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November 30, 2012

No Guarantee Cal Assistants Will Be Retained

Recent Cal commit Khalfani Muhammad created quite a stir this week after telling FOX Sports' Greg Biggins "Cal is going to keep Ron Gould -- the running back coach who has been there for 16 years -- so I wasn't worried about the head coach."

But according to Gould, no such assurances have been made.

"No assurances," Gould said Friday morning. "[Cal officials] met with us here, and gave us the exact same message: 'We'd like you to stay on, with recruiting and making sure the players graduate, but when a new head coach is hired he has the autonomy to say he wants to keep all, none, or some of us. As I stated with every recruit, I don't know whether or not I'm going to be here. I'm not going to lie to a kid and tell him I've been promised something. I told all the kids exactly what was told to me: no guarantees. We may not be here. That's not a secret."

Gould, who has been placed in charge of football operations while Cal is coachless, says the recruiting burden has absolutely increased with just five assistants still on staff.

"Absolutely more. Everybody's role increases in recruiting, but guys have done a great job of pulling together, going out and covering those other territories," he said. "What we've had to do is go explain the transition, you have to educate them with what the process is. Kids are kids, a lot of times they just want to know, 'do we still have scholarships?' They're curious about who the head coach would be, but they're still open. I remember years ago, before Pete Carroll was named the head coach at USC, everyone was waiting to go to USC, and once head coach came, they all went to USC. A lot of these kids, they've been thinking about Cal for a long time as one of their many options, and they're keeping their eyes open, not closing any doors."

As for the coaching search itself, Gould said he is not involved in any way, and isn't keeping tabs on the search.

"I don't read the internet, I don't read newspapers. I can't tell you what anybody is saying about the program or anything else. Young coaches might like to stay up on that stuff, but I don't have time for that stuff."

Especially with the current recruiting climate. Gould said a lot of Cal's commits are getting hammered by other interested programs.

"All the other schools are blasting cal, saying there's no head coach, the school and the program are in disarray, but that's not the case," he said. "There's a lot of negativity we've had to defuse."

And he, and the other four assistants still on staff, have had to defuse while their phone continue to ring off the hook.

"Yeah, kids, parents, former players, their parents, current players, their parents. They're just wondering what's going on."

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