Norwood Teague and interim coach, Tracy Claeys squeezed in a press conference between a team meeting and practice to talk about the decision by Jerry Kill to take time away from football to focus on treatment for his epilepsy.
Here is what we know (facts are kind of important here).
1 - This was a decision made by Coach Kill with his wife Rebecca. He has apparently been close to making a similar decision at previous points in this journey but it never came to fruition. Coach Claeys tells us what he thinks finally pushed him towards taking the necessary time to get this right.
"For the first time he wasn't there at the beginning of the game. Historically, he'd say he was going to do this and then feel better and not go ahead with it. As a staff we are all happy that he's made this decision to do this. We will represent him well for however long it is."
2 -Kill will remain in contact with the staff and will stay close to the program. How much is uncertain but he will not be completely shut off from the staff, program and players. Throughout this process many of the players have been in contact with coach Kill and his wife. The team was informed this afternoon about his decision.
"They are concerned about him, they've always known things first. A lot of them have been texting him and Rebecca and I let them know that he appreciates that."
"We're taking it day-by-day. I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. I want Jerry to take care of it. I feel good that he's going to attack this and hopefully improve a lot."
Epilepsy is a difficult condition to treat. Teague said multiple times that this is not a static. We have also been told this by press releases from the Epilipesy Foundation of MN, individual treatment can varydramatically from patient to patient. Finding the right combination of drugs, rest, diet and other factors is key to getting this under control.
"It is not a black and white condition, it is a moving target and it is not static."
Coach Kill is taking the time away from football to focus on getting a workable and manageable treatment.
Those are the things that we know. There is a lot more that we can speculate on. How long will he "really" be gone? What kind of an impact will this have on recruiting and rebuilding the program? With this kind of a change, will they be able to win a Big Ten game this year? Why exactly is this program so cursed?
Fortunately this is a bye week and the team can come together next week after some time to process and get used to Coach Kill not being around.
UPDATE: Here are the highlights from Gopher Sports:
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