Rick Majerus Press Conference Quotes

Dec. 20, 2004

Rick Majerus Press Conference Quotes

USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett

'There is no one way to start this off, but just let me tell you that during the time that Rick Majerus has been here, it's a tremendous loss to USC. He is just the best. I'm just glad that I had a chance to know him.'

Rick Majerus

'I want to say that I made a mistake and I apologize to USC for the inconvenience and embarrassment to the university that I caused them. Everything here was better than I thought. It's a premier institution. I had a realization that I thought I could bring guys in who wanted to be doctors or lawyers. I did not have any specific health issues here, there was no episode or anything. I think my health is good. I went with Mike to (USC president) Dr. (Steven B.) Sample's office. Dr. Sample is a good guy. When we left the office, Garrett said to me `there's only three things that we ask here: I want you to graduate kids, I want you to win and I want you to adhere to the rules'. I wanted this job so bad that I was in denial about where my health issues where at. Health, in my case, correlates with fitness. When they called me about the job, there was a 15-minute negotiation. I called my attorney up and he asked me if I wanted to get in this right away. I told him I didn't need a friend, I needed an attorney. He went on to be an attorney. After that walk with Mike Garrett, I realized they weren't getting the guy they hired. I'm not fit enough for this job from my standards. I ran every individual workout at Utah. I delegated, but I did it all.'

'I didn't come here to mail it in. I could have probably come in here and get 15 wins, maybe 20 the next and win a Pac-10 championship. One of the reporters here tried to get it out of me, but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction. I was trying to get us to the Final Four. I did these 18-hour days because that's what I did. As much as this was a dream, I just couldn't do it to the kids and Mike Garrett and be someone that I'm not. I can hire John Wooden and Dean Smith, but they can't put a particular tape together. There's only one guy that can do that and that's what I did at Utah. I enjoyed doing that, I did that at Ball State. I just didn't think it was fair to the players or to Mike and (senior associate athletic director) Daryl Gross, who were terrific. They wanted to get the guy who was pretty detailed. That's why I think what happened is Daryl called me on Monday and offered the job and I said `yeah, I will take it'. I didn't care what the money was. I just thought it was a super situation. I wouldn't have left ESPN for any other job but this one. I have a fitness issue. It all leads directly to my weight. I've got a problem and I'm going to do something about it. My selfishness in taking this job and my stupidity in thinking I could undertake this put Mike Garrett and USC in an untenable position that I apologize. The difference between being a coach and in broadcasting is the same as being a consultant and CEO of a company. Right now, I have to address that problem. Right now, I don't think they would be hiring the guy who coached at Utah and Ball State. It's a hard thing to come to a conclusion. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. It would be an honor and privilege to work at this great school.'

'I was blinded by this opportunity to work for Mike Garrett and to be at this institution. I just don't think that I would be doing a disservice to everyone.'

'I walked out of the meeting with Mike (on Wednesday after the press conference) and had a little self-doubt. I can't coach the way I have coached with my weight.'

'I talked to Daryl (when I had my doubts) and he said `don't worry about it'. He said we could install a 'Norm Chow'-type plan where we hire a guy and help as an assistant, but I couldn't do that. (The current USC staff) was extraordinarily kind.'

'I looked at myself as a phony if I did this. This was not a pleasant thing for me. I know a lot of people are going to say I'm stupid, but I had a mantra with my players. When I'm in the gym, I'm the most energetic, organized and enthusiastic coach, but I don't think I'm ready to go into that gym.'

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