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Workers lay out rolls of artificial turf on the field as renovations continue at Memorial Stadium at UC Berkeley on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in Berkeley, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Staff)

UNIVERSAL CITY -- Coach Jeff Tedford delivered news at Pac-12 media day that every Cal football fan will welcome -- the first pieces of artificial turf were laid Tuesday morning at renovated Memorial Stadium.

"They're putting down the field now -- today," Tedford said. "Half of the field is going down today. It's really exciting. The fans are going to be blown away by it."

Originally, the process of laying the turf wasn't expected to begin until Aug. 1. Tedford expects the team will be able to begin practicing in the stadium by Aug. 15.

"It'll be great to get in the stadium, get familiar with the field, the footing, just the environment, how things have changed," Tedford said.

  • The news wasn't so good for senior starting right guard Dominic Galas, who tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights Friday and was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday.

    Galas, who started 13 games at center last season, was initially projected to be sidelined for three months. "Once they go in they can assess better," Tedford said.

    Sophomore Geoffrey Gibson is listed No. 2 on the depth chart at right guard entering the start of fall practice on Aug. 4.

  • Tedford reiterated there is nothing to the Web chatter that senior quarterback Zach Maynard might be ruled academically ineligible.

    "Zach's doing fine. He's ready to go," Tedford said. "He's finishing up his summer school class, just like everybody else is, and he's doing fine with it. That's what I said a long time ago."

  • Would-be incoming freshmen Raymond Ford, a defensive back from Gardena, and Maurice Bennett, a defensive lineman from Madison, Miss., did not qualify academically. "We knew they had some work to do," Tedford said. "They won't be with us."

  • Tedford wasn't concerned that the Bears were picked fourth in the Pac-12 North in the annual media poll.

    "It really doesn't mean anything," he said. "It really comes down to how you play. There's some pieces that give us the makings of an exciting year -- a 3,000-yard passer coming back, a 1,000-yard rusher, a 1,000-yard receiver.

    "There's some young guys who've got to take over, but the guys are working hard and excited to get going."

  • Tedford said he feels badly for everyone involved in the Penn State scandal -- the victims and their families, and the current players who had nothing to do with the Jerry Sandusky child abuse situation.

    "It reaffirms our role as educators and role models," he said. "Obviously, the penalties that came down, as severe as they were, there's a message being sent there. It's a good message, that we all need to understand our responsibility."

  • Cal athletics is negotiating with Berkeley institution Top Dog to sell its popular hot dogs at Memorial Stadium this season.