Yesterday, word came out that during the search for a new head coach at Arizona, Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate purposely tweeted about not wanting to run the triple option – referring to Ken Niumatalolo, who many believed was a leading candidate at the time – with the intention of sabotaging his chances at the job.
Of course, a few days after the tweet, vice president for athletics Dave Heeke hired Kevin Sumlin to lead the program.
When asked about that whole situation today at Pac-12 Media Day, Heeke explained that part of his process in bringing in a new head coach included engaging with the student athletes that would be affected, like Tate.
“Throughout the entire process, whether it was Khalil or other leaders in our football program, we were in conversations with them – about where we were going, keeping them informed, trying to understand what the best things are for the program.”
“At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility, and my duty and role as the athletic director to select the head coach of a program. I value the input and comments from our student athletes. But again, while very important, that’s only one factor that goes into making sure we have the right kind of leadership.”
Heeke went on to share that he has an open door policy with athletes and feels that it is important to get their perspective so that they can go on to have the best experience in the country.
“Speculating and hypothesizing about the decision-making process, without any knowledge of it is, in my opinion, inappropriate and unfounded.”