Arizona, Rich Rodriguez file complaint with Pac-12 over late kick times


Arizona will face Washington at 8 p.m. on Halloween night in Seattle, it was announced Monday. That’s not 8 p.m. Eastern, but 8 p.m. Pacific.

Figure a three-and-a-half hour game, another 90 minutes until you’re actually on the plane, a two-hour flight and another hour to get off the plane and into bed, and you’re looking – conservatively – at a 4 a.m. return home for the visiting Wildcats. All to show a game on a network most of you reading this don’t get. One can see why Rich Rodriguez would be upset.

“If the conference is really concerned about student-athlete welfare, something should be stepped in because when do guys get a chance to be healthy,” Rodriguez told the Arizona Daily Star. “We’re not getting treatments on the plane. You can try to sleep, but you’re not getting much rest while you’re traveling.”

Rodriguez said the school will file an official complaint with the conference. The coach said he understands the necessity of road night games, but railed against the frequency at which his Wildcats have been selected for such games. “I just don’t understand how this happens,” he said. “We play 12 straight (games), and we play night and road games, and we’re gonna play an 8 o’clock road game at Washington, get back at 5 in the morning, then have to go back on the road again.”

The Washington game represents Arizona’s third road trip in four weeks; the Wildcats visited Colorado Saturday (a 38-31 win), host Washington State this week, then visit Washington the following week and USC the next. They also do not have a bye week this fall, closing the season Nov. 21 at Arizona State.

Rodriguez ate at the heart of the matter, asking for just a bit of respite from a run of night kicks.

“I understand TV is going to pick the times, and they have the right to do it since they’re paying us all this money, so they’re gonna pick. But if for every road game you’re getting back late and then you have turn-around and go back on the road again,” he said. “Don’t go on your soapbox and talk about student athlete welfare and then have these kids get back at 5 or 6 in the morning. If we’re in it for that part of it, there’s got to be a better way. At some point the conference has to have the ablity to step in and say ‘hey, give this team one afternoon road game. Maybe all the rest are at night, but give them one break so they can get home at a reasonable hour. It’s silly, it really is.”