Rick Neuheisel Notes and Quotes - 8/10

Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel addressed the press this morning on a variety of subjects, chief among them being his testimony yesterday in front of the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Here's what he had to say about that, as well as the status of Charles Frederick, Stanley Daniels and the atmosphere of camp on campus this fall as opposed to Evergreen State College.

On the full varsity opening practice: "I was pleased, as I'm sure every coach in the country is saying on opening day. Obviously there were no pads and everybody's fresh. Everybody looks like they have a little bounce in their step. But if you look at the positions across the board you can tell that our recruiting efforts are paying off. There's great optimism for a successful 2002 season. We're looking forward to continuing to get better, as I'm sure our first opponent, Michigan, is doing the very same. It promises to be a big-time ball game so we can't waste any time in getting ourselves ready for that kind of contest."

On the NCAA testimony:"Yesterday's events are behind me. It's not a pleasant experience to have to go and explain what are perceived to be violations. The process was extended. It was, I think, an eleven-hour hearing. I had the opportunity to voice my opinions on the different matters. We'll just wait and see what the outcome is. There will be a report that will come out in four to six weeks and we will get the report one day in advance. Certainly they will make it public."

On the duration of his testimony: "It was give and take. They took each allegation one at a time, and if I had anything to do with it there were questions posed. As far as the Colorado people, we were all in the same room. We were one big happy family."

On the status of Colorado's findings from 'lack of institutional control' to 'failure to monitor': "I don't pretend to know everything about it, but if it can be regarded as good news for Colorado, then it's good news for me. I certainly wish them no ill will.

On Cody Pickett: "I think Cody is much farther along in terms of his confidence level and his shoulder. As a former quarterbacks coach there's always things I want to tweak, but we're pleased that Cody has had a good offseason in terms of getting himself ready for the upcoming year."

On Charles Frederick: "Charles is back on the field and we're going to try and make him less of a media sensation. We're gonna let him play some football and see if he can develop into a quality teammate."

On Reggie Williams not playing this morning: "He's got a little bit of a foot strain, which is something we're going to be a little bit cautious with. We're anxious to get him back on the field as you can imagine, but we play three weeks from now, not one week from now. We're going to make sure he's 100 percent before he goes back out there."

On Kai Ellis: "We've got him on a one-a-day schedule, so he was held out this morning. He'll participate this afternoon. In the morning, he learns."

On Justin Robbins and Patrick Reddick: "They are an alternating deal. Pat went this morning, so Justin will go in the afternoon."

On Stanley Daniels not participating this morning: "We've got a clearinghouse issue with him that we're trying to get resolved. As far as a timetable, you're kind of at their mercy on these issues. Given that it's a Saturday, we probably won't know until early next week."

On the pre-season polls: "I think it's a nice thing to be mentioned among the nation's elite programs. That's where we want to be. One of the main reasons I came to Washington was because I consider it one of the elite programs. To be recognized as such, without having even played a game, is okay. But everyone in my business realizes that it doesn't mean very much. To be ranked there at the end of the season is much more rewarding."

On the newcomers: "I'm very excited about our incoming class. I think I say that every year but you have to remember the effort it takes to gain their confidence so they choose you. And you get excited watching them before the varsity's arrival and you realize that there is great athleticism. We've got a variety of kids that be impact players for our program in the years to come. The good news is that we are now at a place because of some consistency in recruiting the past several years that we don't need them to jump right into the scene right now. That hasn't been the case in the past where some players have come in and are immediately second-string because of depth issues. We don't have that glaring hole in our offense or defense currently. Hopefully, knocking on wood that will remain the case so we can bring the new guys along at their own pace."

On Nathan Rhodes, Scott Ballew and Braxton Cleman: "Nathan Rhodes is being held out. He has some lower leg problems that need rest. Scott Ballew has a sore hamstring. We'll probably be resting Braxton Cleman early because of a sore hamstring."

On summer grades: "Some kids had a first and second-session class, and the second session doesn't finish up until sometime right before the Michigan game. There will be some grades that won't be reported on until the Tuesday of that week. Our hope is that we will be in a position where we won't be staying up late wondering what the grade is."

On the atmosphere of fall camp on campus: "I love being on campus, but I miss the isolation of a camp away. And I just spoke to the players about being careful not to take advantage of the familiarity of our surroundings and think that this is just like practice and you can go out and hang out at apartments and girlfriend's homes and so forth. Because you'll lose the camp atmosphere that helps build the fiber of a team. We're going to have to work hard to make sure that happens."

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