According to a press release issued on Thursday, sophomore linebacker Cecil Whiteside has been dismissed from the Cal football team.
The release stated Whiteside violated team rules, warranting the dismissal. Head coach Jeff Tedford did not specify which rule he violated.
As a freshman, Whiteside started three games for the Bears last season and appeared in 10 contests. The Newport Beach, Calif., native logged three sacks for 24 yards and made a total of 17 tackles during the 2011 campaign.
Whiteside had flashes of brilliance in his first season. On his third collegiate play in Cal’s first game of the year, the 6-foot-2 linebacker forced a fumble that led to a Trevor Guyton touchdown. A few months later, Whiteside walloped Washington State quarterback Marshall Lobbestael for a nine-yard loss to kill a drive.
Whiteside was not listed in the post-spring depth chart and roster released on May 1. The Bears lost two senior linebackers this year, and Whiteside could have competed for major minutes. Sophomore Chris McCain, who started six games last season, is listed as the starting outside linebacker headed in to summer camp.
Initially signed with the 2010 recruiting class, Whiteside greyshirted before enrolling at Cal in January 2011. He was touted as a four-star recruit by numerous sources, including ESPN. Rivals heralded him as the No. 4 outside linebacker in the country in his class.