I have to laugh at some of the comments on my recent article about how other schools are approaching BYU basketball coach Dave Rose to gauge his interest in leaving BYU.
Some are suggesting that Rose told me he is being pursued in order to increase his fame and fortune, or get some leverage for his next contract negotiations.
Rose acknowledged he has been approached after I asked him a couple times, in different ways, about whether he is in demand this year as much as he was last year. He was bashful, even a bit uncomfortable, answering the question.
In the last few minutes of my time with the coach, I asked him if he has any suggestions, requests or advice for the media that cover his team. Again, it's not something he would ever volunteer on his own.
I asked because over the last few weeks of the season, and especially during the conference and NCAA tournaments, I began to sense Rose was getting a bit irritated with a few questions from the local scribes, particularly questions from me. It seems like I led the league in getting one word, or one sentence, answers. Maybe I'm just paranoid.
Anyway, I found his answer interesting enough that I thought I would share it here.
"The only thing I would ask is that we be fair to these kids," he said. "They are just student-athletes. They are not professional guys. We are not reporting on the Deron Williams of the world and the Derrick Favors of the world and the Al Jeffersons of the world. These are just kids, and they've got a lot on their plate.
I know they get a lot of attention, and the expectation for them to perform is pretty intense. But they are not pro guys. They are guys trying to do their best, and if we can protect them the best we can, that would be my request."
I asked Rose if the coverage was unfair this past season, in his eyes.
"Not really," he said. "I just hope that you always have that in your mind, that these guys aren't paid professionals. Because I think sometimes ... I am glad where I am in a spot where there is enough media support where you guys don't have to write on the NBA guys one night and our guys the next night, which would be even more difficult.
I do think that these guys should be treated as student-athletes, and not professional players. I mean, they all want to be treated as pros off the floor. I do, I worry about our guys, and their confidence. I worry about their parents, when they read stuff.
They [the parents] might think that's the result of what the coaches put out there. And so that's about it. I try not to ever say anything negative about a player. Some sports writers might say some negative things, but I can't control that. I don't expect everyone to have my personality, but I coach my guys in the locker room, and in the team room, and sometimes on the sidelines. But I don't coach my guys in the paper. A lot of guys do that."
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe is sitting down with local reporters on Friday afternoon for a his annual Q&A with the media. Got a burning question for Tom that you would like me to ask -- something besides the usual stuff such as conference realignment/Big 12, etc?
Send me an email -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- and if it is a good one, I will do my best to ask it.
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