Rick Neuheisel came down really hard on his football team for ditching practice before bowl game:
On Wednesday, the entire team was forced to run a few extra sprints for skipping practice.
Can't imagine how many times Bruin fans including us here on BN have made fun of Pom Pom for disciplining his players by running extra laps. Now we have to read this. LOL Guess that's the way of karma getting us back. He then explained away his tough actions:
When I explained it to them, why I didn’t want them to do it last spring, I said it started as a bowl deal," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "If we get to a bowl, I’ll understand it. For me to act like I don’t understand would be a little hypocritical.
"Now would I prefer we wouldn’t do it? Sure. Because coaches always think we could use the time. But part of a team is camaraderie. I know there are people out there that think we should be using every waking moment to be ready for a bowl. We’re going to be ready to play."
Neuheisel intimated the "over the wall" tradition might need to be reviewed next season.
"As years go on, you change deals," he said. "We’ll figure out what deal we need to make next year."
In other words, he doesn't sound all that anxious and worried about UCLA football looking like a joke to rest of college football world. Before I close the loop on this couple of more funny (that's the best I can put it) sidenotes. Apparently Ben Olson was defending this nonsense on Jon Gold's podcast per bluebland:
Check out Ben Olson today. "Not a big deal…just one practice…this is not the NFL…stress."
I wonder how Ben Olson knows so much about playing the NFL? May be I forgot how he played in it after winning all those Pac-10 championships at UCLA. And then there was Milton Knox embracing this "tradition":
"This is the type of thing you talk about 30 years from now," redshirt freshman running back Milton Knox said. "I'm assuming (cornerbacks coach Carnell) Lake and (wide receiver coach) Reggie Moore probably sit back and talk about theirs all the time. It was a tradition started from way back, and what can I say, it's something that, 30 years from now, when we have kids and we're all old and fat and gray, we're going to say, `Remember when we walled bowl practice?"'
If 30 years from now all Milton has only the wall experience to talk about with his team-mates, I shudder to think what exactly he will end up accomplishing as a football player in Westwood. When Neuheisel got here and fired up the alumni base he didn't do it by talking about going over the wall, he did it by talking about his memories of beating SC and winning Rose Bowls. I don't know if the coaches or the folks at UCLA's media relations have told these guys how ridiculous they sound defending this nonsense.
Anyway, as I said yesterday for Neuheisel's sake and the sake of this program, hope the "camradrie" shows through a convincing bowl win over a non-BCS program. Everyone here wants the kids (yes, we know they are kids) in our program to have fun. More importantly, we also want the kids in this program honor their scholarship to attend one of the best universities in the country, work their rear ends of in their class rooms, practice field, and then shine through on game days. If December 29th turns out to be a disappointing game day for Neuheisel and his players, the upcoming off season will not be fun. I will leave it at that.