Jeff Tedford Could Leave UC Berkeley Due to Court Ruling, Tree-Sitters

Danny PenzaSenior Writer IJune 19, 2008

If you haven't heard, the Cal Berkeley campus has a reputation for protesting anything and everything.

The most recent issue being debated is the planned construction of a new athletic training complex and renovation of Memorial Stadium, which lays right on top of the Hayward earthquake fault.

However, a 129-page ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller has put the plan to build the state-of-the-art facility on hold.

"We are ecstatic," said Stephan Volker, attorney for the California Oak Foundation who sued the university two years ago. "We believe this project is now dead."

However, not everybody feels the project is dead.

"This in no way affects our ability to build the center," said UC spokesman Dan Mogulof. "This is a great ruling for us."

With Cal football now relevant once again, mainly thanks to the effort and recruiting of Head Coach Jeff Tedford, the training facility has been a key reason why he has stayed and signed contract extensions the past few years.

Tedford has stated on many occasions that he needs new facilities on campus to compete with other Pac-10 schools (Oregon and USC mainly) in order to land big-name recruits and keep the momentum in the program going forward.

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This 18-month debate on whether the university would be allowed to build the facility has caused those famous Berkeley activists to head up in the trees and setup shop, which they started doing on the same day as the famed Cal vs. Stanford "Big Game" in December 2006.

Around 30 tree-sitters have filtered through the trees since they began their protests, occasionally causing problems with the police and Cal football fans.

Now my viewpoints on the whole situation are completely one-sided for obvious reasons. I have been a Cal football fan for basically my entire life and to say I don't agree politically (and logically) with the tree-sitters, would be a nice way of putting it.

The reason that Tedford has stayed with the Golden Bears program is because he wants to build the program his way. And Tedford's way, for the most part, has worked out just fine since he took over for Tom Holmoe before the 2002 season.

When Tedford signed his first contract extension, he made it very clear that Cal's facilties were lacking. Now I have been to many Cal athletic events in my lifetime, and they have some pretty nice facilities, but Memorial Stadium is not one of them.

Whenever a high profile coaching job becomes available, Tedford is always thrown around as a possible candidate. It's just a matter of time before Tedford does bolt for better things if the current situation doesn't go the athletic departments way.

And as long as the tree-sitters prevent Cal from upgrading their facilities, it might be the reason that the Bears say goodbye to one of their best and brightest coaches ever.