The Colorado Daily – CSU

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The Colorado Daily – CSU

August 29th

Five true freshman to lose their red-shirts against Colorado State

There are at least five true freshmen who will see action against Colorado State, taking off their red shirts.

Two are on offense – wide receiver Paul Richardson, who was a UCLA Bruin just a few short months ago; and running back Justin Torres;

Two are on defense – defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe, and defensive back Jered Bell; and

One is on special team – long-snapper Ryan Iverson, who will be snapping the ball back to red-shirt freshman punter Zach Grossnickle, who will also be making his starting debut.

Goodman earns the first shot at placekicker

Senior placekicker Aric Goodman will likely be the first kicker to post points for Colorado against Colorado State. Goodman, who has gone 15-for-32 in his career at Colorado (10-for-18 last season), “kicked great (in the final scrimmage Saturday), and has been kicking good,” said Dan Hawkins. “Kicking is a little different than other positions; it’s simple math. He’s had a nice camp and has kicked well in scrimmages.”

“He’d better step up,” said starting quarterback Tyler Hansen. “He’s always been really good in practice; he needs to do it on Saturdays. That’s the biggest thing.” Sounding like the leader of the team, Hansen is putting pressure on the senior kicker. “We’re tired of it, the drive down the field and you miss a kick,” said Hansen. “It shoots down the morale of the team and you kind of lose some confidence … If he misses that first kick, I don’t know …”.

True freshman Justin Castor, who some believed had an opportunity to supplant Goodman as the primary kicker, may not even be the primary backup. Castor, according to Hawkins, has a “little edge” over junior Marcus Kirkwood. A walk-on, Kirkwood is 6′6″, and may also be used for kickoffs.

Looking for a positive sign? …

One statistic which drove Colorado coaches, players, and fans nuts in 2009 was penalties. Colorado committed 107 penalties in 2009. Only Texas Tech (120) and Arizona State (111) committed more. The Buffs were sent back, on average, over 75 yards per game, 116th in the nation in that category. For Colorado to be successful, penalties have to be dramatically reduced.

So far, so good.

Colorado announced that in three scrimmages this fall (two of which were closed to the public), Colorado ran 387 plays, but committed only six penalties – six on offense; two on defense – in all of those plays.

August 26th

Hawkins’ comments raise questions …

Really?

The Boulder Daily Camera is reporting that in a meeting earlier this summer of Colorado head coaches, Buff head coach Dan Hawkins was asked by a senior staff member if there was anything that the department could do to help his team succeed, and Hawkins replied that the school could give him a contract extension.

Seriously.

When asked about the comment on Wednesday, Hawkins confirmed that he made the statement. When asked why he chose that answer, Hawkins replied, “Just the continuity, stability.” Asked if having three years left on his contract was enough to provide continuity, Hawkins replied, “To some degree. But you’re talking to recruits and guys on your team and all that kind of stuff.”

The comment has lit a fire on the internet (choose your site, it’s the number one topic of conversation). Most posts are incredulous – How can a coach with a 16-33 overall record, nary a single winning record in four seasons of play, and a 3-9 record in 2009, even dream of making such a comment?

Let’s back up a minute.

The story (http://www.buffzone.com/ci_15896935) indicates that the meeting was earlier this summer.

Question No. 1 - Who leaked the quote, and what was their agenda? Athletic director Mike Bohn was not pleased that the quote was made public. “Speculation about coach’s tenure is always a delicate issue,” Said Bohn. “We support Dan and we will evaluate him and the football program at the end of the season, just as we do with all of our coaches.” Certainly, neither Bohn nor Hawkins had anything to gain from the leaked release of the quote. So who? And Why?

Question No. 2Why publish the story now? Yes, the Daily Camera is in the business of making money, and with the season opener next week, there is more attention being paid to the football team. And yes, it is not the job of the Camera and its reporters to make the school look good all the time. Still, it gives one pause as to what Kyle Ringo was trying to do. He could have published the story “earlier this summer”, after the meeting took place, but chose to bring Hawkins  back into focus just when Buff fans were turning their attention where it should rightfully be placed – on the players and their chances for success.

Question No. 3 – and the most important – What was Dan Hawkins thinking? Yes, you can make the argument that the Buffs, like every other team in a similar situation, is hurt in recruiting when their coach is on the “hot seat”. It’s not news to say that opposing teams will use Hawkins’ tenuous status against Colorado with prime recruits. But … Note to Dan – that wouldn’t change with a contract extension. Check out any “hot seat” listing of college football coaches on any website, and you will find Dan Hawkins in the top five, if not atop the list. It’s so clear that Dan Hawkins is in a “win or else” year that you could probably – as the old joke goes – look up “hot seat” in the dictionary, and find a picture of Dan Hawkins. No contract extension will change that reality. Putting two more years on Hawkins’ contract would not save the coach if he has another losing campaign in 2010.

My solution … Give Dan Hawkins a two-year contract extension.

You heard it right. Give Dan Hawkins two more years to lead the Buffs.

Hawkins already has over a half million dollars worth of incentives to boost his $1,461,047.oo salary. In exchange for his two-year contract extension, I would add one more stipulation:

A $0.00 buyout clause.

If Dan Hawkins is so certain that he can recruit better players with a five year contract, then let him prove it.  (As an aside, there is no concrete evidence, if recruiting services are to be believed, that Hawkins has enjoyed such a bump in highly rated players since he contract was extended in 2007 – unless you want to count Darrell Scott … didn’t think so).

“No excuses”, coach.

You want a contract extension? Fine. Here you go.

But if you bring home another losing season, you’re gone – without penalty. If the Buffs go bowling in 2010, the clause is replaced by a $1 million buyout. Winning season in 2011? Add another million.

Now that’s an incentive clause.

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