graduation ceremonies because they are within a class of graduating. They've managed to keep things in perspective while juggling football and scholastic duties.

"Being my first recruiting class, it will always have a special place in my heart," coach Jeff Tedford said. "They've set the foundation for this program."

The number of players who graduated in 4 1/2 years is even more startling when you consider that students without the extra rigors of football responsibilities are increasingly taking five or more years to get degrees.

"When we came in, this was a 1-10 program, so we weren't necessarily choosing a school based on football," said senior tight end Eric Beegun, who will take his last final Monday. "Of course, we wanted to help rebuild the program, but we knew that this was an academic institution that we were taking seriously."

They've done both.

They've won 42 games in five seasons, they're the first senior class to earn berths in four consecutive bowl games, they got the school's first share of a conference title since 1975 and they find time to go to classes.

The most recent graduation rates released by the NCAA reported that Cal's 1999-2000 football class graduated only 33 percent of its players. Admittedly, that number is flawed in a variety of ways, but as a comparison, 83 percent of Tedford's original 18-player recruiting class will be graduating within five years.

"When we got here, the graduation rate was terrible," senior defensive lineman Steve Kelly said. "Guys were taking the full five years or longer or not graduating at all. The coaches have really changed the team's focus on academics."

Tedford harps on studies and established the "Academic Game Plan," which allows players to meet regularly with coaches or counselors to review coursework and assignments. The message finally sinks in when players watch their teammates fail.

"We've seen some people come and go that didn't finish," Bundy said. "That kept our group motivated to keep pushing toward our degrees."

In the most recent Academic Progress Rate, which is released annually by the NCAA, Cal scored a 94.5 to rank second in the Pac-10, and during Tedford's tenure, 57 football players have earned conference All-Academic honors.

Along with Bundy, Beegun and Kelly, the list of graduates includes three offensive linemen: left tackle Andrew Cameron, left guard Erik Robertson, right tackle Scott Smith.

Cameron had three surgeries in a 10-month span and has played this season on sheer guts. Robertson is a true Renaissance Man. Smith is the definition of a philanthropist with his commitment to charity projects. While waiting his turn to start, Storer earned two all-conference honors as a special-teams player.

The skill-position grads are receiver David Gray, tailback Marcus O'Keith and cornerback Tim Mixon.

Gray is an Oakland native who has been unlucky with a list of injuries. O'Keith has accepted his role as a backup to 1,000-yard back after 1,000-yard back instead of transferring. Despite his season-ending knee injury, Mixon helped Syd'Quan Thompson develop into a freshman All-American.

Defensive line mainstays Matthew Malele and Abu Ma'afala, fullback Byron Storer and reserve punter Taylor Kunzi round out the storybook group.

Beegun wraps up the thought process of the group with comments of appreciation.

"This community has handed me everything, and I'd like to give something back," Beegun said. Before he heads to law school, however, he's got one more thing to accomplish.

"You want to leave without that sour taste in your mouth," he said. "You never forget it if you lose your last game, and I don't want that to taint my memories here."

Maybe Bundy's party is contingent on Cal beating Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28.


This is old news, but Important:

Atheltic Tr4aining center ok’d by Regents

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/06/BAGK6MQ3RS1.DTL&hw=UC+athletic&sn=001&sc=1000


From CeCe (for those of you who were wondering who Professor Dundes was)

Check this out.
I was in a class a few weeks ago about historiography & types of history and
one of the handouts was something from Professor Alan Dundes!!!!!
I was very excited about that but of course no one else knew or cared...
Sadly I checked and he passed away last year. :o(
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/03/31_dundes.shtml

Cheers!
ccf


From Si on Hoops

On the Hoops front, according to the CC Times this morning, Jamal Boykin, who was the 2005 Gatorade California Player of the Year and signed with Duke out of Fairfax High School, is on the Cal campus this week and is expected to transfer soon. He would become eligible to play for the Bears in Jan. 2008. He's a 6''7" 235 pound small forward, Parade All-American in high school. Averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 blocked shots as a senior at Fairfax - breaking several Southern California high school records formerly held by The Bopper. Duke has given him a release so he is free to sign with the Bears.


From Coleman:

Yea!!! Daymeion Hughes just won the Ronnie Lott Trophy as best defensive player in the country "for his impact on and off the field".

…..and personal character. The Ronnie Lott award is unusual among the end-of-year accolades because is requires the recipient to be both a great on-field performer and an individual of high personal character at all times:


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