Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Miami scandal is teaching moment at UCLA
By Peter Yoon
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel is no stranger to NCAA investigations, having gone through them at Colorado and at Washington before landing with the Bruins, so he has some empathy for those involved with the scandal unveiling this week at Miami.
He also said he uses these types of stories to educate his players aboutthe pitfalls of temptation.
"In our locker room, we have a wall of shame where we put up every newspaper clipping and every transgression across the country because it’s easy to learn when it’s you, but it’s better to learn when it’s someone else so that you don’t make that mistake and you avoid that mistake the next time that temptation is in front of you," Neuheisel said.
Neuheisel said he continually warns his players about unscrupulous people in the college sports arena trying to take advantage of underprivileged student athletes.
"There’s lots of people out there that want to get close to these kids and when you get to know these kids, you realize that a lot of them come from tough backgrounds where money is not plentiful so when you get an opportunity to have things that otherwise you would never have, it’s tough to say no," he said.
"We just have to do a great job of educating these young men about what really is going on when somebody is handing something for free."
Neuheisel also said he hopes for a swift settling of the dust around the dealings at Miami as well as other investigations happening throughout the country.
"Having been a part of problems in the past, they’re no fun," he said. "I hope there is quick resolution and our guys will learn from others’ mistakes."