… to On the Air with Bret Bielema but was tied up and couldn’t tonight. Usually, Clay covers, but I have seen anything. Did they have it tonight? I figured it might get interesting considering everything going on …
Clay was out tonight and I listened. I was going to write a story if anything newsworthy came out of it.
The only personnel updates he gave were on Hjalte Froholdt, Austin Cantrell and De’Andre Coley, who have practiced this week and should play Saturday. That essentially was covered earlier in the week.
Bret talked about Jeff’s firing, but it was kind of a ramble. Here is the transcription:
"Obviously big news that hit the world the other day. The one thing that I reflect on - everybody wanted to know about my situation, my time with Jeff and all that goes into it, and obviously a relationship that will last way, way past our time here together, but it was awesome for me to witness when I first got here throughout my time here to where we are today and what you saw yesterday, where you saw this unified outpouring not just from former football players, not guys I had coached, but the reference by so many student-athletes to the way Jeff had treated them. For us personally in football, traveled with us the majority of the time. He was always fist bumping the guys at the front of the plane - not just one, not two, but 70 guys, and some of the guys that weren’t on the team that he thought were on the team.
“It was just kind of fun to watch that interaction. Of course we invited him in to speak every year. He’s speak to our group to kickoff fall camp and our group built a relationship with him there. I thought Kevin Richardson yesterday, he obviously is a team captain for us, when he was a freshman and came in he was a 150-pound walk-on and I don’t really think knew where he was going to go, and a short time thereafter I saw he had a lot of talent. But he…has been on a committee that worked closely with administration and meets with the athletic directors and administration. You could tell Kevin was genuinely moved yesterday with the news and made a great statement. We wish Jeff and his family, especially the girls and his wife all the best. We’re thinking of them.”
On whether Long’s firing is a distraction
"No, for me personally it didn’t. The finality of it, obviously, there was that moment. We went into a staff meeting and…we got done with our general staff and on Wednesdays we work with punt return and kick return, so I kept the coaches involved with that unit in the staff meeting, so probably half my staff walked out the door. We were in there for a good 15, 20 minutes and the door opened. In my staff room, the door never usually opens, right, unless it’s an emergency situation. Someone had made contact with Mark Taurisani and he popped his head in and goes, ‘When you’re done here, I need to see you.’ He said obviously the news that transpired. Especially to our coaches, they’re going to have questions. I see Julie here. Julie reached out to me right away and told me how things were moving forward. She was awesome then, as she has been throughout this thing. I just brought my coaches in and met with them.
“Players you never know about. I don’t think they read the newspaper; they do this thing called social media and Twitter. I just kind of briefly mentioned it after practice, but as far as practice itself, it hasn’t had - and for us as coaches, believe it or not, you’re in such a bunker hole mentality - and I know there is a lot of noise out there - it’s really easier for us to prepare than most people would think just because you don’t worry about anything else. Whether you won or lost, you’re worried about Saturday and the preparation for it.”
Thanks, Matt. I can understand; it was just a ramble. But I appreciate you transcribing it. You are always on the ball.