Players disappointed following Holtz firing

Players filed out of the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center shortly after a 2 p.m. meeting, driving and walking away both in packs and alone.

It looked like the end of a normal player meeting. But it was nowhere near normal.

The USF football team left the building after learning that coach Skip Holtz the coach who had led them through worst season in school history had been fired.

Players told members of the media that they were asked not to comment, and they continued on their way.

USF running back coach Larry Scott, a former player for USF, emerged shortly after and agreed to speak to media, describing the atmosphere of the team meeting as somber.

For a lot of those kids, Coach was involved heavily during recruiting, he said. He was in their homes, and hes a great man and a great husband a leader of men.

Scott himself spoke to Holtz, the coach whose staff he had been a part of for all three years of Holtzs tenure, following the news.

This is the part of the business that comes along with the game, he said. I did speak to coach Holtz, and hes all about being positive and understanding that its a part of it and told us to focus on the kids, because they need us more than ever now.

After Holtzs firing was announced, at least two recruits who had committed to USF under Holtz decomitted. The main reaction was that of 4-star dual-threat quarterback prospect Asiantii Woulard.

The ESPN Elite Eleven finals MVP announced his decommitment from USF on Twitter on Sunday evening, citing the instability among the coaching staff for his decommitment, but said USF is still in the mix.

Scott said Holtz told the remainder of the coaching staff to continue the recruiting process.

We will definitely touch base with all of our recruits, he said. This is a great university. It has a lot to sell. You dont come to a school for the coach; you come for things like an education and a nice place to live. You dont sell them on a coach, because youre just a buffer between a kid and the university.

Though players did not comment to media, many were quick to voice their support of Holtz on social media through their Twitter accounts.

Defensive lineman Todd Chandler tweeted that his heart and prayers go out to the Holtz family and thanked the coach for all that hed taught him. He followed with a tweet that said Its deeper than football. Chandler, a redshirt sophomore, began his USF career the same year as Holtz.

Senior Justin Brockhaus-Kann, who was honored along with 25 others at the Senior Day ceremony during the final game of the season, also took to Twitter to say he had Never met a more loving & welcoming family. They have strong faith in the Lord so I know they will be fine. Love them.

Fifth-year senior fullback Chris Breit echoed his teammates statements, tweeting that Holtz was one of the best man (he has) ever met.

The support from the teams roster demonstrates the disappointment that Athletic Director Doug Woolard mentioned when asked about the mood of the players when Holtzs firing was announced.

Scott said the idea that the losses through the season had prepared the team for the loss of the coach was unfounded.

If youre not performing well, things like this at some point are inevitable, he said. But thats not the focus and thats not what it is about. You dont worry about the so-called writing on the wall.