Here’s the transcript of Steve Sarkisian’s conference call with local media. Sarkisian is out recruiting somewhere.
On practice schedule:
“We are going to practice Saturday and Sunday of this weekend and then we’ll be back to practice again the following Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then be off for three more days and come back to work on the 15th and make that as it if were a game week so we’d go the 15-16-17-18 and 19th and then be off.”
On injury issues:
“The most obvious one is probably Keith (Price) to get his health back and his mobility back and so I know the rest has been good for him but also the treatment has been good for him on his knees there so that’s the most obvious one. I think Justin Glenn to get him back healthy. Garret Gilliland to get him back healthy. Obviously Will Shamburger to get him back healthy. So I would expect us when we come back to get to work that we will be as healthy as we have been excluding the season-ending guys.”
On when the 15 practice clock starts:
“Technically the 15-practice rule, it just seems right with the balance of school, so just seems the natural balance, it’s the same format that we used last year and have used in previous years.”
On all the coaching changes in the conference:
“Well, I think that the reality of it is when you look at it, if we hadn’t added Colorado and Utah, nearly half of our conference is having turnover. And so I think it speaks to this is a tough business and not only do I feel for those coaches but I feel for the families, the assistant coach’s families. When these firings take place, we always just assume it’s the one guy, but this impacts quite a few people, upwards of over 100 people quite honestly, and the impact it can have on people’s livelihoods, and so I’m always sympathetic to that because I know how hard everyone is working at it and unfortunately there are winners and losers and you are trying to find your way to win more than you lose, but that is the nature of our business right now that college football has become a business.”
On Austin Seferian-Jenkins and any plans to play basketball:
“I’m just worried about the bowl game right now. We’ll get through this game and then we’ll worry about that.”
On having a new rival coach at WSU:
“I don’t think it will change in the sense that we are going to embrace the game like we have — it’s a tremendous rivalry. And whoever comes in I’m going to assume they are going to embrace it too — it’s not hard too. It’s not just about one week, it’s about 365 days a year where there is a natural rivalry in place so I would assume whoever gets that job is going to embrace the rivalry the way it needs to be embraced.”
On imagining being one of the longest-tenured coaches in the Pac-12 right now:
“No I couldn’t. But again, the state of college football and where we are at, I think you look around and look at myself and Chip (Kelly) and Lane (Kiffin) and David Shaw, we haven’t been head coaches very long, let alone in this league very long, and so to see Jeff Tedford and the longevity he has had at Cal is encouraging, but obviously you understand the business that you are in and that you need to win but you need to win the right way and do things the right way and so I would have never thought this would be the case of our conference right now, no.”
On Cort not making first-team all-conference being a function of so many good LBs:
“I think so. Some of it is perception. We can nominate guys and we obviously nominated Cort to be a first-team linebacker but ultimately the other coaches vote and that’s the perception and if he was the fourth-best linebacker in the league I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, there are some pretty good players.”
On Colin Tanigawa and DeontaeCooper:
“Deontae is in the rehab process, like Adam Long, like Haiu’oli Jamora, like Johri Fogerson, they are in that rehab process. Colin Tanigawa he is in the infancy stages of this injury so he’s got a long way to go. I don’t think we are going to have any updates for a while.”
On his philosophy on bowl practices
“The bulk of the first five practices that we have will be dedicated to our young players. That doesn’t mean our veterans won’t practice. That doesn’t mean we won’t sprinkle in some things that we might like to have in the game plan, some new things we want to take a look at. But then we really dedicate our selves and game-planning in practices six through 10 – that week of work right there, starting on the 15th. And obviously, when we come back to work again, when we go back to practice on the 24th – that actual game week. So we’ll get a good solid 10 practices in for the game plan of it, and we’ll get a really good look at our younger players and working with those guys for five good practices.”
Do you even look at film of Big 12 opponents
“We’ll just wait till it comes out. We are all on the road recruiting right now. It’s a little bit difficult to see all that. I’m sure that we’ll be watching the games this weekend. There’s probably some impactful games, I know. So when we get a chance, I’m sure those games will be on. But, we’ll wait till Sunday and see who the opponent is and then we’ll start working on it.”
On a preference of Alamo or Holiday for recruiting.
No I don’t think so. They are both great bowls. Both have a lot of history. From a historical standpoint, the Alamo Bowl hasn’t been around quite as long. The prestige factor is there, They’ve had some great teams and some great games. They are both nationally televised and are the only games on TV at that time.
From a recruiting standpoint, obviously we’ve been more based in Southern California, but we have spread our wings a bit into Texas. So I think that could be helpful. I don’t have a preference either way. They are both great bowls. The date of the games – they are right next to each other. So if we got chosen to play in one of those two games, we’d be honored.
On the newness of Alamo Bowl a factor and experiencing something new.
Again, having only been to one bowl in I don’t know how many years, we’ll take whatever we can get, quite honestly. We’ll be excited about it. We’ll be fired up. We’ll embrace it. We will prepare diligently from a football standpoint and we’ll also maximize our fun in the times we can have our fun. I know our kids are excited to be going. I know they are excited to play a good opponent and to be going to a good bowl game. The newness is still there to be going to a bowl game in general. Never mind which one it is.
On the timeline on talking to Polk
We’ll visit. I’d like to get of the guy’s hair here for a week. When we get back together this weekend, we’ll set a time of when we want to start our preliminary talks. I want to be there for Chris. That’s part of my job. And his mom and his family and every body. We’ll go through it. We’ll go through it diligently so he can make a good decision
On the status of Antavius Sims and enrolling in January
We are working on that right now.
On the perception of the program
The perception is we are a team on the rise. That was very similar to where we were last year. But we are a team on the rise. I think that when you look at where we’ve come from and where we are now, the recruits and coaches understand that – the things we’ve been able accomplished. Obviously, it would be great to go into whatever bowl game we go to, to go in and perform well and get another victory to stay on that path. But there has been steady improvement and I think recruits see that and recognize that. They also see the opportunity in some places where they feel maybe there are some holes in our roster where they can come in and contribute and contribute early.
On Paul Wulff’s record being the deciding factor…
I can’t speak on that decision side of it, and I really don’t want to go with that. What I do know, under Paul’s direction that program got better. I thought they improved and maybe their record always didn’t indicate that. But I do know, from a statistical standpoint, it did, from a point differential standpoint it did.
Whoever is going to get that job is going to inherit a better job than Paul inherited four years ago.
On Polk weighing the money vs. the rushing record and other factors
A lot goes into it. You gotta look at the draft and you assess the draft as an underclassmen and where you fall in the draft amongst the other running backs and where the needs are for running backs in the draft and what that means as far looking at the rounds in the draft and what that means monetarily. And also what he thinks he can accomplish here. The record is one thing. But the reality of it is, what does he think this team can accomplish and does he want to be part of that his senior season. There’s quite a bit that goes into it. We’ll get through it all and Chris will get through it all and he’ll feel great about his decision either way.