Cal's Jones stands out at Senior Bowl practice


Cal's Jones stands out at Senior Bowl practice

MOBILE, Ala. -- It's not quite the same meat market as is the Combine, but the Senior Bowl is an attraction in and of itself.Or did you not hear that Georgia offensive lineman is the heaviest player here, tipping the scales at 346 pounds? Or that Mike Adams, an offensive lineman from Ohio State is the tallest, standing an even 6-feet-7 and picking up steam as a potential Top 10 pick come April, while Alabama receiver Marquis Maze is the shortest, at 5-7 34?Such nuggets were unearthed Monday morning during the National Scouting Weigh-in, in which photographers were urged to shoot players from the waist up, please.

As the name suggests, only seniors can participate in the game, which, while separating itself from other college all-star games, some of the pizzazz is gone as well, what with so many of the top players in college football actually being underclassmen.So there's no Robert Griffin III. No Trent Richardson. No Tyrann Mathieu. No Montee Ball. No Andrew Luck. Heck, there's not even a Stanford player here. But there are a couple of Cal Golden Bears representing Berkeley in receiver Marvin Jones and offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz."Very quietly, Cal WR Marvin Jones had in my view the best receiver practice on the North SQUAD," Wes Bunting, the director of college scouting for the National Football Post, Tweeted."It's an opportunity to play with the elite players all around the country and get coached by elite coaches," Jones said. "It's big, because these are some of the coaches we're going to have the opportunity to be coached by in the future. So, to come out here and just play to all of your abilities is big."Plus, there are a couple of other nationally recognizable names in a gaggle of quarterbacks in former Heisman finalist and Boise State signal caller Kellen Moore, Wisconsin's Russell Wilson, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, Arizona's Nick Foles, San Diego State's Ryan Lindley and Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden.This year's roster included 20 All-Americans -- the Minnesota Vikings' staff is coaching the North squad while Washington's has the South -- while 12 first-round draft picks played in last year's game, in which the South won, 24-10, behind game MVP Christian Ponder.Four quarterbacks from last year's game were selected in the first 36 picks of the NFL draft last year so yeah, there is some talent here.Even if they're all seniors. Well, maybe because they're all seniors.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe


Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof


The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.