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College

Cal Suspends Coach For Having Player Fake Injury

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Asst. Cal football coach Tosh Lupoi.

Asst. Cal football coach Tosh Lupoi. (Cal Athletics)

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BERKELEY (AP) ― California defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi was suspended for Saturday’s last-second loss to Washington after admitting he instructed a player to fake an injury in a 15-13 defeat at No. 1 Oregon on Nov. 13.

Athletic director Sandy Barbour made the announcement after the Golden Bears’ 16-13 loss Saturday, when Cal (5-7, 3-6 Pac-10) finished the season with a third straight loss, ending its seven-year streak of reaching bowl games. Coach Jeff Tedford said he plans to keep Lupoi on his staff.

“This is a young coach who made a mistake. We make mistakes in life a lot,” Barbour said. “He stood up and he accepted responsibility for it. The head coach accepted responsibility for it and I accepted responsibility for it. That’s what we do as educators.”

Several times this season teams have been accused of faking injuries to slow down the high-powered Ducks. Replays showed nose tackle Aaron Tipoti standing up after a play one second then on the ground moments later grabbing his left leg.

Tedford initially denied that any of his players had feigned injuries in the game before later learning otherwise, he said. When examining the situation and questions as to whether Cal indeed had faked injuries as speculated after the game, Barbour said she and Tedford determined nobody else was involved in such behavior.

Cal consulted with the Pac-10 commissioner’s office and no other disciplinary action was expected, Barbour said.

When asked whether he would keep Lupoi on staff, Tedford answered “absolutely.”

“I respect him a great deal,” Tedford said. “In the heat of the battle and trying to get a substitution in, he used poor judgment. That’s no reflection on his character whatsoever or his love for Cal and the program. … He’s a great football coach. A mistake was made. I’m sure we’ll learn from it as a whole. We will make sure that we stand for the right things and move forward.”

Cal said Lupoi wasn’t at Memorial Stadium and declined to comment on the suspension.

“Coach addressed it. It happened that’s all that can be said about it,” defensive end Cameron Jordan said.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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