As we delve deep into week two of the Sonny Dykes saga, there are no real pertinent updates. Both athletic director Mike Williams and the Cal head coach are on the East Coast for various college football award shows and meetings, but there have been no updates on whether the two have met on any aspect of the currently stalled contract negotiations. Cal Athletics has said an extension is in the works, while Dykes's camp has remained very quiet.
For those wondering about the inside baseball aspects, Ted Miller of ESPN has made his foray with his take (and potential knowledge) on the current situation at Cal. He floats the idea that Dykes hasn't really been interested in all at other jobs, but has in fact been trying to raise money for his assistants and his staff, currently one of the lowest paid in the Pac-12 (particularly among the position coaches).
A triangulation of information here: The perception of Dykes wanting out at Cal is a false one. He wants a competitive contract -- for himself and his staff, which is paid less than staffs at Purdue and Iowa State while situated in one of the most expensive areas in the country. Cal appears to be playing a leverage game, unwilling to commit to Dykes long-term until it sees more progress on the field, an approach that seems fiscally responsible in the short term but is almost certain to bite Cal on its rear in the future.
It doesn't appear the process is acrimonious, but suffice it to say that if some sort of compromise isn't arrived at -- and Dykes has done more than enough to merit a raise -- a dark cloud is going to hang over the program, with national signing day in sight Feb. 3 and the 2016 season ahead.
I would have to concur this contract situation is a giant distraction. Even if some might argue they want to avoid making a huge commitment to a coach many are still uncertain is the man for Cal going forward, that this whole situation is playing out in the public with coaching rumors and constant reports of discontent, that cannot do any wonders for Dykes's public image at Cal.
But I would also agree that Cal needs to pay their assistants more. That Cal is paying less than most state schools is absurd, and not a winning strategy going forward. We've argued at CGB for nearly a decade that Cal does not pay their assistants the money they deserve, leading to short stints for good minds and leaving coaching staffs to search constantly to replace the guys they've had.
If Sonny Dykes agrees to a contract extension, it's imperative the program ensure that the majority of the coaching staff returns with higher salaries to boot. Sonny wants to not only assure himself to recruits that not only will he be here in four years, but the assistants they'll be working with will be here too. Oregon and Stanford have impressive coaching stability at numerous positions (with a few leaving for upward employment), and it's a model Cal should consider emulating.
Do you all agree with what Uncle Ted has to say? Do you feel that Dykes has just been working solely to help out his staff? Or is he really trying to bail? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle?