Rich Rodriguez is normally calm during his weekly Monday press conference, but this week had a different feel to it due in large part to Arizona’s game at Washington on Halloween being announced for 8 P.M.
“I think there are 22 guys on the injury list and that’s not counting a couple of guys that are out for the year,” Rodriguez said. “When do you get them healthy? I just found out the next game will be at Washington at 8 o’clock at night, so we will get back at five in the morning.
“I don’t understand how this happens. We play 12 straight then night road games and then have to go back on the road again.”
Considering that most conferences discuss how the athletes are students as well, Rodriguez does not believe the treatment makes sense.
“If the conference is really concerned about student athlete welfare, something should be stepped in,” he said. “When do guys get a chance to get healthy? You aren’t getting treatment on planes. You aren't getting a whole lot of rest when you’re traveling. It’s just ridiculous in my opinion.”
Ideally, each conference would have some say in scheduling as opposed to letting television control everything.
“I think it is ridiculous,” Rodriguez said. “I understand TV is going to pick the times and they have the right to do it. Every road game seems like it is a late night and then no open dates.
“Don’t go on the soap box and talk about student athlete welfare and then have these guys get back at five or six in the morning and then go back on the road again.
“At some point the conference has to have some mobility to step in and say give this team one afternoon road game so they get home at a reasonable hour. It’s silly. The no open date thing is still disturbing, but the late night road games combined with no open dates is not being cognizant of what the student athletes need.”
Rodriguez has no issues with a Thursday night game as long as the opposing team has the same amount of time to prepare.
“Give me a Thursday game, give me a Friday game,” he said. “Give me a Thursday game as long as the other team has five days.
“Our players won’t complain and we won’t let them complain, but you have to have enough time to prepare your team and the buildup is always to the game, so there has to be time after the game to catch your breath.
“Why can’t Arizona play a Thursday night conference home game? I think it would be off the charts. I have been waiting four years. We’ve had them on the road. We haven’t had them at home.”