It doesn’t take me saying it for you to know that the biggest concern about Rick Neuheisel is his controversial past. He left Washington amidst an NCAA tournament pool issue, and his reign at UW was marred with trouble, as recently chronicled by the Seattle Times. That’s the big reason why he didn’t have any head coaching opportunities after getting booted from U-Dub in ’03, and why UCLA seemed reluctant to hire him. Now contrast Neuheisel to the recently fired Karl Dorrell, who about the only positive compliment one could give about the program he ran was that it was clean. Now don’t get me wrong, I want a clean program. But I want the program to be clean, and successful at the same time. And luckily for Bruin fans, looks like the man formerly known as “Slick Rick” has learned his lesson and will be changing his ways. He reflected on his times at Washington:
“Out of all of this, that’s my biggest regret,” Neuheisel said. He gave a painful look. “I should have made that penalty stiffer. I had an opportunity to send a loud and clear message and neglected to do so. I should have been stronger.”
“I didn’t give out huge penalties in the first place,” he said, leaning forward. But now, “I can see the value of stiff penalties in the future, when they are warranted.”
Those quotes are from an article by Kurt Streeter in the LA Times. Streeter closed by saying Bruins fans need to hold Neuheisel to those words, and I completely agree. As long as he’s learned a lesson or two, or three about enforcing harsher penalties and being stricter, I think we’re in business. Hopefully he appreciates this opportunity to the point where he won’t make those mistakes. Kelvin Sampson couldn’t keep his hand out of the cell phone jar. Hopefully Neuheisel doesn’t have Sampson’s disease.