Erickson on Burfict report: ‘Things like that happen’

Aug 8, 2011, 5:03 PM | Updated: 6:23 pm

Dennis Erickson said it wasn’t all that big of a thing.

Responding to a report that said ASU junior linebacker Vontaze Burfict “sucker-punched” teammate Kevin Ozier, the Sun Devils’ head coach said what happened is not anything unusual.

“I’ve been in 38-40 camps in my coaching career,” he explained Monday. “Things like that happen on the field, tempers.

“Sometimes, unfortunately, they carry off the field — not very often, but that happens.”

Erickson’s comments are similar to what ASU Associate Athletic Director Mark Brand said Sunday.

“It was quickly resolved.”

The problem for ASU — and Burfict — is the linebacker’s reputation. Though a rare talent at the linebacker position, Burfict hasn’t always controlled his emotions, garnering personal foul penalties and even a one-quarter suspension last season. So, even if the original report is untrue, the 20-year-old’s history of on-field issues is working against him, Erickson said.

“Because it was Vontaze, obviously, it was reported the way it was reported.”

Then again, Erickson has praised Burfict all off-season, saying his star player has matured. Monday he said the current story is not that big of a thing, though a report like the one that was released certainly isn’t one anyone associated with Arizona State would like to read.

Arizona State Football

Arizona State head coach Kenny Dillingham addresses his team after a spring football practice in Te...
Jake Anderson

ASU has ‘worst practice by far’ of spring ball, OL Coleman out for 1st half of season

The Arizona State Sun Devils football team had its worst-ever practice in the Kenny Dillingham era on Tuesday.
4 days ago
Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada. (Instagram Photo/@jadenrashada)...
Arizona Sports

State of the Sun Devils podcast: Could QB Jaden Rashada start for ASU in 2023?

On the latest episode of State of the Sun Devils podcast, the guys broke down ASU's quarterback competition at 2023 spring ball practice.
7 days ago
Arizona State wide receiver Javen Jacobs during 2023 spring ball in Tempe, Arizona. (Sun Devil Athl...
Jake Anderson

ASU’s pass-catcher competition includes ‘deep wideout and tight end positions’

The Arizona State Sun Devils have a plethora of talent on the offensive side of the football when it comes to pass catchers.
11 days ago
Arizona State true freshman quarterback Jaden Rashada gives the "forks up" after a spring ball prac...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State’s QB battle heats up after 1st week of spring ball with Jaden Rashada

There are six on the roster, half of which are returners, while two are transfers and one is freshman five-star dual-threat QB Jaden Rashada.
14 days ago
Arizona State defensive back Chris Edmonds, celebrates his pass interception with linebacker Will S...
Jake Anderson

Communication is key for Arizona State’s new defense early on in spring ball

Communication is key in defense, especially in the modern era of college football where offenses are running quick-tempo, hurry-up offenses.
16 days ago
Arizona State University president Michael Crow interviews with Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona'...
Kevin Zimmerman

ASU, Arizona presidents: Not preparing to leave for Big 12

The presidents of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona went on the record reaffirming their commitment to the Pac-12.
17 days ago
Erickson on Burfict report: ‘Things like that happen’