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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Arizona spring: Carey needs to fix image

By Ted Miller

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The old Canon camera commercial announced that "Image is everything!" If that's so, everything presently is wrong for Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey, whose horrible offseason has obscured an All-American 2012 campaign that included him leading the nation in rushing.

Since closing out the season with 172 yards and three TDs in the comeback win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl, Carey has been in the news for three separate and unflattering incidents.

First, a domestic dispute with his pregnant ex-girlfriend led to misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct charges. Second, he was ticketed for driving with expired registration and no proof of insurance. Third, he was thrown out of an Arizona basketball game against UCLA after a verbal altercation with arena security and then police.

Ka'Deem Carey
Ka'Deem Carey rushed for 1,929 yards and 23 TDs last season, but has run into trouble this offseason.
That incident allegedly escalated after Carey, according the police report obtained by the Daily Wildcat, the student paper, told arena officials to “get the (bleep!) out of my face,” then added, “Do you know who I am? I’m an All-American.”

Ugh.

Instead of talking about how cool it is to be a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, Carey is taking a break from interviews this spring. The hope among Wildcats coaches and players is that Carey can rehabilitate his image this fall.

"It doesn't portray who he is, but that's Ka'Deem's fault," coach Rich Rodriguez said. "That's what I told Ka'Deem. He's got to work now to show people who he really is. He's a good teammate, he's a great worker, he's fun to coach because he plays hard. But he had a couple of incidents that made him look different than he really is. He's not a guy who walks around with a sense of entitlement, but his actions kind of portrayed that."

Rodriguez said Carey can work his way into good standing by the beginning of the 2013 season -- he's participating in spring practices -- but he added that his initial reaction wasn't terribly pleasant. He said, "I got a size 13, so it fits up in there pretty good."

Co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith wants people to know that Carey is not a "bad egg."

"Ka'Deem needs to understand the microscope he's under now," he said. "He needs to understand the responsibility that comes with that. He's got to mature a little bit, which I think he has through some of this. We're going to look to him for some leadership, so he needs to make sure he's right -- on and off the field."

Some other notes and observations from Arizona spring practices: