Nov. 20, 2008
Obviously, the big news this week is Rocky Long leaving the football program. It hit me as a shock, but when I look back on some of the dialogues I had with Rocky, I can't say it was a total surprise. In talking with Rocky, I could sense the unrest in him and I guess he was kind of telling me something. I just want to stress to all Lobo fans, and this is a message I want to be clear and very loud: Rocky left on his on. Anybody who thinks we forced Rocky out, doesn't know Rocky. He was open and direct in his press conference. He is a guy who doesn't mince words. He said what he believed.
This brings a sense of sadness to UNM and to the community because there is a sense of the end of an era and when that era has been a successful one, there's a sadness that comes with it. There also is a sadness because Rocky is a great guy. He's a guy's guy. You like to be around him. He's an honorable man. I don't think any father would have a reservation about having his son come to UNM to play for Rocky.
I was sincere in saying Rocky has come to symbolize New Mexico football. But this was Rocky's decision and we have no choice but to move on and find the next guy. I have a feeling I'm going to have an interesting few weeks ahead of me. I'll talk about that in a few days.