Holtz on 620: Tressel a 'man of character'
This time of year, there's only so many opportunities to hear USF football coach Skip Holtz, so while there isn't any substantial news to come from it, Holtz did 15 minutes with Dan Sileo on 620 AM this morning, talking about a variety of topics. You can listen to the whole thing here, but here are some highlights ...
-- On whether 2011 is a Big East title or bust season for USF: "I don't know about bust, but we definitely are shooting for that Big East championship. ... There's a lot going on right now. This is where you make most of your development. Everybody's regulated to X number of winter workouts, 15 spring practices, 29 practices before the first game. This commitment they make in the summer and how much these guys run and lift and throw and do all these things together in their voluntary workouts is huge as far as us taking that next step we want to take."
-- On former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and the troubles in Columbus: "I think Coach Tressel has really been a landmark in college football in the last 15-20 years. He's done such a good job, but he's always had a great reputation. I think he's a man of character. It's a bad situation when you look at it. They're trying to heap everything onto him, which I don't think you can do, which I don't think is fair. It's unfortunate, because those are the stories that are gaining so much attention right now. You look at things that are happening, it probably should. At the same time, I think there are some great stories, great individual stories about student-athletes doing it the right way. A lot of people are saying you have to cheat to compete at this level, and I don't agree with (that). I think you can do it the right way. I look at what Al Golden is going to do down there at Miami. I have great respect for Al Golden. I think he's a phenomenal football coach. I think he's a good man and I think he'll do a good job there. I know we're trying to build it the right way here and I know a lot of people are around the country."
-- On Rutgers coach Greg Schiano's proposal to get rid of kickoffs in college football: "I think it's something there's been a lot of talk about at the college level and the NFL level because of all the injuries. So many things everybody is doing are for the protection of the student-athletes or the athletes at the NFL level. It's a train wreck when you get the size of these guys today. They tried to take the wedges out of the game so you don't have those high collisions with two guys running full speed that both weigh 250 pounds and are muscled up. They're both throwing their bodies at each other. It's a collision. It's a train wreck. What everybody is trying to do is how can we maintain the game and the fun of the game and the integrity of the game, the way it works and the schemes of the game. Nobody wants to take special teams out of it. But if we need to take the kickoff return out of it to eliminate some injuries during the course of the season, then I think that's something we have to evaluate."
-- On Sileo's belief that if USF wins the Big East, Holtz will be a strong candidate for the Ohio State job: "I heard (close friend) Urban Meyer's going to Ohio State (laughing). I heard Urban's going to take it. He's from Ohio, Cincinnati boy. It's a great job. It's a great program. It's going to be interesting to see what happens with all the NCAA implications and what shakes out of this. It's just starting when the NCAA comes in to do a full-scale investigation. Right now, my focus is on South Bend, Indiana, where we start the 2011 season."
-- On going back to Notre Dame, where he played and coached: "It's like somebody told me a couple of weeks ago. They said 'Just make sure when you run out of the tunnel, you turn left. If you're standing on the sideline next to Coach (Brian) Kelly, that's a major faux pas. Turn left. Go to the right sideline."
-- A reminder that the Pinellas County "Around the Horns" dinner is at Island Way Grill in Clearwater on Monday night. Same for Sarasota/Manatee on Tuesday at Michael's on East. More info at MyBullsClub.com.