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.


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