Does what’s happened at other schools off the field make you worried for your program?
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel: “I always think when you’re dealing with 18-to-22-year-old kids, you’re going to be susceptible to poor decision-making. The best we can do as educators, coaches, teachers, is to give them all the pertinent information. Give them the skills and tools to make good decisions and have a disciplinary framework in place that they understand when they don’t make good decisions, what happens.”
(More on the subject after the jump)
Do you keep a tab on the other teams like that? Does the Masoli situation make you smile?
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel: “No, shoot, that never makes you smile. That’s a sad thing for everybody. Why I watch the others is to try to learn. Sometimes someone will come up with a way to do things that you can say is smart, a nice job. Case in point: Chip Kelly’s handling of the LaGarrette Blount situation. He needed to make a firm stance and he did. And I thought the entire country understood, just as if they ewre disciplining their own son, that when you ground him for six months, in month five, because he’s done everything you’ve asked, you may give him a chance. I have zero problem with that handling. I actually said, ‘That’s a heck of a deal.’ The things that happen off the field, we want our players to learn vicariously, so that they realize these are real consequences to making those poor decisions. We have a board in our locker room with articles about the transgressions of others so that they see what takes place. I will guarantee you that coaches across the country throughout their March Madness pools that they were all in them when they read of my problem. You try to learn and try to keep that from being a landmine you step on. But I don’t ever judge people by those things. I know we’re all on that edge where kids are making decisions and we can’t do it for them.”