Ok, let me get my bias out of the way before turning to College Football matters: I’m a Cal Alum who earned a Master of City and Regional Planning Degree and sat on The Cal Alumni Board and then the The Cal Alumni Awards Committee with Levi’s Chairman Bob Haas. I’m very pro-UC Berkeley, and could not be more totally pissed-off that the State of California has divested in Cal from 74 percent of total funding during the 80s, to something like 12 percent today, wrecking the Clark Kerr model in the process.
But I digress.
Cal Football will take on Fresno State at Candlestick Park this Saturday, and fielding a Cal team that’s dramatically different from the one that beat Stanford in the Big Game down in Palo Alto two years ago (the one Blues prefer to remember).
Cal’s team has four players in particular that came to the university in a way that just plain shocked the American College Football recruiting world. Keenan Allen, Chris McCain, Gabe King, and current starting quarterback Zach Maynard, all hail from Greensboro, North Carolina, all are friends, and all totally upset the SEC Football establishment.
They all went off and selected Berkeley, which is still considered leftist here in the South, for the traditional schools.
A recruiting coup that rightfully pushed Cal Assistant Coach Tosh Lupoi to the national spotlight, but also has resulted in a blog post at the great blog Sports By Brooks that tries to accuse Cal of improper behavior without any proof.
Much of the blog post centers on this entry:
Speculation has centered on Cal’s relationship to former, well-traveled Greensboro high school assistant football coach Otis Yelverton, who also served as a “mentor” to the aformentioned four players. Cal has confirmed that Yelverton, who has twice filed for bankruptcy since 2003 and was served two Federal Tax Liens totaling over $10,000 in 2007, personally escorted all four players to Berkeley for unofficial visits to the school.
Beyond those trips, Yelverton’s role in Cal’s recruitment of the Greensboro-area players, like the source of funds for his cross-country excursions with the four prospective student-athletes, is unknown.
What isn’t a mystery though is the role Northern Guilford High School coach Johnny Roscoe played in his former players, Keenan Allen and Chris McCain, signing with Cal.
Now Sports By Brooks then goes on to say that Cal offered Yelverton a job without any proof that such an offer was made. None.
OK. I have to say that ” twice filed for bankruptcy” and “and was served two Federal Tax Liens,’ does not equal unemployment. The man has a job. So what Sports By Brooks wrote was nothing more than a smear job that was really awful to read.
The blog also has this:
A source at a school involved with Allen’s recruitment said coaches heard that Yelverton had been offered a job at Cal for steering the player ranked No. 5 overall in the nation by Rivals.com, and that Allen’s parents would be moving to California to stay close to their son.
Before Allen announced his decision, his mother, Dorie Lang, was asked whether the family will move to be close to the player.
“I don’t know that yet,” she said.
Beyond that, Team Allen would say little to The Tuscaloosa News. Angered that Lang had been asked about a possible move, Yelverton complained to the manager of the bar and grill and the News’ correspondent was asked to leave before the signing ceremony began.
But what Sports By Brooks fails to mention is the The Tuscaloosa News is a publication that covers The Alabama Crimson Tide, where Head Coach Nick Saban was chewing nails over losing Kenan Allan to Cal.
So, angered and seeing red, and not paying attention to the fact that all four Cal players from North Carolina are close friends, Saban and his coaches went crying to The Tuscaloosa News.
ut instead of reporting that, Sports By Brooks explains that “A source at a school involved with Allen’s recruitment”…
COME ON DUDE!
The reason Sports By Brooks didn’t say “A source at Alabama, which lost Allen to Cal..” because that would totally wreck whatever credibility the blog post had. But in point of fact, that’s what Sports By Brooks should have done.
So I’m doing for the blog.
There’s nothing here to see except that a very desirable school, Cal, was able to enter a region and make a recruiting steal. Good for Cal and for Keenan Allen, Chris McCain, Gabe King, and Zach Maynard, who will realize the prestige of a degree from Cal, rather than one from Alabama.