CCSF Rams pull off wild comeback over DVC in opener


CCSF Rams pull off wild comeback over DVC in opener

SAN FRANCISCO -- The reigning 2011 City College National Champions from San Francisco began their 2012 title defense facing the Diablo Valley College Vikings, and after a wild second half, the Rams were able to extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games with a thrilling 48-41 overtime victory at home Saturday.

The CCSF Rams were 12-0 last year, and their only loss in an 11-1 2010 campaign came in their final game of the season -- the National Championship game.

Their undefeated 2012 season, however, was in jeopardy in their opener. Trailing DVC 41-27 in the second half, and frustrated with poor execution and an excess of penalties, CCSF began their comeback.

In the fourth quarter, San Francisco starting quarterback and Berkeley native Andrew Spivey rolled left, just as he had the play prior. But this time, he stopped, rotated and threw across his body, barely getting the long throw to receiver J.J. Hudson in the front corner of the end zone. Place kicker Matthew Vultaggio's extra point made it 41-34.

The defense, led by linebacker and team captain Tyrone Ward, quickly put a stop to the subsequent Vikings drive. Punting from their own end, DVC made a critical mistake, hiking the ball high over the punter and all the way back to the three-yard line, where Spivey punched it in for the game-tying touchdown.

Spivey finished 29-for-52 for 465 yards, six touchdowns through the air and the one game-tying touchdown on the ground.

"In his debut as a starter, Spivey was very impressive," CCSF quarterbacks coach and Marin County native Jim Collins said, "He threw the ball well and made good decisions. The more pressure-packed the situation, the more he thrived. And he showed tremendous leadership qualities on the field and on the sideline."

DVC got the ball late with a chance to march down the field and take the lead, but the Rams defense came up big.

Ward put a loud hit on Vikings quarterback Quinn Kaehler. And a few plays later on second and fifteen, Kaehler, who finished the game with over 450 yards through the air, rolled out to his right with time. Maybe he was feeling the affects of Ward's hit, because his ball down the right sideline fluttered and hung up in the air for safety Broughan Jantz to pull down for the interception.

The athletic play put his offense on their own 12-yard line with 1:46 left in a 41-41 tie game.

It was time for one of San Francisco's premier prospects -- wide receiver Kyani Harris -- to take over.

"Kyani is a tremendous physical talent with an exceptional understanding of offensive football," Collins said. "Most of his plays required him to make a choice after the ball was snapped, and he made the right decisions and executed them for us each time."

Spivey hooked up with Harris four times for 55 yards during the final regulation drive, and downed the ball at the 11-yard line with seven seconds remaining.

They were seven long seconds.

Placekicker Matthew Vultaggio, who had a field goal blocked before dangerously clanging an extra point off the post and in earlier in the game, had a chance to give the Rams the regulation victory.
The snap is down. The kick is up. ... The Rams are offsides.

The ball sailed through the uprights as the referees marched the line of scrimmage back to the 16-yard line.
The snap is down. The kick is up. ... The Vikings call timeout.

The ball once more sailed harmlessly through the goalposts and the teams lined up again.

This time, the kick would count. And this time, Vultaggio pulled the 34-yard, game-winning field goal attempt wide right as time expired, forcing overtime in the season opener.

Overtime rules give each team a possession starting at the 25-yard line. The Rams didn't waste any downs, converting a 25-yard touchdown from Spivey to Dezmon Epps on their first play and handing an opportunity to seal the win to their defense.

The Vikings looked to have matched the Rams' score on third down when the referee put his arms in the air after an acrobatic catch on the right edge of the end zone, but the far-side referee came streaking across the field to overrule the call, indicating the pass hit the ground for an incompletion.

CCSF batted down the fourth-down pass attempt to make the comeback official and move to 1-0 on the young season.

"The offense executed well down the stretch," Collins said, "But the defense kept us in the game the entire second half."

The Rams are back in action Friday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. in Oakland against Laney College.

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. 

NCAA adopts sexual violence policy: 'It's not banning violent athletes...'


NCAA adopts sexual violence policy: 'It's not banning violent athletes...'

NCAA member schools will be required to provide yearly sexual violence education for all college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators under a policy announced Thursday by the organization's board of governors.

Campus leaders such as athletic directors, school presidents and Title IX coordinators will be required to attest that athletes, coaches and administrators have been educated on sexual violence.

The policy was adopted from a recommendation made by the Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence, which was created by the board last year in response to several high-profile cases involving sexual assaults and athletic departments, including the scandal at Baylor.

The policy also requires campus leaders to declare that athletic departments are knowledgeable and compliant with school policies on sexual violence prevention, adjudication and resolution.

Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and activist who speaks to college teams across the country about sexual violence , is a member of the commission. She has called for the NCAA to ban athletes with a history of sexual violence. While this policy falls far short of that, Tracy said she was encouraged.

"It's not banning violent athletes, but it's a positive policy that's going to have a big impact on our campuses," Tracy said in a phone interview from Amherst, Massachusetts, where she was spending the day speaking to the UMass football and basketball teams.

The announcement from the NCAA came just one day after Youngstown State decided a football player who served jail time for a rape committed while he was in high school will not be allowed to play in games this season. Ma'Lik Richmond , who served about 10 months in a juvenile lockup after being convicted with another Steubenville High School football player of raping a 16-year-old girl in 2012, walked on at Youngstown State earlier this year. He will be allowed to practice and participate in other team activities.

Tracy has promoted a petition urging Youngstown State to not allow Richmond to play.

"I think that playing sports and playing NCAA sports is a privilege. It is not a right," Tracy said. "If we're going to be placing student-athletes in that position of power and influence - to drive narrative, to drive conversation, to affect culture - then behavior matters. Right now, I feel like Youngstown is sending the message that violence against women, rape all of these things are OK. It doesn't affect your ability to play sports."

A move toward an NCAA policy on sexual violence was given momentum by numerous issues involving athletes and athletic departments in recent years. Perhaps the most high-profile example is Baylor, where an investigation found that allegations of sexual assault, some against football players, were mishandled by school leaders.

Two years ago, the Southeastern Conference barred schools from accepting transfers who had been dismissed from another school for serious misconduct, defined as sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.

Indiana announced in April that it would no longer accept any prospective student-athlete who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence. In July, the athletic director at the University of Illinois said the school was working on a similar policy.

Tracy said the NCAA has not ruled out implementing a policy like Indiana's.

"The fact that's still on the table, we're still having discussions about that, we're still going to keep working moving forward, gives me a lot of hope," she said.

In a statement, the NCAA said: "Any discussion of individual accountability beyond the criminal justice system must address the complexities and nuances of different federal and state laws so that it can be consistently applied across the NCAA."

The new NCAA policy defers to schools to set their own sexual violence education practices, though in 2014 the association set expectations for its members with a resolution and made recommendations in a handbook on sexual assault.

"Schools do different things," Tracy said. "The NCAA is now saying this isn't just an option. This is now a policy and a requirement. And not only that but you need to attest to us every year what it is that you're doing ... Some schools are doing a great job. Some schools are not doing a great job."