Focus on players now at Arizona

Andrew Walter's Heisman Trophy hopes went splat after a miserable outing against Iowa.

Originally Published: October 1, 2003
By Ted Miller | Special to
And just like that -- poof -- John Mackovic is gone. Count on Arizona playing harder and smarter for his interim replacement, first-year defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz, who already sounds like he wants to create a more player-friendly atmosphere.

"We're going to emphasize 'team'; every member of this team is a valuable member," said Hankwitz, 55, a former linebacker for Bo Schembechler at Michigan who has never been a head coach before.

That might sound lame, but Mackovic, to the bitter end, always emphasized himself, even whining about athletic director Jim Livengood addressing the players before talking to him about the decision. Yeah, like the school owed Mackovic anything after he alienated nearly everyone he came in contact with. The final straw was Mackovic's inane banning of about 20 players from the team meal the Friday night before last weekend's TCU game. He had zero right to do that. The school should figure out of the cost of the meals Mackovic stole from those players and subtract it from his $910,000 buyout (which will be funded by boosters).

Ted Miller | email

ESPN Senior Writer