Celestine in Portal

16,767 Views | 125 Replies | Last: 16 days ago by Big C
BC Calfan
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It's now time to panic.

ManBearLion123
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This is an absolutely massive loss.

All the other departures didn't significantly affect next season's outlook, but Celestine leaving certainly does. I'm not sure how Madsen could possibly rebuild this roster in a single offseason to the point that we are even close to a bubble team.
75bear
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Oof.... fingers crossed this is an April Fools' joke.
KoreAmBear
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Bruh does Mad Dog have something cooking?

Or should we start looking for players at Doe Library?
4thGenCal
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ManBearLion123 said:

This is an absolutely massive loss.

All the other departures didn't significantly affect next season's outlook, but Celestine leaving certainly does. I'm not sure how Madsen could possibly rebuild this roster in a single offseason to the point that we are even close to a bubble team.
Yes it is a loss and the staff wanted him to stay. This era is especially frustrating when 1) a player agrees to terms 2) Family members/advisors chime in and often create doubt with the player's sense of increased value and frankly encourage walking from verbal agreements 3) Most discouraging is that there are Collectives that will say what the player wants to hear from a money package/NIL "deal". Cal Collective is 100% honest and only gives their word on a NIL that it will fulfill. Yet when a player transfers based on "promises/even executed contract" there is no guarantee that the deal will be fully honored. SMH at the self evaluation/value of players who have not created a winning culture, or truly stood out on the court - yet have dramatically overstated their NIL demands. When the term "wild Wild West" is used in today's NIL environment for the major sports.it is spot on. Literally when a player who goes scoreless in 8 games down the later part of the season makes huge NIL demand, or a player demands to start and be the priority in the offense, or a player complains that their share is not enough etc - locker room culture is negatively impacted. The result while clearly facing a tough ACC conf entry, with doing a complete rebuild of a roster, will allow the Staff to build the right "together culture". This staff will bring in a good roster, but its going to take some lumps for sure. Bottom line - our Collective will need increased NIL support, to get a few of the very good players who want to play for Coach Madsen.
socaltownie
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4thGenCal said:

ManBearLion123 said:

This is an absolutely massive loss.

All the other departures didn't significantly affect next season's outlook, but Celestine leaving certainly does. I'm not sure how Madsen could possibly rebuild this roster in a single offseason to the point that we are even close to a bubble team.
Yes it is a loss and the staff wanted him to stay. This era is especially frustrating when 1) a player agrees to terms 2) Family members/advisors chime in and often create doubt with the player's sense of increased value and frankly encourage walking from verbal agreements 3) Most discouraging is that there are Collectives that will say what the player wants to hear from a money package/NIL "deal". Cal Collective is 100% honest and only gives their word on a NIL that it will fulfill. Yet when a player transfers based on "promises/even executed contract" there is no guarantee that the deal will be fully honored. SMH at the self evaluation/value of players who have not created a winning culture, or truly stood out on the court - yet have dramatically overstated their NIL demands. When the term "wild Wild West" is used in today's NIL environment for the major sports.it is spot on. Literally when a player who goes scoreless in 8 games down the later part of the season makes huge NIL demand, or a player demands to start and be the priority in the offense, or a player complains that their share is not enough etc - locker room culture is negatively impacted. The result while clearly facing a tough ACC conf entry, with doing a complete rebuild of a roster, will allow the Staff to build the right "together culture". This staff will bring in a good roster, but its going to take some lumps for sure. Bottom line - our Collective will need increased NIL support, to get a few of the very good players who want to play for Coach Madsen.


Ok. I am going to peanut gallery here. Leadership needs to looks at sdsu. Very different NIL model. Same number for scholarship players with modest bumps for starters. Broad rather than narrow funding base. Corporate sports hip happy to be identified and checks presented at halftime. Oh and sweet sixteen.
GoldenBasketBear
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I agree. This all seems like players just wanting more money. I'm certain we can afford some of them, but they often demand more than what we believe they're worth, especially considering our cumulative amount, which is on the lower end within the ACC. If we want to recruit certain players, we should invest in NIL. It's as simple as that. Fans complaining and placing blame on the staff shouldn't have a say if they're not backing it up with their wallets. Welcome to the harsh reality of the new era of college basketball. Thanks for all you do, 4thGenCal.
oskidunker
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GoldenBasketBear said:

I agree. This all seems like players just wanting more money. I'm certain we can afford some of them, but they often demand more than what we believe they're worth, especially considering our cumulative amount, which is on the lower end within the ACC. If we want to recruit certain players, we should invest in NIL. It's as simple as that. Fans complaining and placing blame on the staff shouldn't have a say if they're not backing it up with their wallets. Welcome to the harsh reality of the new era of college basketball. Thanks for all you do, 4thGenCal.


I predict some will come back. Most pac12 players inthe portal are 4 star. All ours are 3*
Go Bears!
eastcoastcal
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Huge +1 to what 4thGen said. I totally understand the reaction by many will be shock & panic- and I would be too if not for some color on the situation. The culture issues are astounding, including some frankly inexcusable things that are unbelievable to me- the types of pervasive culture issues that would have gotten me benched on high school baseball and tennis teams and are simply not acceptable. This is obviously not fun to see so many faces enter the portal, but it's a necessary process.

Obviously a big undertaking ahead to rebuild an entire roster- but the remnants of the rotted culture from prev regime was absolutely a huge factor and needed to be weeded out. BTW, this is not referring to JC; more broadly just to the rash of portal entries at large.

Two things are true about everything going on:

1) Madsen needs to completely overhaul the culture and that starts by bringing in new guys who are eager to compete, are team-first, and happy to be here at Cal. Although we all may not be the biggest fans of Wilcox because of the record/success over the past few seasons, this is an area the football program has excelled at. Most guys stay because they are fully bought into the culture. Madsen is the right guy for this. He will bring in guys who will commit (Tyson, Fardaws, Keonte) and are bought-in. Obviously, this year they happened to be seniors with no eligibility remaining. The point remains that he can and will bring in guys who are right for this program.

2) We need a robust NIL investment from our major donors. To be clear, this isn't pay-for-play or highest bidder mercenary. Our NIL collective honors their commitments and our student-athletes do in fact do community service, volunteer work, etc in exchange for their NIL. We do it right but as alluded to by other posts (4thGen, Sebasta, etc) the big donors have to step up.

Tldr: yes losing JC is a loss and disappointing, but the slew of portal entrants on the whole is a necessary and net positive step towards rebuilding the program. At face value it obviously sucks to see players depart but with more color as to some of the internal issues remaining from our nadir years, the culture needs to be completely washed and painted anew. Please trust.

https://calegends.com/calegendsdonate/
parentswerebears
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Did Larson enter yet? Curtis? Has Wilkinson backed out? This is ridiculous. This tells me that there isn't enough NIL to go around and Cal is going to be a massive bdw until Madsen finds something better.
bearister
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We need to sabotage the portal!

Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
oskidunker
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bearister said:

We need to sabotage the portal!




FUCLA!
Go Bears!
DaveT
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Don't know much about the portal or how NIL money is allocated, but from what I read, it seems as if a lot of guys are asking for more than they're worth. As much as I'd love to see some portal signings soon, it probably makes sense to wait until reality sets in and prices come down.

I'm glad we're cleaning house and not wasting $ on guys who overvalue their skills. When you don't have unlimited NIL money, you need to be smart in how you use it. Seems to me that's what Madsen is doing so far.
parentswerebears
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This NIL crap is giving me a different kind of apathy that Fox did, but it is an apathy. Who am I supposed to root for if no one stays like her than a year or two? I mean, why should I care about a bunch of mercenaries?
stu
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parentswerebears said:

This NIL crap is giving me a different kind of apathy that Fox did, but it is an apathy. Who am I supposed to root for if no one stays like her than a year or two? I mean, why should I care about a bunch of mercenaries?
Exactly. I may go watch UC Davis instead.
Marchmadsen
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We'll be fine everybody relax until we know who's coming in
RedlessWardrobe
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I guess I'm stating the obvious but the "NIL Era" has truly arrived.

As an old time guy, this feels similiar to MLB in 1977 when all of a sudden players were showing up on new teams via free agency. As a fan I gradually made the adjustment. The main difference here is we are supposedly talking about "student-athletes" who are technically not professionals so the hypocrisy here is making this adjustment a little more difficult. I guess the bottom line is for the most part, it's still just sports, and in the long run it's still there primarily for our entertainment. But it was nice to think that at one time, college athletics had a little more to it than just entertainment value. It is what it is.
parentswerebears
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That's the thing. It kind of doesn't matter who is coming in. They arenr likely to be four year guys who you can watch develop and get to know as faces of the program. Gone are the days of Jorge and others like him. Now it truly is semi-pro and the spirit of college hoops is dying. It wasn't as fun watching the tournament this year, knowing that each of the teams has a price tag attached to it.
tequila4kapp
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socaltownie said:

4thGenCal said:

ManBearLion123 said:

This is an absolutely massive loss.

All the other departures didn't significantly affect next season's outlook, but Celestine leaving certainly does. I'm not sure how Madsen could possibly rebuild this roster in a single offseason to the point that we are even close to a bubble team.
Yes it is a loss and the staff wanted him to stay. This era is especially frustrating when 1) a player agrees to terms 2) Family members/advisors chime in and often create doubt with the player's sense of increased value and frankly encourage walking from verbal agreements 3) Most discouraging is that there are Collectives that will say what the player wants to hear from a money package/NIL "deal". Cal Collective is 100% honest and only gives their word on a NIL that it will fulfill. Yet when a player transfers based on "promises/even executed contract" there is no guarantee that the deal will be fully honored. SMH at the self evaluation/value of players who have not created a winning culture, or truly stood out on the court - yet have dramatically overstated their NIL demands. When the term "wild Wild West" is used in today's NIL environment for the major sports.it is spot on. Literally when a player who goes scoreless in 8 games down the later part of the season makes huge NIL demand, or a player demands to start and be the priority in the offense, or a player complains that their share is not enough etc - locker room culture is negatively impacted. The result while clearly facing a tough ACC conf entry, with doing a complete rebuild of a roster, will allow the Staff to build the right "together culture". This staff will bring in a good roster, but its going to take some lumps for sure. Bottom line - our Collective will need increased NIL support, to get a few of the very good players who want to play for Coach Madsen.
Ok. I am going to peanut gallery here. Leadership needs to looks at sdsu. Very different NIL model. Same number for scholarship players with modest bumps for starters. Broad rather than narrow funding base. Corporate sports hip happy to be identified and checks presented at halftime. Oh and sweet sixteen.
Read between the lines. Celestine was getting paid. He thinks he's a Mercedes, not a Honda. The model is irrelevant in such situations. Sounds like maybe he wasn't the only one, which would explain perhaps 3 of the departures. Think of it as Fox' parting gift to the program - guys who haven't done **** being entitled and demanding the world. Good riddance. Let's get the culture right with our new guys. The wins will follow and the program will get kick-started.
Oakbear
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parentswerebears said:

This NIL crap is giving me a different kind of apathy that Fox did, but it is an apathy. Who am I supposed to root for if no one stays like her than a year or two? I mean, why should I care about a bunch of mercenaries?
been feeling this since NIL started.

Oakbear
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"guys who haven't done **** being entitled and demanding the world.;"

When we live is such a materialistic world, you shouldn't be surprised by the desire for " mo money, mo money, mo money"
BearlyCareAnymore
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tequila4kapp said:

socaltownie said:

4thGenCal said:

ManBearLion123 said:

This is an absolutely massive loss.

All the other departures didn't significantly affect next season's outlook, but Celestine leaving certainly does. I'm not sure how Madsen could possibly rebuild this roster in a single offseason to the point that we are even close to a bubble team.
Yes it is a loss and the staff wanted him to stay. This era is especially frustrating when 1) a player agrees to terms 2) Family members/advisors chime in and often create doubt with the player's sense of increased value and frankly encourage walking from verbal agreements 3) Most discouraging is that there are Collectives that will say what the player wants to hear from a money package/NIL "deal". Cal Collective is 100% honest and only gives their word on a NIL that it will fulfill. Yet when a player transfers based on "promises/even executed contract" there is no guarantee that the deal will be fully honored. SMH at the self evaluation/value of players who have not created a winning culture, or truly stood out on the court - yet have dramatically overstated their NIL demands. When the term "wild Wild West" is used in today's NIL environment for the major sports.it is spot on. Literally when a player who goes scoreless in 8 games down the later part of the season makes huge NIL demand, or a player demands to start and be the priority in the offense, or a player complains that their share is not enough etc - locker room culture is negatively impacted. The result while clearly facing a tough ACC conf entry, with doing a complete rebuild of a roster, will allow the Staff to build the right "together culture". This staff will bring in a good roster, but its going to take some lumps for sure. Bottom line - our Collective will need increased NIL support, to get a few of the very good players who want to play for Coach Madsen.
Ok. I am going to peanut gallery here. Leadership needs to looks at sdsu. Very different NIL model. Same number for scholarship players with modest bumps for starters. Broad rather than narrow funding base. Corporate sports hip happy to be identified and checks presented at halftime. Oh and sweet sixteen.
Read between the lines. Celestine was getting paid. He thinks he's a Mercedes, not a Honda. The model is irrelevant in such situations. Sounds like maybe he wasn't the only one, which would explain perhaps 3 of the departures. Think of it as Fox' parting gift to the program - guys who haven't done **** being entitled and demanding the world. Good riddance. Let's get the culture right with our new guys. The wins will follow and the program will get kick-started.
Or, he thinks he is a Honda and we think the going rate for Honda's is $10K. The argument on our side is everyone is leaving because everyone overvalues themselves. Maybe. Or maybe this is a volatile market and we aren't keeping up with the pricing. We won't know until everything plays out. It seems that the supply side of the equation has a pretty unified vision of what the value is. We will see if they are wrong or if the demand side ultimately agrees. Frankly, I agree at this point with our side taking the chance and not locking up deals potentially overpaying for group of mostly below average players without testing the market because I don't see much risk in waiting to see what we can get on the open market. I'm not really desperate to lock ourselves in with a group of mostly easily replaceable role players who didn't get much run on a team that was a significant improvement over the prior year, but was still below .500. (Most of the guys that had much of a contribution were leaving because their eligibility was up or to go to the NBA). Celestine is the best of the bunch and I wish we would have been able to hold on to him, but I don't think he is hard to replace. Obviously, though, we are in a precarious position because we literally don't have a team right now.

I do think that people may need to be prepared that these players may actually be correct in their valuation. One thing I know from all of my years following college sports is that nationally there are a lot of people willing to chuck nonsensical sums of money so that a team wearing their school's jersey can win. Everytime you think the spending just can't go any higher, they blow right through it. This is why I have always been dubious about Cal being able to buy its way out of the myriad of issues it has with athletic success by just competing in the NIL pool. Hey, it's a new avenue. Go for it. But I can't get over the decades of watching Cal always being below market price in its overall spend. NIL is a new and extremely volatile market and my opinion is that there will always be those at other programs willing to spend whatever it takes. And that is usually more than what our donors are willing to spend. When I see everyone leaving because they are asking for a price we think is too high, history leads me to a guess (and it is only a guess) that we are basing evaluation on last year's environment and we may find that this year's environment is far different. But, as I said, I agree with our approach on NIL right now. Frankly, after recent years where IMO, Cal has just overpayed coaches in a panic and consistently extended contracts for no reason when coaches haven't proven anything, it is refreshing that someone associated with Cal is taking a prudent, wait and see, approach to spending and not getting themselves prematurely locked up in low value, high cost relationships.

Just don't get too positive that these guys are overvaluing themselves. Are there plenty of schools that will plunk down a bunch of money for the 13th guy on the bench? I'd bet yes.
Gobears49
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socaltownie said:

4thGenCal said:

ManBearLion123 said:

This is an absolutely massive loss.

All the other departures didn't significantly affect next season's outlook, but Celestine leaving certainly does. I'm not sure how Madsen could possibly rebuild this roster in a single offseason to the point that we are even close to a bubble team.
Yes it is a loss and the staff wanted him to stay. This era is especially frustrating when 1) a player agrees to terms 2) Family members/advisors chime in and often create doubt with the player's sense of increased value and frankly encourage walking from verbal agreements 3) Most discouraging is that there are Collectives that will say what the player wants to hear from a money package/NIL "deal". Cal Collective is 100% honest and only gives their word on a NIL that it will fulfill. Yet when a player transfers based on "promises/even executed contract" there is no guarantee that the deal will be fully honored. SMH at the self evaluation/value of players who have not created a winning culture, or truly stood out on the court - yet have dramatically overstated their NIL demands. When the term "wild Wild West" is used in today's NIL environment for the major sports.it is spot on. Literally when a player who goes scoreless in 8 games down the later part of the season makes huge NIL demand, or a player demands to start and be the priority in the offense, or a player complains that their share is not enough etc - locker room culture is negatively impacted. The result while clearly facing a tough ACC conf entry, with doing a complete rebuild of a roster, will allow the Staff to build the right "together culture". This staff will bring in a good roster, but its going to take some lumps for sure. Bottom line - our Collective will need increased NIL support, to get a few of the very good players who want to play for Coach Madsen.


Ok. I am going to peanut gallery here. Leadership needs to looks at sdsu. Very different NIL model. Same number for scholarship players with modest bumps for starters. Broad rather than narrow funding base. Corporate sports hip happy to be identified and checks presented at halftime. Oh and sweet sixteen.
Are the departures part of some sort of a Madsen deficiency. Also, I like the idea to look at how SDSU handles NIL. This issue is good for an article by BearInsider.
BeachedBear
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I keep coming back to musical chairs. There are only so many roster spots. It seems like there will be some exciting chaos when the music stops and there are teams left with available slots and players who don't have a seat with the NIL money they wanted.

My uneducated guess is that the schools will be fine, but many players may end up somewhere unexpected and be very disappointed.
bipolarbear
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The Power Ball is now 1.1 Billion! Problem solved.
Johnfox
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I'm just wondering who were going to fill the roster with. 9 spots is a LOT. Tyrin Lawrence, Ajogbor, Pope, Amey Jr, Raynaud?
Marchmadsen
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It'll even itself out just trust madsen
BearlyCareAnymore
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parentswerebears said:

That's the thing. It kind of doesn't matter who is coming in. They arenr likely to be four year guys who you can watch develop and get to know as faces of the program. Gone are the days of Jorge and others like him. Now it truly is semi-pro and the spirit of college hoops is dying. It wasn't as fun watching the tournament this year, knowing that each of the teams has a price tag attached to it.
The issue isn't NIL or transfers. This happened decades ago when schools realized they could make a lot of money not just through ticket sales to its students and alums, but through TV money, merchandising and generally to marketing to people who have nothing to do with their university community. When you saw bowl games stop trying to set up games that put together the best matchup, opting instead to try and determine who would sell the most tickets or be the biggest draw, to the extent that they needed to make a rule that you had to have a winning record because otherwise Notre Dame was going to get invited every year no matter how bad they were, that was a wake up call no one heeded.

The issue was that as long as the universities could enforce unfair labor practices and heavily penalize players for transferring and not give them any share of the economic spoils, you could continue to pretend like this was "our team" made up of "our students" with "school spirit" and "tradition", like this was your high school where you just went out to root for your classmates. Except it wasn't that. Players didn't play for their school. They stayed because they were enslaved by a market that was artificially rigged to give them no other choice. Given no other choice, sure, many of them chose school ties because it was their only choice. Given a free market, most wouldn't have done that. College sports have been a business for a long time and it is not that "kids today" are different. Had they had NIL 30 years ago, the same exact things would have happened. The players are in this for themselves. To get the best deal for themselves. To get the best training for themselves. And in a world where the universities are all in it for themselves, there is no reason why players should treat this as anything else but a business relationship. We'd all do the same thing in our job, no matter how much we like our employer, believe in the work, are loyal, if someone else offered a substantially better deal, we'd go. Players shouldn't sacrifice so we can keep up the facade that this is still all about school spirit.

To be clear, I feel the same way that you do. I was able to pretend for a long time that college sports was something it wasn't, and with essentially unlimited transfers and NIL and annual bidding for players, I can't remotely keep up that fantasy. I seriously believe that at this point it is ridiculous not to acknowledge that these are just professional teams sponsored by universities, and the hoops that we go through to keep pretending they aren't in the most thinly veiled ways are ridiculous at this point. NIL is not allowed to be pay for play, but we all know it is pay for play. Guys are required to go to class, but we all know schools are passing them with no effort. Players are only supposed to practice certain times of the year, but if they go out and practice with only the strength and conditioning coach present, they can have full blown practices running the entire play book. It's all bullshyte

Few care if they get paid. Few care if they go to class or get degrees. Stop the pretense. I think it is time schools decide who they want to be. If they want to be in the full blown, big TV contract, national college football league where it is all about money, make it so. Let them sponsor professional teams, pay the players, don't give them scholarships (unless the school wants to and the player actually wants to go to class), and let them practice 5 days a week 52 weeks a year. Why keep up the charade? And if the school DOESN'T want to participate in that, go back to the old system. Sell tickets. Stream games online with low budget broadcasts and local advertisers. Treat it as a nonprofit. Players go back to getting scholarships and no pay and strict rules about alumni interference. Just pick one or the other. Let sports be a school function for the students where we want to win but at the end of the day we support the team because they are our students. Or let it be a professional sports league. There is room for both. I don't need to pretend like Yankees players love the Yankees, love New York, or are bettering themselves in any way other than to make them better baseball players, or pretend that I give a damn about them other than what they do on the field and I don't need to pretend they care about me other than the dollars I spend on their team. I shouldn't have to (and can't) pretend that players paid, directly or indirectly, though my university care about my university and I shouldn't have to pretend I care about what they do off the field/court.

Given that Division I football and basketball are pro leagues now, and given how much the product absolutely sucks compared to the NFL and NBA, I don't really see the value in them in the same way I don't waste my time with minor league baseball. And that is kind of the point of these stupid rules. They want to keep up the fantasy for you because they know the second you realize this isn't really about your school and that it really is just minor league baseball, you'll stop watching.

When I realized that I got a lot more enjoyment watching my 10 year old play at a competitive level - watching them work hard in practice, improve their games, care about each other as teammates, compete and win or lose with spirit and sportsmanship, it became much harder to pretend that today's college sports is anything like that. Its a business. It's a business with a bad product wrapped in nostalgia in an attempt to stop you from noticing the product went rancid a long time ago. Personally, my hope is that NIL hastens the point where enough people realize this so that we can go back to a time where both revenues and spending come crashing down to earth (and we can stop pretending like we actually make big bucks doing this) and we stop the dysfunctional system and go back to it actually being school sports again.

It is time to acknowledge this is a professional sports product and support it or don't on that basis.
BearlyCareAnymore
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BeachedBear said:

I keep coming back to musical chairs. There are only so many roster spots. It seems like there will be some exciting chaos when the music stops and there are teams left with available slots and players who don't have a seat with the NIL money they wanted.

My uneducated guess is that the schools will be fine, but many players may end up somewhere unexpected and be very disappointed.
My uneducated guess is that the top 75% of players will be fine and the bottom 25% will find they don't have NIL money and will end up looking for a spot with just a scholarship and they will only be left out if they wait too long or if they refuse to play without a paycheck.

As for schools, if filling out a roster with the bottom 25% makes you fine, you'll be fine. If you want the top 75% of players, you better find the money, because as long as there is a donor out there who thinks paying some guy will make his college team go 5-25 instead of 3-27, they'll get paid. When it comes to college sports, the market isn't rational and there is clearly value that is not measured in dollars or return on investment.

But that is a guess on my part. (though I think following the behavior of college sports donors for 40 years, it is a pretty good guess).
BearlyCareAnymore
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GoldenBasketBear said:

I agree. This all seems like players just wanting more money. I'm certain we can afford some of them, but they often demand more than what we believe they're worth, especially considering our cumulative amount, which is on the lower end within the ACC. If we want to recruit certain players, we should invest in NIL. It's as simple as that. Fans complaining and placing blame on the staff shouldn't have a say if they're not backing it up with their wallets. Welcome to the harsh reality of the new era of college basketball. Thanks for all you do, 4thGenCal.
In my opinion, we can't afford to pay bench players. Put it all on 3-4 players. Cal has had success with teams that had a few good players and a bunch of guys who just wanted to play. Campanelli's first team had KJ, Butler, Taylor, Washington and a bunch of guys who ran around setting screens and drawing charges. We had the big three year of Shipp, Tamir, Wethers playing with freshman Midgley and walkons and role players. Madsen is the kind of coach that can get players 5-8 to play hard and disciplined basketball around a good core 1-4. 9-13 don't matter and if they are looking to get paid are going to leave before they contribute to the team anyway. And frankly, guys who want to get paid expect to start and probably contribute negatively to the team if they don't.

KoreAmBear
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tequila4kapp said:

socaltownie said:

4thGenCal said:

ManBearLion123 said:

This is an absolutely massive loss.

All the other departures didn't significantly affect next season's outlook, but Celestine leaving certainly does. I'm not sure how Madsen could possibly rebuild this roster in a single offseason to the point that we are even close to a bubble team.
Yes it is a loss and the staff wanted him to stay. This era is especially frustrating when 1) a player agrees to terms 2) Family members/advisors chime in and often create doubt with the player's sense of increased value and frankly encourage walking from verbal agreements 3) Most discouraging is that there are Collectives that will say what the player wants to hear from a money package/NIL "deal". Cal Collective is 100% honest and only gives their word on a NIL that it will fulfill. Yet when a player transfers based on "promises/even executed contract" there is no guarantee that the deal will be fully honored. SMH at the self evaluation/value of players who have not created a winning culture, or truly stood out on the court - yet have dramatically overstated their NIL demands. When the term "wild Wild West" is used in today's NIL environment for the major sports.it is spot on. Literally when a player who goes scoreless in 8 games down the later part of the season makes huge NIL demand, or a player demands to start and be the priority in the offense, or a player complains that their share is not enough etc - locker room culture is negatively impacted. The result while clearly facing a tough ACC conf entry, with doing a complete rebuild of a roster, will allow the Staff to build the right "together culture". This staff will bring in a good roster, but its going to take some lumps for sure. Bottom line - our Collective will need increased NIL support, to get a few of the very good players who want to play for Coach Madsen.
Ok. I am going to peanut gallery here. Leadership needs to looks at sdsu. Very different NIL model. Same number for scholarship players with modest bumps for starters. Broad rather than narrow funding base. Corporate sports hip happy to be identified and checks presented at halftime. Oh and sweet sixteen.
Read between the lines. Celestine was getting paid. He thinks he's a Mercedes, not a Honda. The model is irrelevant in such situations. Sounds like maybe he wasn't the only one, which would explain perhaps 3 of the departures. Think of it as Fox' parting gift to the program - guys who haven't done **** being entitled and demanding the world. Good riddance. Let's get the culture right with our new guys. The wins will follow and the program will get kick-started.
I'm sad about Celestine. He has had so much adversity with his injuries and he finally got a chance to shine. But it was still at 8+ ppg not exactly a stat stuffer. I think 2024-25 was a chance for him to be a star here, so it was puzzling that he entered the portal. Likely the bag was not being offered him, and the same goes for Rodney Brown Jr. I agree with BCAM's portal/NIL business model -- pay 3 of the stars big, then build around them with role players that fit the type of players that fit Mad Dog's style.
barsad
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I don't think Cal or any other school has to submit to this Wild West market mentality… by the way, getting a scholarship IS getting paid, why are we talking as if that has no monetary value?
My suggestion would be for Cal to start a new, NIL-capped conference, and invite other top academic schools that don't feel like playing this game (and losing, like we're about to), every off-season.
Conference rules would cap NIL money in the same way there's a salary cap in pro sports, something reasonable that is still a good amount of money (100K?) but not outrageous, and once you're at the max that's it.
Would we have bottom 25% players? Sure, and I say, so what? Would we still see entertaining basketball and rivalry games? Yes.
My guess is that eventually the "clean conferences" will do better than the free-market, pay-students-millions conferences. I don't think clean conferences would get shut out of March Madness, and when one of them inevitably beats a max-NIL team, it will create more interest for the sport.
We need to get out of the mindset that there's nothing we can do about this and we should be OK with paying 3-4 Cal players a bunch of money while the rest of the team gets nothing. I've already given up on 2024-2025, we have no names on our roster for God's sake, but somebody has to start talking about clean conferences now.
bearsandgiants
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barsad said:

I don't think Cal or any other school has to submit to this Wild West market mentality… by the way, getting a scholarship IS getting paid, why are we talking as if that has no monetary value?
My suggestion would be for Cal to start a new, NIL-capped conference, and invite other top academic schools that don't feel like playing this game (and losing, like we're about to), every off-season.
Conference rules would cap NIL money in the same way there's a salary cap in pro sports, something reasonable that is still a good amount of money (100K?) but not outrageous, and once you're at the max that's it.
Would we have bottom 25% players? Sure, and I say, so what? Would we still see entertaining basketball and rivalry games? Yes.
My guess is that eventually the "clean conferences" will do better than the free-market, pay-students-millions conferences. I don't think clean conferences would get shut out of March Madness, and when one of them inevitably beats a max-NIL team, it will create more interest for the sport.
We need to get out of the mindset that there's nothing we can do about this and we should be OK with paying 3-4 Cal players a bunch of money while the rest of the team gets nothing. I've already given up on 2024-2025, we have no names on our roster for God's sake, but somebody has to start talking about clean conferences now.
I like this idea. Have an east and west conference, or 4 conferences and a 4 to 16-team playoff for the top performers each year. Just ignore all of the noise. Not sure which universities would participate though. Too many are chasing the $.
wifeisafurd
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GoldenBasketBear said:

I agree. This all seems like players just wanting more money.
True, but that said, also players who with a better culture, would stay. I think Madsen is willing to clear house of Fox players to get his kind of guys. JC may find with the flood of players on the market, he may not achieve his NIL expectations.
stu
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I'd be much happier if Cal played 4-year students in a league with UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, Cal Poly SLO, and Stanford; filled out with maybe Rice and SMU. Maybe resurrect that Apple streaming deal with a lower payout. Less travel and like-minded institutions but I'm sure the idea would infuriate enough big donors to impact our academic side.
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