Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez will be the toast of ESPN on Thursday, and the publicity he’ll receive should help mend some of the negative publicity the Wildcats have received during the offseason.
The latest unfortunate news for Arizona is the dismissal of redshirt sophomore safety Patrick Onwuasor on Tuesday following his arrest on four felony charges, all drug related.
Onwuasor becomes the sixth scholarship player to leave the program since the end of last season. He is the first to be dismissed. The others who left did so on their own accord. They are wide receivers Tyler Slavin and Jarrell Bennett, running back J.T. Washington and defensive end Dame Ndiaye. Vincente Miles, a junior safety who started the last three games last season, was forced to retire from football for medical reasons.
Austin Hill, one of the Pac-12’s top receivers, will potentially miss all of 2013 while rehabilitating a torn ACL injury.
Arizona junior running back Ka’Deem Carey will return after a turbulent off-season in which he was ejected from a UA basketball game for alleged unruly behavior with campus police and his domestic-violence charge. The domestic-violence charge was dropped in June.
2013 ARIZONA SAFETY CAREER STARTS
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* — Grandon is listed on the Arizona roster as a cornerback, but he started nine games at free safety last season.
Rodriguez, who was a CBS-TV broadcaster in 2011, has the personality and positive image with the media to detract from what went wrong this offseason.
His time at ESPN on Thursday will undoubtedly be five hours of publicizing the Wildcats from the enhanced Arizona Stadium facilities to the addition of Ken Griffey’s Jr.’s son, wide receiver Trey Griffey, on the active 2013 roster. He is also bound to get some good-natured ribbing for the “Hard Edge” video from Old Tucson.
He will appear at ESPN with all the other Pac-12 coaches starting Wednesday. Rodriguez and the Pac-12 Southern Division coaches go on the air Thursday.
7:00 a.m. – GameDay Radio
7:15 a.m. – SC Tonight with Freddie Coleman
7:30 a.m. – Recruiting Nation
9:15 a.m. – The Herd with Colin Cowherd
9:30 a.m. – ESPN.com Chat
10:20 a.m. – SportsCenter
10:45 a.m. – College Football Live
11:15 a.m. – SVP & Russilo radio show
11:45 a.m. – Coach & Company radio show
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.