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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday November 15, 2002

Press conference confirms that Mackovic lost control of team

I was surprised to find out that John Mackovic was not announcing his resignation, but more surprised to hear that the meeting was related to player issues. When a coach loses control of his team, the majority of his team has a problem with its coach because a team is not going to play to its full ability for a coach that it simply does not respect. A coach must respect his players just as a player must respect his coach; but to hear that Mackovic called his own player a disgrace is a disgrace in itself. Mackovic needs to coach his players and make sure that all his players believe in themselves, because a player without confidence is useless.

In addition to losing control of his team, I simply do not think that Mackovic made great decisions as it pertains to coaching. There are many examples in which Mackovic simply did not put his team in a position to win. Just recently against UCLA, Nic Costa came in and made a beautiful play. His reward? A seat on the bench for the rest of the game. What do we have to lose? Our team is already looking toward next year; and in order to help our situation, we need to give players experience.

Mackovic says he needs to change and intends to do so. He admits that he is hard-nosed and does not apologize for his style of coaching. I do not expect him to change his style of coaching, but a man who claims to be very hard-nosed cannot change his principles so quickly. Our recruiting situation is awful. We are getting absolutely nobody to play for this team. How can we expect a recruit to come to a school where a coach does not even know his identity?

I expected Mackovic to announce his resignation and I also expect that there is more to the story because I do not understand how so many reliable sources could be so wrong. I agree that we may not have the money to buy out Mackovic's contract, but we are also losing money if nobody wants to go to the games. A winning team brings in the money and people and I do not think it is possible to have a winning team with the current coaching situation.

Jason Scheer
journalism sophomore

Mackovic's degrading comments show program not fit for my son

I write to you as the father of a media arts junior currently attending the UA and the father of a freshman-to-be next year who has a dream of playing football for the UA as a walk-on. I write to you as a former UA employee who worked as an appeals officer for Parking and Transportation Services. I write to you as a volunteer youth sports coach with over 15 years experience coaching youth sports on a volunteer basis. I write to you as a UA alumnus. I write to you as a long time UA football season ticket holder and UA fan.

I too, as a fan, felt some of the same unrest many fans felt during some years under coach Dick Tomey. Everybody wants to win. But as a father, I also knew that if I had to choose having a son play for Tomey or many of the other coaches I see who may have better win/loss records, I would have chosen Tomey. I felt that coach Tomey (or another coach like him) would have had genuine concern about the welfare of my child, concern about his growth and development as a person as well as his productivity as a football player.

I do not believe the type of actions attributed to John Mackovic, as described in various news accounts, paint a picture of a coach who is genuinely concerned about his players or his team. There is no excuse at any level of sports, or in any business, for belittling and degrading players and associates. These tactics show poor management and communications skills at the very least.

While my son might have been willing to pass up scholarship offers to Division II schools for a chance to walk on at the UA, I now have serious reservations about whether or not I would want him to play here. If the tactics attributed to John Mackovic are the cost of a winning program, I'd rather not have one.

Mark Gilbert
UA parent, alumnus

After no ╬glimmer of hope' for 2 years, it is time to fire Mackovic

I just have to say that when I heard the news yesterday about John Mackovic possibly resigning or retiring from his head coaching position, it did bring a slight smile to my face. I know that many people are saying: "Let's give him a chance" or "It's only been two years." Well, at $800,000 a year, I think it has gone on long enough.

President Pete Likins makes half of what Mackovic does and does more than twice the work. Lute Olson makes less than Mackovic and has used his coaching skills to produce many winning teams. Now let's be realistic. I don't think any of us expected Mackovic to come in here and take us to the Rose Bowl or even the Fiesta Bowl in his first season. But I would hope that after the first two years we would be seeing some glimmer of hope or some sign of promise.

As I listened to the press conference and read the transcripts yesterday, I can't help but think that Mackovic only made this apology because he got caught. I know that all coaches have their moments when they are disappointed in the way their players performed, but it in no way justifies telling players that they are a "disgrace to their family for the way they played." Please.

I have to give the football players a lot of credit for being able to go out on the field and play hard the way they do every Saturday, with the way the season has gone (Clay Hardt: I have never seen someone with so much love for the game as you; it's awesome). I know that the blame can't all be placed on the coaches and that the team has been plagued with injuries this season, but I think I join many others in saying that it's time to send Mackovic to some tiny college that doesn't care about their football program and team as much as UA and let him coach there. With the $1.6 million he's made in the last two years, he should survive just fine.

Julie Popovitch
media arts junior

Mackovic broke contract, should be ╬run out of town on a rail'

John Mackovic has violated the UA's code of conduct. There should be no discussion ¸ he should be fired immediately. He violated his contract with the university and the state of Arizona, and therefore, is not entitled to a pay-out of his remaining contract. The UA is under no obligation to pay this man another penny.

The powers that be on the big Board of Regents are probably citing the whole Dick Tomey thing and are worried about losing millions in a contract dispute. There is no dispute! He violated the rules of conduct for university employees and should be terminated without discussion. There are no legal ramifications for the UA.

Dick Tomey did not violate his contract ¸ he was let go for performance reasons, (and they were pretty petty. I thought Tomey was a great coach ¸ at least he strived to get all of his players to graduate, and his players loved him) so of course, Tomey deserved to be paid the remainder of his contract. Mackovic should get nothing and should be run out of town on a rail.

Any other employee of the UA who acted in such a manner would be terminated immediately. Why should Mackovic be treated any differently? Because he's a football coach? Because his bloated salary is in the millions? The UA should use the same standard for all who work under its umbrella. Just fire the guy ¸ think of the money we'll save (that's for the budget crunchers).

Anthony Casarta
university employee, radio broadcasting

╬Out-of-control' coach Mackovic ╬needs all the help he can get'

Coach John Mackovic certainly needs all the help he can get. The UA should not feel compelled to provide behavioral therapy for a well-paid head football coach who admittedly is disrespectful and irresponsible in his communication with student athletes.

These same kids who are toughing-it-out in this disappointing football season do not deserve to be the brunt of an out-of-control UA faculty member and head coach. Let's face it: At his age, he is unlikely to succeed in realizing a complete behavioral change for the benefit of our student athletes as well as the entire football program. Come on, John, face reality. Evaluate yourself honestly. The UA is not better because of your hire. Perhaps you'd fit better somewhere else. Accept your consequences, and resign while you still may have some dignity.

Paul Campbell

Coach Mackovic ╬out of touch,' needs to return to broadcasting

As an alumnus and huge Cats football fan, Mackovic needs to go back to ESPN. He is out of touch with today's college football environment and has no idea how to deal with these players.

For a team to call a meeting with the school president without the coach knowing seems like a mutiny to me. Get a coach who can relate to the players, spend some money and get a proven winner in ¸ someone with motivation, a young coach like Bob Stoops of Oklahoma or even Dirk Koetter at ASU.

I am tired of being the in the basement of the Pac-10. We need a Rose Bowl berth!

Jason Kezelman
Class of 1998

╬Leadership and responsibility' missing from coach Mackovic

In my opinion, it's not whether the remarks were "right or wrong" that makes it difficult to keep coach Mackovic on as the head coach of this team. The real difficulty is the fact that when a person is the head coach for a major Division 1 program such as the UA's, that person is in the spotlight and will suffer the consequences.

What's missing here is leadership and responsibility for one's actions.

Jim Waligura
West Hills, Calif.
UA parent

Mackovic too old, has already worn out his welcome

I was sorry to see Dick Tomey go two years ago Ě now I think all UA fans wish Tomey was still coaching our ╬Cats.

John Mackovic was an extremely poor choice at age 57 to come to the UA. How long was he going to coach here? Now it appears that two years is two years too many!

Hit the road, Mac ¸ and don't you come back no more!

Did you know that the MS-Word spell check for Mackovic is "makeover"? That's exactly what the ╬Cats need now!

Eric D. Miller
Director, Market Surveillance Services
American Stock Exchange


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