Steve Levy was named California's starting quarterback for the 108th Big Game on Thursday, replacing struggling Joe Ayoob in the Golden...

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BERKELEY, Calif. — Steve Levy was named California’s starting quarterback for the 108th Big Game on Thursday, replacing struggling Joe Ayoob in the Golden Bears’ regular-season finale.

Levy, a junior who played fullback last season, will make his first career start Saturday when Cal (6-4, 3-4 Pac-10) travels across the San Francisco Bay to face arch-

rival Stanford.

Coach Jeff Tedford had hinted at the decision since last weekend, when Ayoob struggled in a 35-10 loss to No. 1 USC. The junior-college transfer had the latest in a series of poor performances, going 9 for 19 with four interceptions before getting benched in the fourth quarter.

“Both Steve and Joe Ayoob had a good week of practice and will be ready to play,” Tedford said. “This change also allows Joe an opportunity to observe the defense from a different perspective.”

Miami-linked rap

song surfaces

Miami athletic director Paul Dee said a sexually explicit rap recording made two years ago by a group that included student-athletes was “offensive and demeaning” and not condoned by the university. But he also said it should be put in perspective as something done privately with no intention of becoming public.

The nine-minute song surfaced Tuesday on the Internet. The rappers include current members of Miami’s third-ranked football team. One player, who was identified as “T Gooden” and called himself number “Five Two,” likely is linebacker Tavares Gooden, a junior who wears No. 52 and is out for the season after shoulder surgery.

“There hasn’t been any punishment at this point,” Dee said. “It will be dealt with within the department, and hopefully we’ll deal with it in a number of ways, including talking to people about what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate in certain circumstances.”

A blog describing the audio tape was written Tuesday on a Web site authored by a Miami student, whom identified as Kyle Munzenrieder. The site had a link to the song, featuring several males describing lewd sexual acts in detail, including group sex references.

The Hurricanes have spent the past several years trying to erase a thug image that plummeted in Dennis Erickson’s tenure (1989 through 1994).


Michael L. Thomas, 23, a former Central Michigan player, was extradited from Florida to Michigan and arraigned on second-degree murder and other charges in the fatal beating of a man outside a bar in Mount Pleasant, Mich., on June 25, 2004.

Thomas was ordered to remain in jail on a $1.1 million bond.

• Tulane punter Chris Beckman was accidentally shot during a hunting accident Sunday. After being admitted in critical condition, Beckman’s condition has improved and Tuesday he was moved from intensive care. Beckman, a junior, was averaging 40.9 yards a punt.