Cal Athletics will hold a news conference with Director of Athletics Mike Williams today at 4:30 p.m. PT. The conference will be streamed live at Pac-12.com and also will be available at Pac-12 Bay Area. You can discuss the presser here.
Sonny Dykes has released two separate statements. One was addressed to his football team. It’s clear Dykes received the message about his firing only shortly before his players did.
One was a general statement on his firing, again complimenting the players, the school, and how the Bears have improved academics during his time at Cal.
And they say it's all about academics.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) January 8, 2017
From the press release announcing Dykes' dismissal. pic.twitter.com/6gNf2pEr00
Here’s the statement to the general public. He was exceptionally gracious for a definitely surprising decision.
Obviously, Dykes can’t be too unhappy. He will receive a sizable buyout worth a few million dollars on his troubles. We’ll have more on the official total in future days.
For those who missed it, here is what Cal Athletics had to say on the firing.
Statement from Director of Athletics Mike Williams:This was an extremely difficult decision and one that we take very seriously. There was no rush to judgment; we wanted to be thorough and thoughtful. Ultimately, it was a combination of factors that brought us to this outcome. We are continuously evaluating our program and looking for ways to make it better – whether that's through additional academic support, recruiting, facilities, staffing, culture, leadership or anything else that can help our football program succeed. Primarily, we want what's best for our student-athletes and have a head coach in place who is fully committed to our program and our university.
Coach Dykes clearly built up our program – both on the field and in the classroom – and he leaves Cal in a stronger position than when he arrived. For that alone, he deserves credit and our thanks. After our bowl win last season, we showed our commitment to him with a contract extension. But after looking at a number of factors after the end of this season, I felt that we needed a change of direction for the good of our student-athletes and our program. I understand that the timing may not be ideal – it rarely is. We did not want to make this decision until we were ready and did so for the health of our football program and department.
Our objective is long-term financial sustainability for our department. In order to do this, we understand that investing in football is critical. We believe that this change will reinvigorate the program, stimulate lagging ticket sales and renewals, and energize our donor base.
Football is very important to our department and it is essential that we provide the resources necessary to hire the right head coach and staff. We have invested in our football program and will continue to do so as necessary. Over the past few years, we have also added additional support personnel in virtually every area that touches the program to ensure our student-athletes have what they need to succeed on the field and in the classroom. We want to win championships. The success of our football program is vital to both our department and our university community, and its influence can be felt well beyond Berkeley.
There are certain things you can read into the statement. The statements about ticket sales and renewals seem to indicate that the Bears are struggling with 2017 season renewals and the donor base is generally unhappy with the course of the program.
There is also the quote about Cal wanting a coach who is fully committed to the Bears. You have to imagine that the rumors of Dykes the last two winters interviewing for multiple Power 5 jobs comes to mind.