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In a news conference at Folsom Field that lasted more than an hour, Embree began by addressing players who had packed the Varsity Room at the Dal Ward Center and telling them to keep up the good fight without him.

“You had the highest GPA the last three semesters that this school has ever had in the football program. You stayed out of trouble. You guys represented yourselves well,” Embree said. “You set a legacy and a standard, and as I told you guys when we’re going through tough times, you’re not judged by the scoreboard at the end of the day.

“I was. But you won’t be.”

Even though he’d been stripped of his powers, Embree was still coaching his kids, using the first seven minutes of the news conference to speak directly to them.

Asked if the next coach can win in Boulder, Embree retorted, “How long does he have?”

Embree embraced dozens of his players on his way out of the room and was followed at the microphone by Bohn and DiStefano with university President Bruce Benson listening in on speaker phone while on vacation.

Jon is a dedicated alum of the university and the Colorado Buffaloes with a passion for his students and the athletic program as a whole,” DiStefano said. “And if this decision were based on passion for CU and dedication, there’s no doubt that Jon would be coach for life.

“But it also has to be based on progress and results, which we simply did not see enough this year,” DiStefano continued. “And so we looked at the performance on the field and did not see the development and the cohesion nor progressive strategy that gave us confidence in the future, and that’s why this decision was made.”

Embree said six of his coaches offered to resign in order for him to keep his job.

He said he was disappointed because had been given assurances when he was hired that he’d be given the time needed to turn around a downtrodden program. He said that support changed suddenly Saturday night in a phone call with Bohn.

“All I was told (Sunday) was the trajectory of the program wasn’t what they wanted. And my response was, `Well, what was the trajectory of the program before I was hired?’” Embree said.

Defensive end Will Pericak said the players are angry over Embree’s dismissal.

“Not a fair chance at all,” Pericak said. “Embree needed another year, absolutely.”

Most players filed out after Embree left, but kicker Will Oliver stuck around and didn’t like what he heard when Bohn spoke about the importance of a third year in turning things around, a chance he didn’t afford Embree.

“It seemed like a lot of political jabber,” Oliver said. “I don’t know what I just listened to for 30 minutes, to be completely honest. He might figure this out. I guess we’ll find out soon.”

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