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Personal fouls are ODU's problem to deal with, coach says
Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder said Monday the number of personal fouls committed by his team last Saturday doesn’t bother him, calling them part of the learning experience for his young team.
The Monarchs’ personal fouls - they committed four - came into question following a 21-17 loss to William and Mary when Tribe coach Jimmye Laycock was asked about ODU’s pending move to the Colonial Athletic Association next fall.
William and Mary is a member of the CAA.
Rather than speak to ODU’s admittance to the league, Laycock, during the postgame news conference, criticized the Monarchs’ play.
“If they understand what’s considered good football, so far as personal fouls, and learn about that, then I’m OK with that,” Laycock said. “But if they don’t learn about hitting late and hitting after the whistle and doing that kind of stuff, I’m not.”
During Monday’s CAA teleconference, Laycock was asked to expand on his comments
“The statistics speak to it, so far as the personal fouls that were called,” Laycock said.
“I know as a coach I take a great deal of pride in the way our players perform on the field and with the way they carry
themselves and the way they handle themselves. And I take a great deal of pride in the fact that we’re leading the league in fewest penalties. And I take a great deal of pride in our players’ composure Saturday night.”
While filming Monday morning’s “Breakfast with Bobby,” an Internet video produced by The Virginian-Pilot, Wilder said, “I’ve always felt as a head coach you need to coach your own team and you should comment on your own team. So in my opinion, and the way I handle my business and our program handles our business is we speak to one football team, and that’s Old Dominion.
“We’re a program that’s just 14 games old. We’re learning.”
ODU has been whistled for nine personal fouls in three games. The team was called for 29 personal fouls last season, including a season-high six against Georgetown.
“I know we’re not a dirty football team; that’s not how we coach,” Wilder said later Monday during his weekly news conference. “We implore our players to play really hard right to the whistle.
“This was our first ‘big game’ against a CAA team, and when you don’t have the experience of playing in these types of games, it can get very emotional.”
Wilder said he agreed with two personal fouls called against his team, one against receiver Dornian Jackson on the ODU sideline in the second quarter and the other called on defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron at the end of the Tribe’s 55-yard touchdown pass from Mike Callahan to Chase Hill to begin the second half.
But he intends to call regional coordinator of officials Jim Maconaghy “for clarification” on the other calls.
Wilder took exception with an unnecessary roughness call against defensive tackle Erik Saylor in the first quarter and a facemask against Cameron as he tackled a scrambling Callahan on the Tribe’s winning drive.
“I felt like, after reviewing the tape, it was a physical football game and an emotional game, and not just for Old Dominion,” Wilder said. “I felt like Old Dominion played with emotion and so did William and Mary.
“There were a couple personal fouls, two out of four, that bothered me, and we’ll address that with our kids and get those things cleaned up. None of the penalties ended up taking away points for us or giving them points, and there was no intent to injure.”
By Rich Radford, The Virginian-Pilot