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Read Dave Heeke’s letter to Arizona players informing them of Rich Rodriguez’s dismissal

Probably his only choice

Arizona v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With Rich Rodriguez being fired in the first week of January, there are several timing issues that come up.

One of those issues is how to inform the players, who are all over the country for winter break.

Even though at least one Arizona Wildcats assistant coach says that he found out about Rodriguez’s dismissal via Twitter, Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke did the best he could with letting the players know.

Here is the email Heeke sent to the team, via David Kelly.


My sincere apologies for the impersonal nature of this communication, but the timing and urgency could not wait until you returned to campus. This evening, I informed Coach Rodriguez that we are making a change in the head coach position at UA. While a difficult decision, I believe it is in the best interests of our football program. A national search for your new head coach will begin immediately, and I will work hard to identify and retain a new head coach.

In the coming days, we will coordinate an opportunity to come together and discuss our future. Again, my apologies for the method of communication but I thought you should know before it is made public.

Dave Heeke”

While it is impersonal, the timing and circumstances make this way a necessity, and Heeke at least acknowledges several times that this is not the best way to do it.

Now it is time for Heeke to move swiftly to find the next Arizona coach and take advantage of the potential this team showed at times throughout the 2017 season.