Ask Coach Willingham

Oct. 30, 2000

Kern Lewis (Castro Valley, CA)
Will members of the team get to visit the Washington safety (Curtis Williams) who was injured on Saturday? I hope so. I read about the Ohio State team taking care of an injured Nittany Lion when he had to remain in a local hospital after their game. I thought that was a great display of sportsmanship and maturity.

I do not know the nature of the injury of the Penn State player that allowed the Ohio State players to visit. But in cases that involve intensive care, there are precautions put in place to protect the patient. One is a severe limit on visitation to protect from possible infection. Once Curtis is removed from ICU and visitations are allowed, our players will be one of many groups that express our empathy and well wishes for a speedy recovery.

Jimmy Blethen (Los Angeles, CA)
Coach, what do you suggest a young, up-and-coming quarterback work on specifically to prepare himself for college football?

First, he must prepare his mind to be as bright as possible and the classroom is the ultimate tool for this development. We demand that our quarterbacks have complete command and total recall of great volumes of information and the game only allows a few seconds to disseminate this information to the team. Second, he should enhance his physical tools with participation in as many sports as possible. Our greatest quarterbacks have been great athletes able to be great in many sports. Develop a true love of competition for that love of competition creates a calm and poise when in stressful situations that distinguishes greatness.

Paul Norwood (San Mateo, CA)
Obviously, going to a bowl game impacts recruiting, but do you notice it to be much more difficult in non-bowl seasons? What is the first thing you try to impress upon young players about Stanford, or does it vary by individual?

First, I hope that we do not encounter any bowl-less seasons. The needs of the individuals vary as much as the number of individuals. But, there should be certain fundamental elements that are consistent with Stanford yesterday, today and tomorrow. We believe in a program that is built on a foundation of excellent young men that desire the best in education, athletics, community, social and spiritual life. This is where we begin and in most cases the individual's personal needs will be larger or smaller in certain areas.

Walter Barrow (Fresno, CA)
I recently read that the Pac-10 has agreed to institute a training table. I believe that will have a strong impact. My question is: what are your impressions of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) and do you hope to see a real playoff system one day? Thanks and we'll see you in LA this weekend!

The BCS is an initiation point for a playoff system. There are great traditions in college football that have enabled the game to be what it is today. We must be careful that in order to get to a championship that we do not tear down something that has been good for college football. In our construction of a championship, we must do so with a concern for the young people that play the game as well as the fans and the institutions.



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