The student newspaper at the University of Minnesota -- the Minnesota Daily -- checked in with players from coach Jerry Kill's previous coaching stops. They talked about the yelling -- and they talked about the way it shaped them.
For Kill's former players, the combination of yelling and affection that drove Gophers wide receiver A.J. Barker to quit the team wasn't unusual at all.
Daily reporter Dane Mizutani talked to Joel Sambursky, who played quarterback for Kill at Southern Illinois University from 2002-2005. Sambursky told about the time he threw an interception and Kill verbally jumped him on the sideline. He told the Daily: "I just wanted to see if you could take it. I need guys that are mentally tough to play this game.' That’s what he does, and that’s what successful coaches do."
Sambursky told the Daily that Kill "does things his way, and he doesn't negotiate that."
Scott Wedige, a rookie center for the Cincinnati Bengals who played for Kill at Northern Illinois, told the Daily: “He called me every name in the book and rode me hard. It made me a lot better. He believed in me and helped me get along in my career.”
And the Daily checked in with one of the players that Kill has recruited for next season, wide receiver Eric Carter of Lakeland, Fla., who said that he read Barker's letter on the internet and thought that it was "a little crazy."
Carter also talked to a couple of current Gophers players and found himself being treated, well, a bit like a newspaper reporter: “They said it was kind of blown of proportion, but they really can’t talk about it.”
To read Mizutani's full story, go here.
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