For the first time since Jay Cutler was acquired three weeks ago, offensive coordinator Ron Turner explained the scholarship offer that never happened for the quarterback at Illinois.
Cutler and his family felt jilted by the Illini when he was coming out of high school, and comments were made in recent times as well. Cutler believed he had a scholarship offer from the school and when he made his official visit in December of his senior year he found out that was not the case. It's over and done with from Turner's perspective, and he even managed to get a good laugh out of the situation.
"Basically it was a misunderstanding,'' Turner said Thursday morning following the Brian Piccolo awards ceremony. "Jay and I have talked about it. It's in the past. I never in my eight years there offered a scholarship to someone, had them accept it and then pulled it back. That never happened to anybody.
"Scholarship offers only could go through me. I was the only one who could officially offer a scholarship and officially accept a scholarship because you've got nine assistant coaches out there and you don't know what they are going to say. They might have to say something to a kid, `Oh yeah, sure you have a scholarship.' But they had to officially come through me.
"Anyway, it's behind us and things happen for a reason. It worked out well for Jay. He had a great career. Things worked out. If it hadn't have worked out that way, I'd still be there.''
Cutler and Turner have been working to strengthen their relationship. They're meeting on a daily basis for four hours. If Cutler hits 90 percent of the dates in the voluntary workout program, he collects a $100,000 bonus.
"I couldn't be happier with his work ethic,'' Turner said. "I know people have been talking about some other stuff but I couldn't be happier. He is here every day, early. We're throwing every day. It's exciting. We're developing a great relationship and there is great communication, great dialogue.''