Cal’s football coaching staff has found a way to slow down the lightning speed of the Oregon Ducks: cheat. The Ducks are undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation, but they almost stumbled Saturday against the Cal Bears, holding on to win, 15-13. Cal’s secret weapon? Faking injuries to stop the game and give Cal players time to catch their breath and get ready for the Ducks’ next play.
Several times during the game Oregon’s offense was stopped as a Cal player went down with an apparent non-contact injury, then quickly returned to the game. The most egregious example was captured on YouTube. Cal head coach Jeff Tedford denied cheating, telling ESPN,
“People get hurt during games and in fast-tempo stuff, there’s cramps. That’s not the deal. I know that anytime anybody goes down against Oregon, they always think that’s the case. But it’s not the case.
However, The Oregonian reports that “a source within the Bears football program confirmed to The Oregonian that this [faking injuries] indeed was “a big part” of the defensive game plan against Oregon, although not all Cal coaches were on board with this strategy.”
The official NCAA football rulebook makes clear that faking an injury is cheating. Under the heading “Coaching Ethics,” page FR-13 states that:
feigning injury is dishonest, unsportsmanlike and contrary to the spirit of the rules. Such tactics cannot be tolerated among sportsmen of integrity.
Where does that tell about Jeff Tedford and the Cal Bears?