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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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November 4, 2008 1:34 PM

Garcia: "This is eating away at me''

Posted by Bob Condotta

Washington center Juan Garcia hasn't spoken to the media often this season, having once said he was worried about what he might say in frustration.

But he talked to reporters today and was his usual brutally frank self with some interesting opinions on the season and what has gone wrong.

Garcia said the team's 0-8 record is "eating away at me, frustrating me.''

But asked if he had second thoughts about returning for this season --- and not having surgery after he was injured in April, which might have cost him this season but might also have put him in better position for his future --- he said "no, no, not at all.''

"If I would have gotten the surgery, it would have been killing me like 'man, I wish I was out there,''' he said. "So I'm glad I'm out there with the guys and losing with them instead of just watching it happen.''

"It's kind of tough, but hey, I got to wear the uniform one last time. I don't know if people understand how much I appreciate this University. It's been great to me. Regardless of how this season goes, I'll always be proud of this University. It has taken care of me and given me an opportunity for the rest of my life that I wouldn't have gotten if I hadn't come here.''

Garcia said he wishes some of his teammates had the same appreciation for it that he has. He admitted that he has gotten frustrated at times this season with the attitude of some of his teammates.

"I tell them all the time, I don't know when this Husky thing is going to hit you --- it might be 10 years from now,'' he said. "But I bleed purple and gold right now. ... someday you'll look back and regret that you didn't play your hear out, so I tell them I don't know when it's going to hit them. But for a guy like me, who has been here forever, this is all I know. It's kiind of frustrating, but I just keep playing and see what happens.''

He added that, "some of these guys, I look at them and just go 'man, I just feel like kicking them off the team or something.' But it's not their fault. It's the environment they came in. They were (big-time) recruits coming out of wherever they came out of and they are like 'man, I should have gone to another school and this and that' and they kind of feel like they got screwed by coming here. In a way, it's frustrating. But winning cures everything and we haven't been winning. When you aren't winning, it kind of falls apart.''

Garcia said one person he doesn't blame for any of it is coach Tyrone Willingham.

"I really like coach Willingham, the stuff he did,'' he said. "I always say I think coach Willngham's downfall was he was too loyal to some guys on the team. He always wanted to give a guy an opportunity instead of cutting him loose --- he always want to see people succeed. And some of them came back and bit him in the ass. Some of these guys didn't give the effort he expected out and instead of bringing in someone else, he believed in that guy and that guy didn't believe in him back.''

We'll have more on Garcia's comments on-line and in the paper on Wednesday.


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