Taggart answers more questions on FSU rumors, Las Vegas Bowl
Oregon head coach Willie Taggart walked into the press conference room on the third floor of the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex with a smile on his face, ready to answer questions about Sunday’s news that Oregon earned a spot in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 16.
Taggart wanted to keep the conversation around his team’s postseason outlook, but questions inevitably came up regarding coaching rumors that have tied Florida State and Oregon’s first-year head coach.
For the second time in three days, Taggart dodged questions about those rumors amid discussing Oregon’s selection to the Las Vegas Bowl. He said plenty around the Ducks’ first bowl berth after missing out on one last year, but stuck to giving non-answers when pressed on his coaching situation.
“Why wouldn’t I?” Taggart said when asked whether he would be Oregon’s coach for the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 16, the same answer he gave on Friday when asked if he would be Oregon’s coach next season. “Nothing has changed.”
Taggart was pressed further, being asked about fans’ concern that he’s not giving a yes or no answer.
“I can’t give you something that I don’t have,” Taggart said. “I can’t even tweet anymore without it being something else.”
Taggart was referencing his tweet on Saturday that raised more questions than answers regarding the situation.
The uncertainty even caused a four-star recruit pulled his verbal commitment from Oregon on Saturday. Taggart was asked about this as well, if there’s any rush to make a decision to ease the minds of worried fans and recruits. Taggart elected to punt on that question, too.
“There’s no decision to be made. What are we talking about?” He said. “I’m clear in talking to our recruits and our players. Make it no bigger than what it is.”
A reporter also asked Taggart what he tells recruits with this level of uncertainty surrounding him and the program. Specifically, if this situation muddies the waters when he’s speaking with recruits.
“It don’t when you tell them the truth,” Taggart said. “It’s really not that hard or complicated. You just tell them the truth like I tell you guys the truth; you ask a question, I answer it for you. I probably don’t answer it the way you want me to, but I answer the question. You just be open and honest with them. That’s what I’ve been saying the whole time.”
When he wasn’t dodging coaching questions, Taggart gave some insight Oregon’s approach for the Las Vegas Bowl.
He said the team will not practice this week since the players have finals. Taggart and his staff will hit the road to recruit instead. Taggart also said that he hasn’t talked with Royce Freeman or any other potential Duck NFL prospects about sitting out of the Las Vegas Bowl to prepare for the NFL draft.
The Las Vegas Bowl also forces Oregon to reschedule one of its biggest scheduled recruiting weekends. The Ducks were set to host all of their recruits and top targets on Dec. 15 but will have to reschedule with the Las Vegas Bowl slated for Dec. 16.
Watch Sunday’s press conference in its entirety here.
Follow Gus Morris on Twitter @JustGusMorris
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