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Sportsman of the Year a good sport

From The Sports Desk

April 27, 2011|By Steve Virgen, steve.virgen@latimes.com
(Courtesy of Tori…)

There were many stories to tell about the man of the hour, Rick Neuheisel, Tuesday night. Certainly there was plenty of material for roasting, a requirement for the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation Sportsman of the Year.

Chris Roberts, the voice of UCLA, told a story about a younger Neuheisel. Roberts grabbed the attention of the audience at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa when he talked about Neuheisel's short-lived tryout for the Green Bay Packers.

Neuheisel's first pass broke the finger of an unnamed star receiver of the Packers, Roberts said. That ended the tryout and soon after Neuheisel was sent home. Before his flight, the former UCLA quarterback, who is now the Bruins' coach, spent some time at a bar where he signed a tab to the Green Bay Packers. Roberts said Neuheisel was rather generous that day, offering to pay the bill of strangers in the name of the Packers.

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Later in the program after Roberts spoke, Neuheisel confessed and roasted himself.

"Chris Roberts, your Green Bay Packers story is well told. It is true," Neuheisel said. "Anybody who works with the Green Bay Packers can send the bill over to me and I'll be happy to make amends, now that I'm gainfully employed, at least for the time being. Hurry. Hurry."

It was that type of evening filled with jokes and laughs, and not only was Neuheisel the sportsman of the year, but he was overall a good sport about all the roasting.

Just like that tryout with the Packers, Neuheisel didn't need to pay for anything Tuesday night. Or did he? There was some roasting taking place via social networks apparently.

Just how did Neuheisel get the award for sportsman of the year?

"he probably paid for it. And no youth is helped by that man. He's a disgrace! He should be locked up, not honored!" That's what hmartin4sc posted on Twitter about Neuheisel and the event. According to her bio, she is the VP of communications for the USC Alumni Club in Newport Beach and Irvine.

There were plenty of folks with ties to USC at the event, but they weren't as harsh as the woman on Twitter.

Even former USC football coach John Robinson wished Neuheisel luck. But Robinson also warned the UCLA football coach. Robinson was honored as OCYSF Sportsman of the Year in 1987. Later in that year after the football season, Robinson was fired at USC.

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