After Arizona State’s football scrimmage today, Dennis Erickson was asked about my earlier report that ASU linebacker Vontaze Burfict initiated a heated altercation with Arizona State assistant football coach Steve Broussard.
(8 players witnessed Burfict menacing ASU’s Broussard + Erickson!)
From Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona:
Coach Dennis Erickson called the report: “totally ridiculous.” He added, “I know my team pretty well. There’s no truth to it at all.“
Hard to reconcile Erickson’s comments with what I know to be an indisputable fact: Burfict initiated an altercation early last season with Arizona State wide receivers coach Steve Broussard in which Burfict repeatedly threatened Broussard with physical harm.
More specifically, the altercation took place during a non-contact, 11-on-11 drill at an Arizona State practice.
During a drill in which coaches forbade tackling, Burfict delivered a late, vicious hit to an ASU receiver as the receiver ran a route over the middle.
After Burfict cheap-shotted his unsuspecting Arizona State teammate, ASU wide receivers coach Broussard loudly cautioned Burfict. Following Broussard’s warning, Burfict verbally threatened Broussard with physical violence and immediately stepped to the coach.
Eventually the two squared off in an ugly verbal confrontation before Arizona State players separated the two.
ASU players George Bell, Aaron Pflugrad, Kerry Taylor, Christopher Coyle, Gerell Robinson, Kevin Ozier, J.J. Holliday and Mike Willie all witnessed the confrontion.
Also witness to the physical threats directed at ASU assistant coach Broussard by Burfict: Dennis Erickson.
(Erickson on Burfict 2 weeks ago: “I’m really proud of how he’s matured.”)
Erickson witnessed the altercation but made no effort himself to defend assistant coach Broussard against Burfict’s physical threats. Even after Burfict got in ASU assistant coach Broussard’s face and verbally menaced him.
As noted here on August 7, Erickson said of Burfict two weeks ago at Arizona State football’s annual media day:
In addition to Burfict challenging Broussard physically during an Arizona State practice, the All-American linebacker has been involved in other physical altercations involving at least one ASU football player and an Arizona State student.