It is back to school for UCLA students this week and, for junior quarterback Ryan Fien, that meant reporting to football coach Terry Donahue’s office first thing Monday.
Donahue reprimanded Fien for statements he made to reporters after Saturday’s 24-15 loss at Washington State.
Fien, who was replaced by freshman Cade McNown, said, “Put me No. 1 or put me No. 2. I finally started to get some momentum and, the next thing I know, I’m out. It’s tough and frustrating playing under those circumstances. I get two long drives going in the second half and I’m out. What can you do?”
Donahue said the comments violated team policy and that Fien should have come first to him instead of going public.
“First of all, young people, they sometimes do get upset,” Donahue said. “Just like adults, they sometimes use bad judgment. Ryan used very, very bad judgment in expressing his discontent, in expressing his frustration in the media.”
Donahue said the comments “point to a lack of maturity. He should not have done that. And particularly should not have done that when he didn’t really have his facts.”
Donahue said Fien complained the Bruins did not throw enough on first down when he was in the game. “He threw 13 passes,” Donahue said, “eight of which were on first or second down.”
Donahue and Fien met before Monday’s practice. Fien said Donahue told him the comments were out of line. Fien apologized, explaining they were made in the heat of defeat.
“Yeah, I was out of line,” Fien said. “Some of the comments I should not have said. Some I should have kept to myself and some comments were exaggerated on my part.”
Donahue said he didn’t think Fien’s comments were malicious. “I don’t think it’s the end of the world. It’s a serious matter. I take it very seriously. At the same time, athletes have done far worse things that. But I’m not taking it lightly.”
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.