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The Tribune caught up with Kyle Whittingham on Monday, following Pac-12 coaches meetings in Phoenix last week that he called "pretty uneventful."
Whittingham said the agenda included the appropriateness of satellite camps, cost of attendance, new Pac-12 vice president of officiating David Coleman, bowl games and bicoastal media days.
It's summer, and that's about as exciting as it gets, so here's what he had to say about a few of the hot- (or at least lukewarm-) button issues in the sphere of college football:
On coaches' talk about satellite camps, which Utah will host in California and Texas this summer (and which Oregon State will host at Alta) • "The coaches that are in more of the metropolitan areas Southern Cal, Northern Cal they're not as high on it as the coaches that are a little more remote us, Colorado, up in Oregon and that type of thing, Washington. So it wasn't heated debate, but there's some differing opinions."
On working at a satellite camp in Beford, Texas, in June • "This will be our first one [in Texas]. We've had individual coaches, maybe, go work a camp. I think that the All Poly Camp did one in Texas a year or two ago that we had some representation at, but this will be the first one over there that we've had more than a couple coaches involved."
On whether there's a re-emphasis on Texas in recruiting • "I think with Florida and Louisiana becoming more fertile for us, that has caused the Texas numbers to dip a little bit. We're going to continue to work those areas in Texas, as well as Florida and Louisiana. There wasn't any plan to have less come from Texas, it's just how it's worked out in the last year or two."
On holding a Louisiana or Florida camp • "It's not being discussed right now. Maybe in future years. We'll have to see how things go."
On Coleman, a former NFL director of officiating who will oversee conference officiating full-time, unlike former Pac-12 officiating boss Tony Corrente, who resigned abruptly last October • "He's got a great background. I'm never one to really complain about officiating. I thought Tony was doing a great job, as well. David has some good ideas, and like I said, he's got some good experience and a strong resume, so I think he's going to do a good job."
On the NCAA's graduate transfer rule, which allows athletes to transfer with no restrictions after graduating and has led to consternation for Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott • "I think for the most part it is [a good rule]. For the student-athlete that comes to your university and does what he's supposed to do in getting his degree, which is the No. 1 reason why they're all here, I think they should have some latitude and be able to have some options for graduate school. I have no problem with that."
On the recent support from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany for freshman ineligibility • "If they do go that direction, they need to up the amount of scholarships because now you're going to cut out 20-25 athletes from being able to participate when you only have an 85-scholarship limit. It's thin as it is right now. I don't know how you could make that work by cutting out all those freshmen. I guess it would catch up, eventually, because you'd have to, essentially, redshirt them all that first year. There's a lot of things to consider with that. First of all is the depth, like I said, that's one consideration. Another consideration is how the redshirt rules are structured right now, if you redshirt voluntarily for a year and then have another year where you're injured, you don't get that year back. If they're going to make it mandatory for freshmen to sit out that first year, does that mean if they sustain an injury in subsequent years, are they going to be able to get that year back?"
On whether there was discussion at Pac-12 meetings about moving from a nine-game to an eight-game conference schedule • "No. It wasn't on the table. I think, the way I understand it, with the TV contracts that's just not an option. There's nothing really to discuss. We're locked in for X amount of years, and that's just the way it is."
On playing a bowl game in Melbourne, Australia, home of Utah punter Tom Hackett and possible site of a postseason matchup between Pac-12 and Mountain West teams • "Interesting concept. [Laughs.] That's a tough road trip, I know that. I think it takes you about 24 hours to get there, but the concept is intriguing."
On Utah's representation in the NFL draft • "I thought it went very well. We had the four guys drafted, obviously, and three of them in the first three rounds, and several free agent opportunities are going to be there for our players, so I think we were well-represented in both the draft and the free agent signings and excited for our guys to have those opportunities."
On whether any Utes have announced their intent to transfer since the end of spring ball • "No. Not as I sit here right now, today, there's been nothing [that's] come across my desk."
On the best stunt driver among Utah's coaches in the "Furious 7" in-state recruiting kickoff spoof • "I think it's got to be either me or [cornerbacks coach] Sharrieff Shah."
On where he acquired his skills behind the wheel • "Unofficial experience. I did get out to the Larry Miller track, a couple years ago, and it was a blast. That's where I got my experience, at the Larry Miller track. I had a chance to go spend a day out there and it was great. I'm sorry to see that thing closing. I guess it's going to close in October. It was great fun."