The first trip through the PAC-12 Media Days is now complete for Washington head coach Chris Petersen after completing the ESPN Car Wash on Friday. There was nothing after the past two days that has changed my mind about Petersen and his ability to deal with the media. Petersen, came across as well-spoken and at times very candid on different subjects throughout the press conferences and interviews.
Thus, here are a couple of things that truly stood out about Petersen’s handling of PAC-12 Media Days.
The Handling of the Cyler Miles Suspension and his honesty about how Miles has responded:
First, the announcement of the Miles suspension for the Hawaii game before training camp was well-timed by Petersen. It was well-timed because now everybody knows what is going on and the focus can now shift to training camp. This is the benefit of having strong leadership at the head coaching position.
“I think he’s done a good job. He’s done everything right or he wouldn’t be with us. He’s done everything right. Guys make mistakes. Certainly at that age group, we always say, hey, the age group we’re dealing with is the dumbest age group in America, and it happens to be so public. Guys make mistakes, and the important thing is we learn from it and become better people.”
This statement by Petersen was dead on about Miles on multiple fronts. First, players do make mistakes and the true test of a person is how do they respond when facing adversity. As of now it looks like Miles has responded well enough to stay a part of the program. Secondly, Petersen is right when guys make a mistake it is most important that they learn from it and become a better person instead of vilifying them.
The selection of Hau’oli Kikaha and Ben Riva as the player representatives for PAC-12 Media Day:
Both Kikaha and Riva were very candid on a variety of subjects throughout their respective media sessions. Kikaha, had an interesting comment about the increased attention to detail in the program when he saw Petersen picking up sunflower seeds off the floor in the locker room. Riva, had some good comments as well on multiple topics about the increased emphasis on the weight room and closing gap on Oregon. “If there’s a guy to help us with that.” Riva said. “It’s Petersen.” That was well put by Riva as moving forward win or lose you will see a better prepared Washington team each week that will be better equipped to deal with the Ducks as well.
Overall, it was a strong PAC-12 Media Day showing across the board and you can sense a quiet confidence heading into fall camp from Kikaha and Riva that has me very encouraged about the upcoming 2014 season.