Rick Reilly Thinks UCLA is Sweetening the Offer to Chris Petersen With Assurances For His "Special Needs Kid"

ESPN’s Rick Reilly decided to jump into the college coaching search rumor mill Tuesday night with a tweet about Boise State’s Chris Petersen getting offered $20 million over five years from UCLA, along with this bizarre note: “assurances his special needs kid will get great care at UCLA med center.”

It didn’t take long for Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman to respond to Reilly – Petersen doesn’t have a special needs son.

Here’s what George Schroeder wrote on SI.com about Petersen’s son back in 2009:

Petersen’s son Sam had just turned 1, an apparently healthy toddler playing with his older brother in the stands during a preseason scrimmage. But when he fell and hit his head, a routine examination revealed a nightmare. Sam had a brain tumor. And though it was successfully removed during an eight-hour surgery, doctors soon discovered the cancer had spread to Sam’s spine.

As football season unfolded, Chris Petersen somehow balanced the 80-hour work weeks and family life. His wife, Barbara Petersen, spent a full month living at the hospital with young Sam. Chris divided his time between Eugene and Portland, 100 miles away, where his young son was undergoing treatment.

But you’re wondering about young Sam Petersen. The family celebrated his 11th birthday earlier this summer. He’s healthy, a frequent presence around Bronco Stadium — “Really into football, and the Broncos,” Chris said — and a constant reminder of why his father doesn’t seem very interested in uprooting for the next big thing.

Does Reilly know something nobody else does?

While Petersen has been untouchable the last few years – as in, thanks, but no thanks without hearing the offer – there is some scuttlebutt that he’s actually listening to offers this year. (Kellen Moore, his star QB, is graduating after an incredibly successful run.) Something to watch – Boise is approaching month four in its athletic director search. Who wants that job if Chris Petersen isn’t locked in as coach? (Who wants to move to Boise?) As long as that opening isn’t filled, I’ll assume Petersen is weighing his options.

Previously: Kellen Moore’s Bachelor Party: Bobsledding and Zipline
Previously: Boise State’s Title Hopes Derailed For the Second Year in a Row … By a Kicker
Previously: Craig James is Not a Boise State Broncos Fan

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