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Shame of a Nation
View From the Hot Seats
The Man Who Knows Too Much
The Culprit is Cancer

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Fall 1998
View from the Hot Seats
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BT: The kids are going to follow the coaches' lead, pick up on how we react to that kind of stuff. Last year we started off 0-2 and all of a sudden you're concerned with the season slipping away. If I had become ballistic and gone wild and overreacted, I don't know if we'd have won 10 in a row. But I told our team, "Don't read the papers, don't listen to the sportstalk shows, don't talk to your friends who supposedly know more about football than you and me. Now is the time for us to stick together as a team and a family, the Bruin family — not time to splinter and become fragmented. What we really need to do is pull together." And we did. But I preach consistency and honesty and sticking together, and I think the kids appreciate that.

SL: I don't know what Bob's mail is like, but you do get fans who really have an idea of what the big picture is, of what a coach is trying to accomplish. In terms of student first, athlete second. When we get a crazy letter, I'm actually naive enough to try and educate the guy that we're teaching things beyond the game. The guy who actually cares enough to write - maybe the pendulum is just a little off — but if we can get him back on the other side, we'll have a huge fan. I'd like to get a letter asking about a kid's GPA or challenging us on higher academic standards or how we need to graduate more kids — that would be a good kind of criticism. There are a number of good fans who just get a little off base and forget that we're dealing with 18-20-year-old kids who have feelings when you're booing them. As a coach, that bothers you. I remember when Cade was a freshman and got booed, and our guys get booed all the time — we're down 10 at half, we get booed off Pauley.

Steve likes to joke that he's just a coach, doesn't have time for books and museums and stuff. Still, we wonder, - with this great big campus right outside your doors, do you have time to enjoy it?

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