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BUT NOT FORGOTTEN The front of the Amphitheater at Fresno State. Previously a frequently used venue, it’s now devoid of events.

Khone Saysamongdy • The Collegian

By Troy Pope | @troycpope


resno State’s Amphitheater boasts a rich history that few could balk at if they’d heard it. For decades, the stage was filled with famous musical acts and politicians drawing crowds from all over the San Joaquin Valley – bringing life to Fresno State. But the future of the venue – which is located in between the Speech Arts and Music buildings – is somewhat bleak. If the history of the venue is so vast, then why don’t we use it anymore?

THE HISTORY The cheers can be heard for blocks. Students are on their feet with their hands in the air. The adulation is deafening. It is very possible that the man before them will be the next president of the United States. What no one knows is that in less than two months, the would-be president would be assassinated. The year: 1968. The location: Fresno State’s Amphitheater. The man: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and he’s 48 days away from being gunned down in a Los Angeles hotel the night he wins the California Presidential Primary.


Sen. Robert F. Kennedy visited the Fresno State Amphitheater on April 19, 1968.

Collegian file photos




Fresno State Amphitheater may lie dead, but its history is not

Fresno Bee file photo

A candlelight march marked the conclusion of Rape Awareness Week last night in the Fresno State University amphitheater. Members of the FSU Womens Alliance held an all-night vigil called “Women Take Back the Night.” The week-long observance has included information tables, a procession around the FSU campus and last night’s vigil. The alliance is seeking to increase community awareness of the severity of the rape problem. PHOTO TAKEN APRIL 19, 1980.

AMPHITHEATER from Page 1 “I stand with the spirit of youth, and that is where I think America stands. And, that is why I run for president,” Kennedy said in April of 1968. More than 5,000 people packed into the Amphitheater to see the Democratic presidential hopeful. Kennedy hit many hot-button is-

dy’s campaign stop in 1968. McCall reported that during a question-answer period, Kennedy was asked if he would bring peace to the Middle East if elected president. Kennedy firmly replied, “yes,” then qualified it with, “I’d need some help from the Arabs and Israelis.” “There was a really good atmosphere. The students and the

with the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times – very enjoyable for a student journalist,” McCall said. While working at The Daily Collegian as it was known back then, McCall worked part time at United Press International – an Associated Press competitor that was once headed by Fresno State alum Roger Tatarian.

Fresno Bee file photo

Vice Presidential hopeful Senator Joe Lieberman speaks at Fresno State University’s amphitheater during a campaign stop in the San Joaquin Valley. PHOTO TAKEN SEPT. 19, 2000.

sues during his speech, including eliminating the draft and getting out of the no-win Vietnam War. Just 19 days prior, incumbent Democratic President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek re-election. And just two weeks prior, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Dennis McCall, The Collegian’s executive editor, covered Kenne-

campus were thrilled that Bobby Kennedy came to Fresno State to make a campaign stop,” McCall said Tuesday – recalling the story he’d covered for The Collegian nearly five decades ago. The crowds were ecstatic to see a real-life Kennedy, and Fresno State was his first stop on his 13hour visit to Fresno. “It was really cool to be there

“We need to preserve the Amphitheater, but if they replace it with a big building, they need to find another place on campus for an outdoor venue. It’s a key element in the campus,” McCall said. “Fresno has great weather much of the year, so it would be nice to have some green space with an Amphitheater.” After college, McCall moved

back to his home town in Taft where he took a job at the local newspaper – The Taft Midway Driller. After 10 years, and after becoming the newspaper’s executive editor, he took a teaching job at Taft College where he taught journalism, communication and creative writing for 28 years. He’s now retired. McCall hopes that the college will retain the Amphitheater, but either way he’ll always be a Bulldog. “Those were two of the best years of our lives spent up at Fresno State,” McCall said. “We’re still very fond of Fresno.” McCall said how amazing it was to have Kennedy speak to the students at the Amphitheater two months before his murder. After Kennedy’s death, former Vice President Richard Nixon won the presidency in a landslide against the man who ended up winning the Democratic nomination – Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

The Legacy Kennedy wasn’t the only heavyweight to utilize Fresno State’s outdoor venue. In 2000, Sen. Joe Lieberman was running to be vice president on the Democratic ticket with then Vice President Al Gore – who wanted American’s top spot. One of Lieberman’s campaign stops? The Fresno State Amphitheater. But it wasn’t just as a political venue. “I personally feel the space should be used to build a new performing arts venue for the music department and college,” said Dr. Matthew Darling, music department chair. Famous musical acts from all walks of life played the venue. Jefferson Starship played at Dog Days in 1982. Tom Petty and Journey both played the Amphitheater in 1983. And in 1985, Prince played at Dog Days – Prince. Also in 1985, B.B. King played at the Jazz Valley Festival hosted by the Fresno State radio station – KVPR. In 1995, Radiohead played the venue, and Incubus and Tool both played in 1998. In 2000, Weezer took the stage, and in 2001, the Vans Warped Tour made a stop in Fresno. Where? The Fresno State Amphitheater. The show brought 311, New Found Glory, Good Charlotte and Thrice to name a few.

Other now-famous entertainers worked to earn their chops doing shows at the Amphitheater. The music scene at the school and in Fresno, in general, was disheartening to Reggie Rush, who arrived at Fresno State in the fall of 1975. Rush was a College Union Sound System (CUSS) member and student from Riverside in Southern California. “We decided to book this guy, Steve Martin,” Rush told The Collegian in 2013. “No one knew who he was. No one had really heard of him, but he was kind of starting to become famous. About a month before the show, he appeared on ‘Saturday Night Live.’” The two shows sold out, and an original capacity crowd of 6,500 grew to 8,000 for both shows. Brian Hijos, a member of CUSS who arrived at Fresno State in 1976 and now owns a staging company in Lodi, said the outdoor venue encouraged a different atmosphere than in an arena like the Save Mart Center. “If you don’t put chairs in, you are enjoying a concert with your neighbor,” Hijos told The Collegian in 2013. “It’s more of a group experience when you are not assigned to a seat.”

Why did we stop using it? Rumors circulate that the Amphitheater itself isn’t up to code or is condemned, but those are just myths. They stem from another building that was attached that was used as green rooms for speakers and performers, as well as storage. Those were torn down because they were in disrepair. Bob Boyd, associate vice president for facilities management, said that there still is a myriad of issues preventing its usage. For one, it doesn’t have an public address (PA) system. “There is no speaker system as it stands right now, and the canopy doesn’t support any weight. So you can’t hang speakers; they have to sit on the ground,” said Boyd, who has worked in facilities since 1974 when he started as a student assistant. Boyd said another big problem ended up being security. “People would find ways to get onto the roofs of the surrounding buildings,” Boyd said. “People would climb trees to get up there.” Deborah Adishian-Astone is the vice president for administration and the associate vice president for auxiliary services. She said the problem was noise. “It really became an outdoor green space – a very nice outdoor green space right there in the middle of Speech Arts and Music,” Adishian-Astone said. “As I recall, the catalyst was the noise and event disruption of academics. We have classes going on on the weekends as well as into the evenings. And it’s in the middle of





‘It’s a lot of real estate to not use’ AMPHITHEATER from Page 2 the campus.” Dr. Colin Stewart, associate dean of student involvement, said the current setup creates problems that add endless red tape. “When the Amphitheater was built, there were no classrooms nearby. Now there are several buildings, and scheduling the Amphitheater was complex because you weren’t allowed to hold a concert if a class in the surrounding buildings was in use,” Stewart said. University code made it so impractical to book the venue, that it was eventually taken off the list. “Every effort must be made to avoid the scheduling of two major outdoor events on the campus within a 72-hour period. At no time should two major events occur on the campus on the same date,” the code states. And the code is one of many restrictions limiting its use.

Is there any hope of revitalization? Stewart said the current item being figured out is whether or not the university will build a new, state-of-the-art University Student Union (USU). “The current USU was built when it needed to support 11,000 students. Now Fresno State has 24,000, and space is limited,” Stewart said. He brought the plans for the proposed new USU because there’s a tentative plan for a venue to be built in – perhaps even onto the existing Amphitheater space. Facilities coordinator Mehrzad Zarrin said that the campus is ever evolving, and that the landmarks of the university change with the times. “When I was a student here, [the existing] USU building was the only thing around,” Zarrin said. “It wasn’t surrounded by buildings. The students hung out

Fresno Bee file photo

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy leans into a sea of upraised hands in the Fresno State College amphitheater, as more than 5,000 students jam the area to see and hear the Democratic presidential aspirant during his brief visit to the campus. The Kennedy charisma was also in evidence earlier at Fresno City College, and at the Fresno Air Terminal last night when the candidate was given a rousing reception. PHOTO TAKEN APRIL 19, 1968.

in The Pit where there was a screen for movies and a fireplace.” Zarrin said the college added the Satellite Student Union (SSU) to offset the small space of the USU. And now it’s time for something bigger. “The new USU is designed to bring increased campus life. We want to give students more options, and that includes music performances and other shows.” But Zarrin and Stewart said they want the university to do what the students choose. If students don’t want a new USU, then the university won’t build one, they said. Adishian-Astone said there is hope for the space. During focus groups on the new USU plan, the university found that students would want the building to be in the heart of campus near the Henry Madden Library. And that could spell good news for the outdoor venue. “The architects took a look at the site and said this Amphitheater

is a great space. It could be incorporated into the site plan of the new student union where it becomes more of a seating bowl where you can be outside and study or gather with friends – and make it a more vibrant space.” Ishaq Ali, a senator for Associated Students, Inc., said that he personally feels like the outdoor venue is ideal for the university to appeal to students of the commuter campus. Anyone passing by the Amphitheater might check out an event, where you have to already know what’s going on in the University Theatre, Save Mart Center or SSU, Ali said. Ali said he was at San Diego State where they built a new Amphitheater, and they were able to pull big-name acts there to perform outdoors. “Even if it’s not for bringing in big acts, I think having a space for students is good,” Ali said. He said there’s something to be said about performing at Fres-

Fresno Bee file photo

Hundreds of FSU students, alumni and staff, gather to form ‘100’ at the university’s amphitheater Friday afternoon as part of the kickoff for the centennial celebration. The Centennial Celebration, which includes such events as a parade and Tailgate of the Century at homecoming Oct. 16, concludes with Commencement in May 2011. PHOTO TAKEN APRIL 16, 2010.

no State. “There’s not the same association as going to the Save Mart Center,” Ali said. “You don’t think of going to Fresno State – you’re going to the Save Mart Center.” Basically, an on-campus venue would be good name recognition for the university, Ali said. The university is accepting public comment on the proposed USU and taking suggestions on what students want to see. Stewart said if students wanted to have the Amphitheater to be revitalized – a project that Boyd guessed would cost at least $10 million to modernize – the comments would be a good place for students to suggest it. The comments are being taken on the website for the new USU at Voting for or against the USU plan will happen in the spring. The history of the Amphitheater is truly astonishing. But it’s quite possible that it could be torn down in favor of some other project. “It’s a lot of real estate to not use,” Ali said. “Outdoor spaces are perfect for Fresno State. Allowing students to express themselves through art, music – whatever they use this space for … I think it spurs a positive culture of creativity, community – bringing people together.”


COMMENT: The Collegian is a forum for student expression.





By Brooke Rodriguez @TheCollegian

Where is it? Batter Up is located on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Nees Avenue. This restaurant is not too far from the Fresno State campus, and it's also a quick drive to and from Riverpark. Nearby is fitness center GB3, which is great for those who want a filling meal after a hard workout. Even if you are coming from a further area, this is definitely worth the trip. There is plenty of parking and overall , it is a pretty convenient location.

‘Batter Up’ knocks breakfast out of the park

What’s the hype? Batter Up is a baseball themed breakfast joint that is famous for their pancakes, and for good reason. It offers a large variety of pancakes all made from scratch, including gluten free and protein options. Aside from the kitchen’s famous pancake flavors like “Apple Cinnamon Chip Crunch” and “The Oreo”, customers have the option to build their own pancake by choosing from a list of mix-ins. It also has other breakfast items such as French toast, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches. Although lunch specials aren’t the most popular menu items, they do offer burgers and salads if you aren’t in the mood for breakfast. They also offer an intense food challenge for those that are feeling extra ambitious.

What’s the cost?

Worth it?

You can either buy one, two or three pancakes with prices starting at around $9.50 up to $16. The omelet list is quite extensive and ranges from $10 to $16 and also offers a buildyour-own option. The fitness and lighter meals are healthier options which include breakfast items such as fruit, whole grain toast, and yogurt.

I ordered the Warrior Fitness Breakfast so I could remain true to my healthy roots while still trying a delicious pancake from Batter Up. For $14.99 I got a lot of food. The meal includes two protein pancakes, and a 3-egg omelet with basil, mushrooms, bell peppers, turkey, bacon and provolone cheese over spinach. I thought the pancake might have been kind of dry or flat because of the protein but it was actually still quite fluffy. The omelet was cooked perfectly and was put together well. Having an omelet over spinach is something I would’ve never thought to do, so I thought that was an interesting approach and it added crunch to my omelet. I would recommend this restaurant and definitely go again. The prices are something that won’t break the bank and you are still getting a quality meal. It’s clear that Batter Up values their name and is passionate about making great food.

Courtesy of Batter Up’s website





A merry movie marathon “Home Alone” (1990)

By Samantha Mehrtash @Sam_mehrtash

With the harsh winter season approaching and finals coming to a close, students will soon have time to binge-watch holiday favorites without having school lingering in the back of their minds. People’s taste in films usually differ, and friends can have trouble finding a common genre they all can agree upon. But when it comes to holiday movies, “Christmas” seems to be a genre that everyone enjoys. Here are four old and new holiday films that have something to offer for everyone.


“Home Alone” is probably the only movie that can make children wish their parents left them home for Christmas. This Christmas classic is a movie go-to that can be enjoyed by most millennials. Not only is it a timeless comedy, there is nothing like seeing ‘90s trends and home decor that can remind this generation of their own childhood holiday memories. Not to mention, Kevin McCallister is Macaulay Culkin’s one and only breakout role.

“A Christmas Story” (1983)

“A Christmas Story” can be dubbed as the ultimate Christmas classic. From the fishnet leg lamp, Red Ryder

BB gun or pink bunny suit, there are so many scenes that everyone can reference. If you have no idea what these are, please do yourself a favor and watch the movie already. The dysfunctional family dynamic that the film encompasses is actually something that can be related to, in contrast to the elaborate holiday illusions that most movies illustrate.

“Love Actually” (2003)

This Christmas movie has love and heartbreak to offer for those looking for a romantic holiday film. Though the movie is known for being a tearjerker, it also has a lot of comedic relief giving it a good balance. The movie follows nine different love stories that end in different ways, some happy and

some not so fairytale endings. This aspect of the movie makes it feel more realistic than a classic love movie.

“Krampus” (2015)

This unconventional “holiday” film is a not so much of a classic as it is a horror movie, so this one is for when you need a break from the feel good films. The story is based around the European folklore in which their Krampus, comparable to our Santa, says the devilish looking creature will punish children when they misbehave, instead of the American version where kids just get threatened with coal. With Christmas decorations around and a lesson to be learned, this film actually passes as a holiday movie despite its scary aspects.

Get festive in Fresno By Marina McElwee | @MarinaMashelle

Just because it’s almost final’s week doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the holiday festivities surrounding Fresno State. Fresno and Clovis both have annual and affordable holiday traditions that can serve as the perfect study break.

Christmas Tree Lane One of Fresno’s most famous holiday traditions is Christmas Tree Lane. Located on Van Ness Boulevard between Shields Avenue and Shaw Avenue, millions of lights illuminate the nearly two-mile stretch of homes decorated for the holidays. Over 140 homes participate every year, decorating over 300 trees. You can drive your car down Christmas Tree Lane any day during December except for the “walk nights,” which are reserved for people to walk in the street. Hours: Sunday to Thursday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Walk nights: Dec. 3 and Dec. 13, 6 to 10 p.m.

Fresno Chaffee ZooLights Clovis Children’s Electric Christmas Parade For several years, Old Town Clovis has hosted the Clovis Children’s Electric Christmas Parade. The parade features floats decorated and lighted for the holidays, marching bands from local high schools, decorated cars sponsored by local businesses, equestrians and more. The parade is Saturday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m on the streets of Old Town Clovis. Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo transforms into ZooLights for a few special evenings in December. ZooLights features miles of lights strung throughout the zoo and the perfect opportunity to see the animals while sipping hot cocoa and playing in the fake snow. Admission for adults is $9, and for an additional $2, you can use holographic sunglasses that give the lights a kaleidoscopic effect. ZooLights runs 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the following dates: Dec. 2 -4, Dec. 9-11, Dec. 16-23 and, Dec. 26-30

Clovis Christmas Tree Lighting Every year, Clovis has a grand ceremony to light the Christmas tree at Clovis City Hall. Guests of honor include the Mayor of Clovis and Santa of course. Clovis High School and Clark Intermediate School Choirs will perform Christmas carols and refreshments will be provided. The annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Clovis City Hall, 1033 Fifth Street.





What god-awful thing did our president-elect say today? By Troy Pope @troycpope

On Tuesday, our president-elect lifted up his leg and urinated on the First Amendment. “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences. Perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” President-elect Donald Trump said in a tweet early Tuesday morning. How the nation does not grind to a halt after our new leader thoughtlessly disregards our most sacred of Constitutional amendments, I will never know. I guess it makes sense because he was able to win the presidency running a fact-free campaign. Over the weekend, he erroneously said that millions of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton in the election. The story was, of course, another product of a fake news website. So it is clear that he is going to continue being devoid of facts, or worse, give misinfor-

mation. So anything is fair game. But the First Amendment? There’s a reason it’s the first one – it’s the most important one. The five freedoms it provides are vital for a free society. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” In Texas v. Johnson in 1989, the Supreme Court decided that burning the American flag was a form of expression which is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. I am not pro flag burning, but I am pro expression freedom. What’s next? Will Trump suggest that maybe people shouldn’t have the right to speak out against the government? Wouldn’t that be a tidy dictatorship. Perhaps he’ll suggest anyone who votes against

Olivier Douliery • Abaca Press/TNS

Donald Trump speaks on October 26, 2016, in Washington, D.C. With Trump now the president-elect, may find some new curves in the road ahead.

him is a criminal. Letting his sleepless, early morning tweets go without challenge is dangerous. Be against burning the flag all

you want, but please comprehend why it’s important that Americans be free to do so. People are free to burn the American flag in protest of the


Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!


noun plural noun: Fascisms an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

government, and you’re free to be pissed off about it. That’s what makes this country so great. Silencing voices leads to unquestioning support that creates fascism – an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization that leads to authoritarianism, totalitarianism and dictatorships. Oh, and a total lack of tolerance. Tell me I’m wrong and that I should go to hell, but know that you’re able to do so because the First Amendment says so.

Drew Sheneman • The Star-Ledger/TNS

THE COLLEGIAN The Collegian is a student-run publication that serves the Fresno State community. Views expressed in The Collegian do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or university.

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CW: As a team, our goal should be to try and get through adversity. We’re such a new team. A young team. So when the going gets tough, I want to see us be able to overcome all these obstacles. Of course win the Mountain West championship, get it back after what happened last year. Get back to the NCAA Tournament.

As an individual, my goal is just to be a leader on the court. Be able to communicate with my teammates and get my point across. Get my coach’s point across and be like a coach on the floor. DC: What does it mean to you to be a Bulldog? CW: It means a lot. Especially growing up in the Valley, it means so much. Being able to represent a great university. I think the fanbase is by far my favorite part about Fresno State. You can’t take that away.

Name: Candice White Sport: Women’s Basketball Year & Major: Sophomore, Pre-Nursing Hometown: Modesto, California By David Chavez @d23chavez

White was chosen as our Top Dog of the Week after helping the Fresno State women’s basketball team win the LMU Thanksgiving Classic Tournament over the holiday weekend. White’s 12 points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists contributed to Fresno State’s defeat of the Belmont Bruins 62-53 on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, the Bulldogs got the victory against UC Irvine 63-45. White had 21 points, three assists and three steals. It was the first 20-point game of her collegiate career. DC: What’s it like being from Modesto and being able to play close to home? CW: It’s so nice. The fact that my family comes. Every home game, I know my mom’s always going to be there. Sometimes I’ll have my young cousins there, my aunt, my uncle. It’s always nice to see family in the crowd and go talk to them after the games. DC: How long have you been playing basketball? CW: I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old. I took a two-year break my fifth and sixth grade year to do soccer. I was so committed to soccer. Then I started back up in middle school, in seventh grade, and from there, I’ve been playing since. DC: What made you want to stick to basketball? CW: I think it was the pace of the game. Soccer was fun. Very strategic. But basketball was kind of “Go, go, go.” You don’t have to think much. When I don’t think, I seem to do better with any sport I do. DC: What is your favorite thing to do in

Fresno? CW: A lot of the time on weekends, when we don’t have practice, we’ll go out and eat and we’ll pick a restaurant or place that we’ve never been to. I think that’s my favorite thing. I enjoy food and I love it. DC: Are there any restaurants that you recommend? CW: I like Batter Up [Pancakes]. It’s a pancake, breakfast place. That place is pretty good. DC: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions? CW: I’m very superstitious. I believe highly in jinxes, but I’ve gotten better over the years. One thing I do is eat an apple. I think that’s become my pregame ritual. Just eating an apple. It’s like a source of energy for me. DC: How long have you been doing that? CW: It’s been about two weeks now. It’s my new one, and it’s working for me so I can’t complain. DC: What are your plans for after you graduate? CW: If I don’t end up doing basketball, I want to continue to get my master’s in science to become a practitioner, eventually in nursing. If not that, maybe if I have the opportunity to play overseas, then that’ll be an option. But I really won’t know until the time comes. DC: Do you have a favorite athlete? CW: One of my favorites to watch would be Tony Parker. He’s been in the game a long time. I like how he’s very calm. His style of play is very different. He gets all of his teammates involved. I just enjoy watching him. DC: What are your goals for the season?

Christian Ortuno & Khone Saysamongdy • The Collegian

FOOTBALL from Page 7 and he did not produce. After the 2015 season, changes were made with the firing of offensive coordinator Dave Schramm and the demoting of defensive coordinator Nick Toth. They were replaced with Eric Kiesau and Lorenzo Ward, and it was announced Monday that neither of them nor the rest of the coaching staff will be retained under new head coach Jeff Tedford. There has been no word on who Tedford will hire for his staff, but his son, Taylor, has been on his previous coaching staffs and is expected to join him again. Tedford knows the Valley, and when he was introduced as head coach, he said that recruiting locally is a top priority. Local pipelines should improve over the next few years. Fresno State will not get all the top local recruits, but the Bulldogs should now be in the running for many local players. Given Tedford’s history of developing quarterbacks, the position should get back to Fresno State’s tradition of developing some of the best quarterbacks in the country. Again, it will not happen right away, but the next David or Derek Carr, the next Kevin Sweeney, the next Trent Dilfer, the next Billy Volek or the next Paul Pinegar could be right around the corner. Tedford’s tenure at Cal ended poorly, but in his defense, Cal is not the most supportive school for football. Cal’s football facilities were largely a joke for most of Tedford’s time. The stadium was in poor shape until Tedford spearheaded a

renovation project. Simply put, at Berkeley, football is not No. 1. During the stadium renovation, some trees had to be removed. People decided to sit in the trees over a course of 19 months to protest the removal. A group in Berkeley sued the school because the stadium expansion would block the view of people who wanted to sit on a hill outside the stadium and watch the game for free. These issues that Tedford faced at Cal will not plague him in Fresno. Tedford should have a much better time in Fresno with the community fully behind him. Athletic Director Jim Bartko’s stadium renovation is on schedule, Tedford was the coach the community wanted. Tedford is Bulldog-born, Bulldogbred, and should get this program back on track. He should be able to get whatever he wants done in Fresno. Coming off the worst season in program history, no one expects an immediate turn around, especially given next season’s schedule. After opening with FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) school Incarnate Word, the Bulldogs travel to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama, the current No. 1-ranked team in the country, and the next week play at Washington, the current No. 4 team. Fresno State also hosts BYU (Brigham Young University) later in the year. Fresno State has a lack of talent on the roster but should be able to do better than a 1-11 season. It will take time, but Tedford should have this team back to its winning ways.

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Mr. Fix-It has his work cut


out for him



By Daniel Gligich @DanielGligich

Fresno State just experienced its worst football season in program history, ending with a 1-11 record. What in the world happened? How did it get to this? The Bulldogs were not expected to compete for the Mountain West championship this year, following a dismal 3-9 season in 2015, but no one thought that they would be this bad. There was some optimism going into the year. Quarterback Chason Virgil was healthy, named team captain and won the starting job in fall camp. Having Virgil as the starter from Day 1 was going to give the team the consistency that it lacked last season due to the quarterback merry-goround debacle. Virgil started 10 games and threw for 2,021 yards, 13 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and had a 51.6 percent completion rate. There were 114 starting

“As we move forward, I felt it was best for this program to have a fresh start as we start to build for the future.” - Jeff Tedford on not retaining the 2016 football staff for the 2017 season.



quarterbacks in the NCAA who had a better completion rate. He was inconsistent on his throws and never looked comfortable in the pocket. Running back Dontel James was expected to put up solid numbers but never got going behind a young offensive line. He gained 697 yards on the ground, good for 129th in the country. He averaged 3.35 yards per carry, unacceptable for a collegiate running back. No other running backs brought any help through most of the season. Quarterback Zach Kline, who played in seven games, starting two, was second on the team with 134 rushing yards. Senior captain Aaron Peck was expected to be the go-to receiver but ended up third on the team in receiving yards. Sophomore wide receivers KeeSean Johnson and Jamire Jordan showed flashes of brilliance, bringing much needed talent to the offense, but often struggled with consistency and dropped passes. Given the defense’s poor performance the last few years, not much was expected


from it. The defense gave up 247.4 rushing yards per game, better than only five teams in the country. The pass defense ranked seventh in the country, but that was because teams rushed the ball 329 more times than they passed against Fresno State. After a 1-7 start, Tim DeRuyter was out as head coach amid another poor season. After winning two consecutive Mountain West championships at the start of the DeRuyter era, the loss of Derek Carr and many others to the NFL was too much to overcome. In Year 1 after Carr, the team went 6-8 with an appearance in the Mountain West championship game. Many of the stars of that team were Pat Hill’s recruits. The 3-9 season that followed was mostly made up of DeRuyter’s players, and this 1-11 season was completely DeRuyter’s team. The biggest complaint about DeRuyter was his failure to recruit the Valley. Although the vast majority of the team is still from California, DeRuyter focused much of his effort on recruiting Texas. People can complain about DeRuyter


not recruiting locally, and that is part of the issue, but the true underlying problem that brought the program to its knees was the inability of DeRuyter and his staff to not only develop recruits, but keep them in the program. Time after time, players were either dismissed by the athletic department for violating department policy or left the team for an unknown reason over the last few years. This issue is perfectly illustrated with the quarterback position alone. In DeRuyter’s five recruiting classes, he brought in many talented quarterbacks, but none of them panned out and many left the program. Prized 2013 recruit Zack Greenlee left the program after the 2015 season. Brian Burrell left the program after the 2014 season. Myles Carr converted to wide receiver and then left the program to play quarterback elsewhere. Kilton Anderson and Ford Childress were not in the picture this year. This left the Bulldogs with Virgil,

See FOOTBALL, Page 7

Christian Ortuno • The Collegian

The 2016 Fresno State football coaching staff on the sidelines during a home game at Bulldog Stadium against Air Force on Oct. 28, 2016. This was the first game after Tim DeRuyter was relieved of his head coaching duties.

November 30, 2016  
November 30, 2016