This week, University of Arizona football coach Kevin Sumlin sat down with Lorraine Rivera for his first interview with Arizona Public Media. Sumlin wrapped up his first season last fall. Their conversation covered a variety of issues, including his approach to leading a closely watched team.
On the topic of improving players' academics:
"You're not just here to play football. And you're not just here to stay eligible. You're here to get a degree, and a meaningful degree. All those pieces are mapped out during the day, whether they're tutorials, whether they're study sessions, whether they're group study sessions. All of those are part of your schedule just like strength and conditioning," Sumlin said.
On the issue of later game times discouraging fans:
"There's no doubt that the energy in the stadium and the fan base affect games. I've gone through this at different times. I was in a league where it was really hot and the prime-time games started at 2:30 in the afternoon. It's cooking. You deal with it. Television and exposure really drive a program to a national product," Sumlin said.
On past controversies in the program regarding disciplinary issues with players:
"We can't do anything about what happened in the past. What we can do something about is what's going on right now," Sumlin said. "We talk about what our standards here, what our expectations are here for our program. … When you got 120 guys and young men, and anybody who's had children knows, you're going to make mistakes," Sumlin said.