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November 27, 2010

Lupoi takes responsibility for feigning injuries

BERKELEY-Cal defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi was suspended for one game for instructing a player to feign an injury during a contest against Oregon on Nov. 13. The penalty was implemented for Saturday's game against Washington.

"In the days following our game against Oregon, there was concern about whether any of our players feigned an injury against the Ducks," Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said. "I do not believe this to be the case and clearly stated our policy in interviews with the media regarding what an injured or unable to perform player is taught to do so that he can be safely removed from the game. However, after I was instructed by our Director of Athletics and the Pac-10 Conference to review the topic, I have discovered that a member of our coaching staff did instruct a Cal player to go down in order to provide a timely substitution. As a result, the one-game suspension was served today against Washington.

"Cal football stands for integrity, sportsmanship and accountability," Tedford continued. "We feel it is important to step up publicly and acknowledge the error in judgement in this case."

"We are first and foremost educators, and in that light, nothing is more important than the examples we set for our student-athletes as part of their education at the University of California," Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. "This was an unfortunate and serious lapse in judgement that runs contrary to the principles of this University, our Athletic Department and our football program. It cannot be condoned, and the individual must be held accountable, for his actions impact the integrity of the game. Working for an institution that has carved out a leadership role in higher education means that we have a unique set of responsibilities. In good times, we are role models others seek to emulate. But when things go wrong, our status and stature demand that we are honest, transparent and do not flinch from ensuring there is accountability when our values and principles are followed.

"Coach Tedford and I initially discussed the concern of having players simulate injuries against Oregon, as had been suggested that week in the media and online, on the Thursday following the game," Barbour added. "He explained our guidelines regarding injuries, stating that players are instructed to go down to the ground if they cannot leave the field before the next snap to ensure that they can be treated properly and not risk further harm. At that time, he had no reason to suspect or believe that any of his coaches had in any way been involved in inappropriate behavior. However, the following day, Coach Tedford let me know that after raising the subject with his staff, an assistant coach did come forward and admit that he had instructed a player to feign an injury on one occasion. We investigated it fully with the assistance of campus counsel to make sure that we gathered and verified all of the relevant information. We eventually ascertained that no one else associated with the program had been involved in these actions. We have shared our information and consulted with the Pac-10 commissioner's office. By imposing this penalty, we want to make it clear that this type of action will not be tolerated. We believe we have taken swift and appropriately strong steps and consider the issue addressed."

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