Duke

UCLA QB Josh Rosen says it’s hard to be a student-athlete. Duke coach David Cutcliffe lambasts him.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe speaks over his headphones to assistant coaches in October.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe speaks over his headphones to assistant coaches in October. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Duke coach David Cutcliffe is on the opposite side of UCLA junior quarterback Josh Rosen’s opinion that student-athletes’ academic schedules aren’t conducive to playing football.

In an interview with Bleacher Report earlier this week, Rosen said “human beings don’t belong in school with our schedules.”

“Look, football and school don’t go together,” Rosen told the website. “They just don’t. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs. There are guys who have no business being in school, but they’re here because this is the path to the NFL. There’s no other way.

“Then there’s the other side that says raise the SAT eligibility requirements. OK, raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have. You lose athletes and then the product on the field suffers.”

On the fifth practice day, Duke football coach David Cutcliffe said he’s disappointed that wide receiver Scott Bracey and linebacker Brandon Hill are out with muscle strains.

During a teleconference with reporters on Wednesday, Cutcliffe spoke about Rosen’s statements.

“He’s not a spokesperson for college football players,” Cutcliffe said. “As I’ve said, college football has done real well without him prior to this and it will do real well without him. It’s not the way it was meant to be. It is college football. People need to learn to accept that.”

Pac-12 Preview Football
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen looks for a receiver against Southern California in 2015. Jae C. Hong AP

When it comes to camp overlapping with the end of summer school this season, which it has at Duke last week and this week, Cutcliffe agrees with Rosen.

New NCAA practice guidelines outlawing two-a-day practices caused a number of schools, including Duke, to start practice a week earlier than in previous seasons.

So now instead of just one week coinciding with the end of summer school, there’s a two-week overlap. Duke’s players will be in the middle of summer school final exams while holding their important first intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday night.

“I don’t know the context he said that,” Cutcliffe said of Rosen. “I don’t know if he’s talking about because we’re in summer school or if he’s talking about in general. If he’s talking about in general, that’s a nonsense statement. Football and school have gone together as long as there has been college football. If that’s what he meant. If he’s talking about the extension of camp into more school, then I agree with him.”

Beginning his 10th season at Duke, Cutcliffe has seen his players do well academically while also leading the team to four bowl games and three winning seasons.

In the NCAA’s latest Academic Progress Rate report through the 2014-15 school year, Duke’s 995 score is No.1 in the country among Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

When looking at the latest Graduation Success Rate report released last year, only Stanford (99), Northwestern (97) and South Carolina (95) were ahead of Duke’s 94 among FBS programs.

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC

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