Leland Speaks

The Pac-10 athletic directors recently voted to adopt a year-round training table. However, to become official, eight of ten university presidents must still approve this in October. The Bootleg recently asked AD Ted Leland where he stands on this issue.

The Bootleg: The training table year-around for Pac-10 football has been talked about a lot on our message boards. Some people are arguing that the Pac-10 is at a competitive disadvantage.

Ted Leland: Yea, we've heard that. I am not sure where I come down on that. I think many of our coaches, not just football, but other coaches would say that is true. A lot of our athletes don't want it. A lot of them do but some of them don't because we have to reduce their stipend checks when we put them on training table. So, it's sort of a double-edged sword. I think that if you polled the coaches, they probably would say, we would like to have it. If you polled the athletes, it would probably we split 50-50. A lot of them would like to have it, a lot of them wouldn't like to have it. If you polled our faculty, they would rather not have it because they see it as another example of treating athletes differently than the rest of the student body. There is no clear-cut consensus on our campus if it's a good move or not. We're not leading the parade against it. I mean, if the Pac-10 conference changed their policy, we wouldn't drop out of the league. We would go ahead and make it available and away we go, but we have mixed feelings about it and indeed our athletes have mixed feelings.

The Bootleg: What about when you hear people arguing that the Pac-10 is not getting the best athletes now because of that?

Ted Leland: The argument is: "We're lousy in football or we had a lousy year in football because we have don't have a training table and we have lousy weight rooms. And we're losing great football players out the state of California who are going elsewhere." Again, Rivals.com and I checked the recruiting out and I think of the top 50 prospects last year in the state of California, the four that we really missed on in California, all four of them are quarterbacks. Now, Darrin [Darrin Nelson was present for the interview] has worked with quarterbacks and they don't care about weight rooms. These guys hate weight rooms. And they certainly don't care about training tables. I might argue, just for The Bootleg, that it may be that we, the Pac-10, does not take non-qualifiers and that may hurt us a lot more. And I think the fact that we, the Pac-10, don't systematically distribute Creatine. This is probably more of an issue for me in terms of us winning or losing than the size of our weight room and whether we feed the kids all year-around or not. When I see any of our linemen in the Pac-10, I don't see malnutrition. I do think that the Pac-10 schools have taken the fairly hard-line, all of us, on the distribution of nutritional supplements, including Creatine. And I think Creatine makes a difference. I think it makes you bigger and I think it makes you stronger. It may not be how new your weight room is, but maybe what you are ingesting has have a little more to do with it. And we, the Pac-10, is on a different wave-length than everybody else in the country as to whether you distribute Creatine to your players or not. We don't do it and for the most part, the Pac-10 does not do it. Everybody else does. And I think that probably hurt us more than anything.

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