“Just do your job” was the theme of the players-only meeting held by the University of Arizona football squad.
The meeting was intended to clear the air and try to find motivation for the rest of the season after UA fell to 2-3 with a 21-10 home loss to Washington on Saturday.
“We all just have to do our job,” offensive tackle Eben Britton said. “I’m curious to see how guys handle it. I know how I am going to deal with it. I am going to come out every day and work my butt off and do what I can.
“I hope everybody else is going to do it that way and not give up.”
Wildcats senior co-captain Syndric Steptoe called the meeting minutes after the loss to the Huskies.
Chris Henry, Lionel Dotson, Dominic Patrick, Steptoe and a number of other players chimed in, saying the Wildcats need to play better against UCLA at the Rose Bowl at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“We had to get everything out in the open,” Patrick said without getting into specifics. “There was constructive criticism. There was a lot of tension that needed to be let out among certain players or certain positions. There were some certain things that needed to be said to motivate some people.
“I think it did (help), but we will see.”
Barnett should be back in lineup against Bruins
Arizona defensive tackle Yaniv Barnett is supposed to be back in the lineup after suffering through an irregular heartbeat.
The starter, who originally was held out of action after suffering a hyperextended shoulder against LSU, has been cleared, according to UA coach Mike Stoops.
“Yaniv was playing extremely well before he got hurt,” Stoops said. “We missed him.”
Still banged up with minor injuries are defensive lineman Marcus Smith and linebacker Ronnie Palmer. But everybody is expected to play against the Bruins.
UA hoops do-everything man leaves for Nuggets
Jack Murphy packed his video equipment and went off to work Monday.
Must be basketball season.
But instead of getting ready for the University of Arizona men’s basketball season, he’s getting ready to help the Denver Nuggets of the NBA.
Murphy, the former do-everything guy for the UA men’s basketball program, is now the video coordinator for the Nuggets.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity,” said Murphy, 27. “There are 30 teams in the NBA, and each team has two video coordinators max. So there are just 60 of these jobs in the world. If you’re not a former player, it’s really the only way to get in. It’s a chance to be in a job that’s all about basketball.”
Murphy, who spent eight years with UA’s program in one capacity or another, has long wanted to be a coach at any level.
“I hope to gain a lot of knowledge,” he said. “The knowledge I’ll be able to gain here and the knowledge I gained from coach (Lute) Olson will help me immensely.”
The search is on for his replacement. UA begins its preseason workout schedule Oct. 13.
Steve Rivera (firstname.lastname@example.org)
D’backs announcer could leave to join dad
Thom Brennaman, the voice of the Arizona Diamondbacks for all nine of their seasons, appears close to accepting a position with the Cincinnati Reds, where he would join his father, Marty, in the broadcast booth.
Both Brennaman and Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said a decision has not yet been reached, although a report in Monday’s Cincinnati Enquirer said an announcement could be made as soon as next week.
The Reds asked for and were granted permission by the Diamondbacks to speak with him in August.
“It goes without saying there is a tremendous draw to work with your dad,” Brennaman said. “And I’m grateful to the Diamondbacks for having at least allowed me the opportunity to explore that becoming a reality.”
Marty, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000, has been a Reds announcer since 1974. Thom, who grew up in Cincinnati, spent two years as a Reds announcer in the late 1980s, calling games alongside Johnny Bench.
Other teams have previously contacted the Diamondbacks about Brennaman, who is under contract through 2009, but have always been rebuffed by the club.
“We have always said no in the past; he has always said no in the past,” Hall said. “But this is a unique circumstance that involves his father and his hometown, and we would not get in the way of family.”
The Arizona Republic
ON THIS DATE
1981: Southern California’s Marcus Allen rushes for 223 yards against Oregon State, his fourth straight 200-plus rushing game.
1990: Cecil Fielder hits his 50th and 51st homers for the Detroit Tigers, who beat the New York Yankees 10-3. Fielder is the first American Leaguer since 1961 to hit 50 home runs.
1993: The Toronto Blue Jays become the first team in American League history to have teammates finish 1-2-3 in the batting race. John Olerud leads the league with a .363 average, followed by Paul Molitor at .332 and Roberto Alomar at .326.
1998: Ricky Williams rushes for a school-record 350 yards and five touchdowns to set NCAA records with 65 career rushing TDs and most career points by a nonkicker (394) as Texas beats Iowa State 54-33.
UA struggling with youthfulness too long
I thought the (Mike) Stoops hiring was good. He has failed to produce to this point and it may turn out to be a mistake. (John) Mackovic was a terrible hire and we paid a price. We all have hope that the supposed top recruiting classes will turn things around. I would have thought the immediate JC route would of been the answer and then develop the freshmen. Our third year should not be the time to still be the youngest team in the Pac-10 and struggling with youth.
- TERRY T.
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NUMBER OF THE DAY
Points per game by Louisville this year, the most in college football. Other leaders:
West Virginia 41.5
Who was the most valuable player of the 1988 National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and the Mets?
Answer: Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser