The University of California mercifully put Jeff Tedford out of his misery on Tuesday. While his prior, more successful seasons with the school obviously speak for themselves, so do these numbers: 91, 96 and 99. That’s where Cal currently ranks in passing yards, points scored and points allowed. And here are two more numbers: three and five. The latter is where the program currently ranks in the Pac-12 North; the former is how many wins have been accumulated thus far this season.
Any which way you want to cut it – the firing was justified.
One person who didn’t think it was justified? Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Here is what Tedford’s best player ever had to say on what had transpired (via FOX Sports):
"It's a terrible decision," he said. "And I think it's disrespectful, too.
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"In 2002, when I was recruited in December, they started talking about this stadium project. Coach had just come in. They went 7-5 but were under academic probation so they couldn't go to a bowl game. He had taken a 1-10 team and made them 7-5. Turned (quarterback) Kyle Boller from what he was into a first-round draft pick. I know Kyle owes a lot of his success to coach Tedford and his tutelage."
That’s all great and true, obviously, but it also doesn’t explain or excuse this year’s massive collapse. Nor does it explain why the program hadn't shown any sort of growth over the past four years.
"Coach Tedford endured some pretty difficult situations there while his competitors ... in Washington, the Arizona schools, continued to improve their facilities," Rodgers told ESPN 540. "Now you get some facilities in there, you get a new stadium, you get an awesome new top deck over there that can overlook the bay. You get a 100-yard weight room. You get some competitive facilities now where you can really recruit some kids, and what do they do? They fire him.
"Winningest coach in school history, and it's a shame because when you promise a guy the stuff that they promised him and then he fulfills everything they ask him to do on the field, regardless of the injuries they have this year, he continued to prepare those guys like I know he did. To not give him a chance to recruit with those facilities is a shame."
What do you think: does Rodgers have a point? (Hint: no)
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(Kudos FOX Sports)