Football: QB Costa quits UA team

By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 13, 2004

UA junior quarterback Nic Costa left the Wildcat football team this week, UA head coach Mike Stoops said.

"He quit," Stoops said.

When asked to elaborate, Stoops said, "No. What do you want me to say?"

Stoops said Costa didn't give a reason for quitting.

"He just quit," he said.

The Aloha, Ore., native has been through some turbulent times with the Wildcat football program in the last couple years.

Costa made a switch over to running back and receiver at the beginning of the 2004 football season after starting his UA career as a quarterback. Costa was moved back to his original position two weeks ago when former back-up quarterback Ryan O'Hara left the team to spend time with his brother, who went through a kidney transplant in September.

This leaves Arizona with just two scholarship quarterbacks on their roster, starter sophomore Kris Heavner and redshirt freshman Richard Kovalcheck, who will be the Wildcats No. 2 quarterback for the rest of the season. Walk-on sophomore Adam Austin will be the team's No. 3 signal-caller, Stoops said.

Neither Kovalcheck nor Austin have ever taken a collegiate snap.

When Stoops was asked what the team could do to counter the lack of depth behind center, the first-year coach said, "Hopefully, protect the quarterback."

Junior linebacker Sean Jones said Costa mentioned the possibility of transferring a couple years ago, but added that this was a bit of a surprise because he hadn't heard anything about it since then. It's unclear whether Costa intends to transfer.

"In a way I understand why he did, but in a way I wish he didn't. He has to do what's best for him. I wish he would have stayed," Jones said.

Costa played in four of the five Arizona games this season and had three carries for 2 yards.

The 5-foot 11-inch Costa started the 2003 season as the Wildcats starting quarterback and held the job for three games, completing 30 of 76 passes for 362 yards and four touchdowns. He also played in four games his freshman year, going 7 for 19 for 150 yards and one score.