Cody Hawkins did an interview with a blogger from ESPN.com who was on campus and at practice Monday, but the senior-to-be and possible team captain and starting quarterback refused interview requests from the Camera, the Longmont Times-Call and the Denver Post, which are the three mediaoutlets with a fulltime beat reporter assigned to the Colorado program.
The Camera requested that Cody Hawkins provide an explanation through the sports information department for his refusal to do interviews with this paper.
"Cody is not talking to reporters he feels have been attacking his dad," was the response provided through longtime CU sports information director Dave Plati. The other two newspapers were provided with the same answer.
Dan Hawkins replaced his son as the starting quarterback last season after he threw two interceptions at Texas, making him the CU career leader in that category. He had become the career leader in touchdown passes earlier in the game. Tyler Hansen became the starting quarterback and retained the job the rest of the season.
Dan Hawkins came under fire at the end of last season when it became clear the program would produce a fourth consecutive losing season with him as coach and athletic director Mike Bohn began to indicate that making a coaching change was a possibility. School administrators decided to retain Hawkins for a fifth season, despite his 16-33 record in Boulder.
It is unclear why Cody Hawkins opted to be interviewed by ESPN, which ranked the Buffs in its "Bottom 10" feature last season and turned the Buffs` logo upside down following a Week 2 loss to Toledo. Several writers with ESPN also have been critical of the program in the past 12 months.
Hicks leaving program
Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins announced Monday defensive back Steven Hicks would not return to the program.
Hicks, a sophomore from Tyler, Texas, was not participating in spring practices because of academic issues and has apparently decided to transfer. He redshirted in 2008 and did not earn any playing time last fall.
Hicks is the 11th scholarship player to leave the program before exhausting his eligibility in the past 13 months, joining a list that includes Matt Ballenger, Chance Blackmon, Lynn Katoa, Eric Lawson, Darrell Scott, Lagrone Shields, Lamont Smith, Josh Smith, Demetrius Sumler and Ryan Wallace.
The program also has lost several other players in that time prematurely because of medical reasons. Defensive back Anthony Wright could join that list later this year. Wright suffered a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament last year jumping over a fence in the offseason. He did not have surgery and played wide receiver for the Buffs last fall.
Hawkins indicated Wright`s future with the program is uncertain at this point.
"We`ll see," Hawkins said. "We`ve got to see what`s going on with his knee and how that comes around."
Showdown at high noon
Colorado and Colorado State will kickoff at noon on Sept. 4 at Invesco Field at Mile High and the game will be televised on the mtn., the Mountain West Conference announced Monday.
It will be the first time in three years the teams have played on Saturday. The past two games were moved to Sunday to ensure they were televised nationally. While the mtn. is available nationally on DIRECTV, it is available in only nine states on cable and does not qualify as a national television game in the eyes of the Big 12 Conference. That means Colorado will make less money on the game this year.
Dan Hawkins refused to say wide receiver Scotty McKnight would miss the rest of spring ball when asked about the status of the senior wide receiver Monday, but McKnight confirmed he doesn`t believe he will practice again until fall camp.
McKnight was injured in the first scrimmage of spring ball two weeks ago when he was forced out of bounds on the west side of Folsom Field by teammates. He stepped awkwardly near the wall and fell to the ground. McKnight said a ligament in his ankle detached from the bone and took a small piece of bone with it.
"It`s really a lot less severe than we thought," McKnight said. "So it`s good news, and I`m feeling better. It`s more like a sprain. A little piece of the bone chipped, but it`s really, really minor. ... I`ll probably tamper it down and not really go the rest of spring ball and then hit things full speed for the offseason."
Dan Hawkins said the Buffs were "a little sluggish to start" their first practice following spring break on Monday, but they picked it up toward the end. ... For some reason, Dan Hawkins was reluctant Monday to talk about the other programs he visited during spring break. When asked how he spent his break, he said he visited his grandson. He eventually confirmed he did visit other programs. ... Max Tuioti-Mariner "tweaked his knee" in the first scrimmage and did not participate in practice Monday, offensive line coach Denver Johnson said. Bryce Givens was not at practice because of a class conflict. Andre Simmons also was absent. ... Place-kicker Aric Goodman attended practice in warmups and did not participate.