Willingham's Complete Seattle Times Statement
Jan. 30, 2008
Below is Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham's complete statement to a recent request by the Seattle Times for comment on a series of articles surrounding the UW football program.
Acting director of athletics Scott Woodward provided his perspective on the series here.
"As an opposing coach, the 2000 Husky football team was special. I remember a well-coached Rose Bowl championship team that played hard and overcame tremendous difficulty during the course of that season with strong and positive leadership. With limited knowledge of other aspects of the 2000-2001 team, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on any other issues regarding that team.
"I am excited about the foundation we are trying to establish at the University of Washington. That foundation consists of four basic core values for our football team: To be champions on the field, in the classroom and society, and to have fun in a positive and respectful manner. I believe we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that we have a program that embodies those ideals. Our goal is to be a championship football team and I believe everyone in our program shares that objective. There is no question that I believe winning and integrity are not mutually exclusive. Changing the culture of our football team has been a priority for all of us in the athletic department and our players are responding to that positively.
"When you are dealing with a team that has more than 100 student-athletes, a priority is to educate them in such a manner that we eliminate poor judgment. We are blessed to work with young men between the ages of 18 to 22 and it is a tremendous opportunity to shape their behavior and decision making. If they or we fail, it is our responsibility, when appropriate, to assist them in returning to the core values of this university and football team."