ESPN College GameDay has grown from a fun experiment to the gold standard of sports pregame shows. Schools and fans clamor to host the flagship program and roll out all the glitz and glamor when Kirk Herbstreit and Co. visit their campus.
Except for one. One school did not want GameDay.
Cal is the only school to ever decline College GameDay. ESPN producer Lee Fitting spoke about the show during an appearance at the SVG College Sports Summit this week, during which he talked about the Golden Bears passing on the opportunity, among other things (via California Golden Blogs).
— SVG College (@SVGCollege) June 1, 2017
Cal has never hosted football GameDay but they been a road team three times, most recently at Utah in 2015. They did host basketball GameDay in 2009 against UCLA. Shortly after Fitting's comments, both he and Cal athletics released statements about a possible future visit Berkeley.
We would welcome any opportunity to host ESPN GameDay. It would be a wonderful chance for us to show off our campus and connect with friends, family and alumni around the world. We had the privilege of hosting the basketball version of GameDay on campus in 2009 and it was a tremendous experience for all.
Cal is high on our list of campuses we'd love to visit. I produced College GameDay, basketball edition, at Berkeley and it was one of the best atmospheres in the show's history. We can't wait to bring College GameDay to Cal in the future where I'm confident we will have a similar experience.