Field problems force Cal to move spring football


Field problems force Cal to move spring football


Cal football will move its spring practice to the university's Clark Kerr Campus and Oakland's Laney College due to problems with the artificial surface at Witter Rugby Field, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area has learned from sources close to the situation.

Spring practice begins Tuesday, March 29.

The artificial surface at Witter was installed last fall to accommodate the football team during the renovation of Memorial Stadium. It replaced a grass surface that was the rugby team's home field.

The base and drainage system at Witter will be torn up and rebuilt, a process that is likely to take two months.

That the field is not suitable for official activity is evident at a glance. The surface is lumpy and uneven. The footing was an issue at Cal Football Pro Day earlier this month.

Linebacker Mike Mohamed told reporters attending the March 9 event that the conditions were less than ideal.

"The field isn't exactly in the best shape, Mohamed said. "It's like being on the moon out here -- there's craters everywhere."

In addition to the structural issues, the heavy rains of the past month have made the situation worse.

Cal had previously scheduled spring practices at three remote locations -- at Sacramento's Grant High School (April 9), San Jose's Valley Christian High School (April 16) and San Ramon Valley High School in San Ramon (April 30). The Clark Kerr Campus practice location will be Golden Bear Field.

An official announcement is expected from Cal Friday.

The Bears will open their 2011 season against Fresno State on Sept. 3 at Candlestick Park.

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.

According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.

Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.

Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.

Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.

No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.


Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.