Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez is a Ka’Deem Carey fan.
Then again, why wouldn’t he be?
As a sophomore, Carey rushed for a school record — and nation-best — 1,929 yards to go along with 23 touchdowns. A consensus All-American, the running back carried the Wildcats to a surprising 8-win season.
However, his offseason has not been as successful. In early January it was learned Carey was set to face charges stemming from a domestic violence incident, and just weeks later he was kicked out of a UA basketball game.
His future with the team was a bit tenuous.
A guest of Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Tuesday, Rodriguez said Carey has worked hard to restore his image and the coach’s faith in him.
“Ka’Deem is doing all the things he’s supposed to do in order to get back in good graces with the program and to, frankly, try to get people to understand who he is,” Rodriguez said. “And I like Ka’Deem. He works hard, but he’s made some mistakes and he knows that.
“But I told him the biggest travesty is that people, a lot of people now have a certain perception of him and that’s not who he is.”
Rodriguez, though, said Carey has no one to blame but himself for how people are viewing him, and has embraced the challenge to make things right.
“He doesn’t think the world’s out to get him,” the coach said. “He’s never shown a sense of entitlement, that’s what bothered me so much from that one incident (the basketball game), that’s not who he is and how he comes to work or nothing like that.”
But it’s up to Carey to show people he’s not the guy they think he is.
“He’s got to get that perception off him but he’s got to do it himself, through his actions and how he goes about his day-to-day living,” Rodriguez said. “We don’t think we have anybody in our program that acts with a sense of entitlement because we won’t allow it, but there’s sometimes with guys’ actions, it shows a certain way and they’ve got to correct it.”