The California Golden Bears football team is already a man down, and it isn’t even June yet. Reports out of Berkeley, Calif., are that sophomore linebacker Cecil Whiteside was kicked off the team by head coach Jeff Tedford, who declined to elaborate on what exactly Whiteside did other than violate team rules.
While Whiteside was listed as second-string outside linebacker for the Bears, he was expected to contribute on defense and special teams. Cal, which may again be left behind as an also-ran in PAC-12 football this year, is still aiming for another bowl bid and a possible spoiler role in the North Division, where Oregon, Stanford and Washington should rule the roost.
Whiteside, a highly-recruited linebacker out of high school from Newport Beach, Calif., played in 10 games last year as a freshman, racking up 17 tackles, three sacks, four tackles for a loss and a pair of forced fumbles.
Cal had lost two linebackers from last season to graduation and Whiteside, who has had his share of academic issues, was on the fast track to significant playing time and maybe a potential starting job in 2012.
The dismissal Whiteside leaves junior Dan Camporeale and sophomore Chris McCain as the starting outside linebackers and Nathan Broussard as the only reserve in Cal’s 3-4 defensive set, according to the team’s post-Spring depth chart.