Boise State coach defends his play-calling, says Gandhi wouldn't have taken a knee
BOISE, Idaho -- Boise State University football coach Dan Hawkins invoked some of history's greatest figures when criticizing fans who booed the Broncos' anemic second-half performance Saturday in a win over Tulsa.
Hawkins compared his play-calling decisions in the game with decisions made by Gandhi, Thomas Edison and Martin Luther King Jr., and suggested fans will not really understand what happens on the field until their lives revolve around the game.
"I know it's great to be a fan and love football and love the Broncos," Hawkins said. "But if you want to be really into it, show up at 6:30 in the morning, tell your wife you're going to be home at about 11 (p.m.) and you're not going to take a day off for four months, and then you'll know what's going on," he said Monday at the weekly booster luncheon.
The Broncos led 20-0 at the half, but let Tulsa close the gap to 20-14 in the second half. Boise State had the chance to run the clock out with 49 seconds left in the game, but instead David Mikell scored a touchdown for the 27-14 lead.
Eleven seconds later, Tulsa brought the score to 27-20 when it scored a touchdown but missed the extra point.
Boise State only got the win after Tulsa failed to recover the onside kick.
"If we had knelt on the ball at the end of the game, wouldn't that have been the end of the game? Yeah, it would have been," Hawkins said. "But Gandhi didn't take a knee, Martin Luther King didn't take a knee, Thomas Edison didn't take a knee, and I sure as hell am not going to take a knee."
The boosters responded with applause.
Less than a year ago, Hawkins signed a five-year contract paying him $300,000 a year plus a $350,000 bonus if he stays through 2007, making him the state's highest paid employee.
Hawkins is 5-1 this season following a 12-1 record in 2002 that saw the Broncos achieve a national ranking for the first time in school history. Boise State was 15th in the final AP poll.
After winning 29 of the last 30 home games, Hawkins said he was disappointed when the team was booed during the second half, and many of the boosters agreed.
"I want my players to have a positive experience, particularly at home," he said. "It's bad enough when we go on the road. I want my players to know the fans love 'em and appreciate 'em and are going to be behind them no matter what happens.
"In my business, hey, you're paid to get criticized, and that's part of it," he said. "But I hope that never happens again for our players' sake. I really do."
He suggested that fans leave the business of coaching football to the coaches.
"I know people wanted to have a better throwing game in the second half," he said. "They're disappointed with the play-calling.
"We do this for a living. I pay my mortgage by doing this. I do it 18 hours a day, and there are reasons that things happen," Hawkins said. "I'm not going to reveal those reasons to you. You can ponder the mystery. But, trust me, there are reasons, OK?"
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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