Head Coach Bobby Petrino: It's going great. I have been able to get all my kids here and into school. My oldest daughter wanted to stay in Auburn and play through the softball season. The team she played on was real good last year and had a chance to win the state championship. We looked around and found a school that was very good in softball and they just happened to have the two positions that she plays open because the girls graduated the previous season. Of course, the younger three wanted to come the first day that we took the job.
It's going good, but it is a lot different. I'm used to spending 10-12 hours a day in the meeting room, breaking down video and getting ready for the next opponent. I don't get into the film room as much as I'd like to, but I still sneak in there every morning. We have a good schedule set up where we make sure that we are working on the opponents that we have early in the year.
As soon as recruiting was over, we started focusing on the upcoming season and next years recruiting class. The fun part is working with the players that are here and getting to know them. Of course we can't get out on the field and actually work with them in football, but we get to watch them run and condition and lift.
ITV: How has the reception of the new staff been with the returning players?
Coach Petrino: It's been good. We let them know exactly what we expect out of them, both on the field and off. I think they really like the direction that we are going and the discipline that we have.
ITV: Have any players decided for any reason to transfer from Louisville?
Coach Petrino: Not yet. It's been going pretty well and they are all working very hard. The thing I like so much about the returning players is the fact that there might be a lot of teams in the country that are happy with the winning season and the bowl game and that opportunity, but our players have a chip on their shoulder because they weren't champions last year. So it's nice to see that their expectations are so high.
Sometimes change is good for everybody. We haven't been able to go out see them on the field yet, but the effort has been good and they all seem excited.
ITV: A lot of fans, be it on the radio call in shows or on the internet, frequently bring up the high number of penalties that the team has committed over the past few years and the apperance of a lack of discipline.
Coach Petrino: I sure hear about it a lot. I think some of that has to do with the fact that the team was on t.v. as much as anyone in the country last year and everybody has to listen to what the announcers have to say.
I just have some real strong beliefs on how the game should be played and the respect that the players should show to the game. I don't think we'll have any problem with that.
We're definately going to be a disciplined football team and we'll work hard. We'll still have some penalties, it's part of the game, but we'll try and get rid of the stupid penalties. We'll definately clean up the taunting and all that...I am not even sure what that was all about, but we'll make sure it doesn't happen.
ITV: The NCAA rules committee recently decided to do away with the halo rule, do you feel that it was a good decision?
Coach Petrino: I don't really like it to be honest with you. I always thought it was a good rule and I know why it went in. It went in because initially there was a 5-yard penalty if you hit the player and people were just taking out the punt returner, so they put it in. I thought they called it pretty well. I think they should have kept the rule and there is no call unless the returner fumbled the ball or caused a problem. There will still be a 15-yard penalty if you hit the guy early, but we'll have to teach a little differently now.
ITV: What's the spring schedule looking like?
Coach Petrino: We start March 28th and then our spring game will be on April 18th under the lights. It'll be a Friday night under the lights. We wanted to have it at night, turn the lights on, get more of a crowd out here and build a little more excitement.
Part Two of ITV's question and answer with head coach Bobby Petrino, will be posted on Friday morning.