Hawkins regrets recruiting son

BOULDER, Colo. -- University of Colorado coach Dan Hawkins says in hindsight he would not have recruited his son Cody to play quarterback for him.

Dan Hawkins, speaking at his weekly news conference Monday, said bringing in his son in his first recruiting class in 2006 was not fair to Cody.

"Here's a guy who's trying to do his best to win games and help his team and does everything right and is a good student and he's getting killed on Facebook and getting killed on his cell phone," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said Cody has taken unfair criticism for the Buffaloes' 3-8 record heading into Friday's season finale against Nebraska amid speculation the coach might be on his way out.

Cody Hawkins, a junior, started Colorado's first five games before being benched in favor of sophomore Tyler Hansen in the third quarter of the Buffaloes' 38-14 loss at Texas on Oct. 10.

"When we took him out of the Texas game people were going, 'I bet that hurt because you had to bench your kid,' " Dan Hawkins said. "What it hurt to me was you're basically telling the whole world it's one guy's fault. And it's not. It's not one guy's fault, but that's kind of the implication."

Cody has thrown for 1,277 yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season.

Hawkins was hired in December 2005 and signed his son in early 2006. Cody redshirted before taking over as the starting quarterback in 2007.

Hawkins said his own optimism and interest in Cody around the country were factors in the decision to offer him a scholarship.

"I'm looking around the country and I got a lot of these quarterback gurus going, 'Hawk why not walk down the hallway and knock on your kid's door and beg him to come to school there?' " Hawkins said. "I'm looking what's the best possible scenario, I'm looking at a kid that's a good player, that other people have offered [scholarships to], that other people want and he's going to come to our place. I know what kind of kid he is and what kind of player he is and how bad we need a quarterback in this class. So it was probably selfish on my part."

Cody's best year was his freshman season when he threw for 2,693 yards and 19 touchdowns and led the Buffaloes to an upset of then-No. 3 Oklahoma and a berth in the Independence Bowl.

Colorado is 8-15 in the past two seasons.

Hawkins said the Buffaloes' youth and inexperience is a major factor in their struggles the past two seasons.

"You look at Cody when he was a freshman and look at the guys he had around him, look at the experience he had around him," Hawkins said. "There were several of those linemen that played in the National Football League. He had his best year when he was a freshman. You can say what you want about the guy but he did beat Oklahoma and he did beat Nebraska in the same year. The guy's a good player and he's a great kid."

In three years at Colorado, Cody Hawkins has climbed up the school's career passing list. He is first in touchdown passes with 46 and third in passing yards with 5,862. But as the team struggled this year, the coaching staff turned to Hansen.

Although he's no longer the team's starting quarterback, Cody Hawkins retains the respect of his teammates, wide receiver Scotty McKnight said.

"Cody's handled it great. If you know Cody, he's a positive kid, he stayed positive throughout the whole thing," McKnight said. "That's a testament to him. Even with Tyler going in Cody's still remained the leader on this team, which is tough for some guys. A lot of guys would go in the tank and be upset. He stayed up."

Dan Hawkins is 16-32 at Colorado, where he's had four straight losing seasons. If he's fired, he would be due more than $3 million from the school.