Rodriguez departure talk of Tucson on sports radio

Rodriguez departure talk of Tucson on sports radio
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - "First time I've ever called and I listen to you every day," said one caller.

The news was big enough for newbies to chime in when Arizona Wildcats Football dominated a three-hour sports talk radio show.

For four years 'The Kevin and Mike Show' co-host Mike Luke has been half the facilitator of the program. Now, more than ever, the fodder for discussion has come easy.

READ MORE: Explosive allegations in complaint against ex-UA coach I Wildcat fans shocked by firing of head football coachReport: Les Miles, Arizona 'mutually interested' in each other I UA fires Rodriguez amid sexual harassment allegations.

"Because people want to talk about it. This entire show, we must've seriously done 15-20 minutes of show prep because this entire show has basically been people just calling in," Luke said. "I've never seen anything like it here. I've lived here almost my entire life. I've never seen so many back-to-back-to-back issues going on right now."

Issues like former football player Orlando Bradford being sent to prison after being convicted of aggravated assault on two women.

Records released by the Tucson Police Department reveal statements from witnesses and victims, stating Bradford's fellow football players roommates and teammates were aware of, but did not report, violent incidents.

Also up for discussion, inside the athletics department, there were issues like Arizona Wildcats Assistant Basketball Coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson being fired amid an FBI bribery investigation.

And now, the issue of Head Football Coach Rich Rodriguez being fired amid a sexual harassment allegation and investigation.

On Wednesday, it prompted 'Wildcats Radio 1290 AM' callers in Tucson to wonder who will lead the team next season?

"Greg Schiano. Why isn't anybody talking about him?" one caller asked during Wednesday's show.

"Kevin Sumlin got fired. Most of these guys you're talking about, Mike Norvell," one caller brought up, as he was listing off names.

Luke knows it's the fun part of any coach firing for fans.

"It's kind of the new shiny object in the room. Then everybody kind of feels like they're a miniature athletic director," he said.

But the real, full-sized athletic director calls the shots. Dave Heeke, in his first year on the job as University of Arizona's Athletic Director, has gotten rid of the football coach.

Luke expected to hear his listeners say they were ready for Rodriguez to go. What he got was slightly surprising.

"There wasn't really a lot of 'RichRod' bashing, for lack of a better term. There were a lot of people that I think were pretty realistic that they were sad to see him go," he said. "I think, more so than anything, I think they were confused as to why he's being let go."

The Kevin and Mike Show airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekday afternoons on Wildcats Radio 1290 AM in southern Arizona.

WANT MORE? Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.