UA football going nowhere - East Valley Tribune: News

UA football going nowhere

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Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2003 12:14 am | Updated: 1:16 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Notes, quotes and opinions on the goings-on in the Jock Departments of our nation's institutions of higher learning:

Arizona fans have virtually resigned themselves to this being a lost decade of Wildcats football.

Whatever buzz fans got from what was perceived as a surprising recruiting class in February has fizzled in the wake of recent developments.

Spring practice, which was supposed to commence Saturday, has been pushed back because of staff turnover.

Defensive coordinator Larry Mac Duff accepted a $300,000 offer to join the staff of the San Francisco 49ers. Defensive end coach Charlie Camp, a former UA player under Dick Tomey, has moved to Oregon State.

Recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello, the man most responsible for Arizona's strong presence in Texas, has returned to Wisconsin to coach tight ends.

Defensive line coach Marty Long is known to also be looking, having interviewed at Maryland.

Coach John Mackovic's decision to fire special teams coordinator/linebackers coach Scott Pelluer after signing day didn't set well with the staff.

Star tailback Clarence Farmer has been all but kicked off the team after a meeting with Mackovic, according to sources, he questioned whether the UA coach had actually changed. Mackovic is replacing the departed aides with coaches he is familiar with.

Mike Hankwitz, an assistant with Mackovic during the Jim Young era in the 1970s, has taken over as defensive coordinator. New offensive coordinator Mike Deal and quarterbacks coach Jeff Hecklinski have ties to the coach.

Mackovic has two years to earn another contract. If the Wildcats are still floundering in the second division, UA would make a change. A new coach would then be on board for the 2005 season. Depending on the quality of talent and the strength of the abilities of a successor, it could take him three years to establish a solid program. That would be 2007.

That would be closing in on 30 years and still no Rose Bowl.

If that's the scenario, UA fans can only hope Lute Olson is still coaching the basketball team.

TOUGH CALL

So who's the Pac-10 player of the year?

Is it Jason Gardner, the glue and leading scorer on Arizona's Pac-10 championship and No. 1-ranked team?

Or is it Joe Shipp, the conference's leading scorer, who led the Golden Bears, picked fifth, to a surprising finish in the top three.

How do you vote? Player of the year or most valuable? Sometimes those are two different people.

"I think you have to look at value," said Oregon State coach Jay John. "There's a tendency on some of these awards to dismiss someone who's been successful who's supposed to be successful in favor of someone who came out of nowhere."

My vote would go to Shipp.

FAMOUS SON GOING TO IU

Former Indiana great Scott May wouldn't send his son, Sean, to his alma mater. But coach Mike Davis has landed 6-foot-8 forward Patrick Ewing Jr.

Just another sign of the decline of Georgetown, which, incidently, began when the snooty preppie school admitted the controversial Allen Iverson. Do you think the admissions office, after coach John Thompson left, started putting some restrictions on who would be recruited?

NEW FORMULA

The NCAA is developing a more realistic formula for calculating and evaluating academic progress and graduation rates, which is needed if the association is going "punish" schools (I'll believe it when I see it) for failing to graduate their players.

Something called the Annual Academic Progress Rate is being developed by a committee. It'll differ from the current federally mandated calculations.

The presidents continue to talk tough about academic performance.

"There's such a premium on winning athletics events over the education of student-athletes that we've allowed a culture to be created that looks the other way," said Maryland president Brit Kirwan. "Well, we don't want to look the other way anymore."

With the revelations of academic fraud at Georgia and Fresno State, do you really believe anything will change?

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