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I want to encourage as many people as I can to come out on Saturday and enjoy a great day on the UCLA campus. We’ll have a lot of activities for the fans. Its unique we can have our spring showcase on the campus. We’re going to have a ton of young men that are visiting our school that we want to make a good impression on and the more people the better. We’re going to try and make it eventful, fun and interesting. It won’t be, for anyone asking, a full-contact scrimmage. I just don’t think it is in the best interest of our players to do that. I understand our fans want to see that. What I want to see is a healthy and competitive team when we got to Texas A&M. So that’s how Saturday will go and I think it will be fun. If you’re an alum why not come back and hang out on campus on Saturday. It should be fun.
On Dan Guerrero/Larry Scott:
The other thing I want to do is address the situation with our athletic director Dan Guerrero. I think its unfortunate that Dan has been put in the position that he is. With the things that have been said about him by the commissioner of a major sports league. It’s inaccurate and unfair. I think Dan has tremendous integrity. I haven’t been around the college game for a long time, but I don’t imagine there is anyone in the country that has as much care for the student-athletes in this conference as Dan does. If you look at his track record, he’s on numerous committees at both the NCAA and conference level. He’s got tremendous integrity and he’s as well respected as any athletic director in the country. And unfortunately our commissioner took an undue shot at him and I don’t think any of us appreciate it. If you look at the articles that have been written and the letter that indicates why he made his decision, it’s very clear that he was correct in doing what he did. And I’m just standing here to support him and that’s how I feel about that.
On the advantages of having spring showcase on campus:
I think it’s an unbelievable advantage for us. This is a beautiful campus and to be able to show it off, not just the campus but the progress we’re making here with the new facility. That’s another thing you have to commend Dan for- we’ve got a new football facility going up. We’ve got a basketball facility going up. We’ve got a $5 million dollar donation for a new soccer stadium. The progress that’s being made around here is all being attributed to him. But being able to get recruits on campus and see the type of progress that we’re making is an immense advantage for us that we wouldn’t have had if we had gone to the Rose Bowl. Everybody knows how beautiful the Rose Bowl is and how great it is to play there. But not everybody knows how wonderful this campus is so this will be a tremendous day for us.
On the importance of facilities:
It’s really become huge. It’s an arms race. You want to be able to provide an environment for your student-athletes where they can excel in everything they do. So having this new facility is going to give them an amazing work environment. It will give them a place to congregate and build relationships as a team. It will give us everything under one roof. Where as coaches, we’ll have more access to our players that just the field or meeting room. We’ll get to know them as people. This new learning center that Dan has in the plans is a tremendous advantage for our student-athletes. We’ll have a cafeteria over here. It’s something you’ve got to do. We’re not just trying to compete with the Jones, it’s jumping way ahead of the Joneses. So I’m excited about that.
On recruits on Saturday:
We’ll have a de-facto Junior Day. We’ll have campus tours. Many of the high-profile recruits that have been on campus have seen our facilities. But not everybody, or very many people have seen the progress that we’ve made on our new facility. We’ve got the roof up, almost or part of it. And the way it went up here with the steel this week has been unbelievable. It’s fascinating to watch and exciting to see. We want to be able to show that off, thats part of the Spring showcase.
On Zach Bateman:
He has a non life-threatening, kind of embarrassing medical issue we’re getting taken care of in the next couple days. It’s nothing that any of us would want. Nothing that will pose a threat to his future here. Just something he has to get through.