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'It's about the process': Kurt Warner explains his criticism of Arizona Wildcats football

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Posted at 2:26 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 17:28:48-04

Two months ago, Kade Warner, a star receiver at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, had a discouraging experience at a University of Arizona football camp. His father, former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, took to Twitter to vent his frustration.

On Monday, while reporting from Cardinals training camp for NFL Network, Warner told ABC15 that he made his criticism in the hope that his son and other high school athletes who aspire to play college football will have more productive and encouraging experiences at future camps.

"It wasn't really about The University of Arizona," he said. "I think it's about the process, and the frustrating process of, you know, everybody tells you to go to these camps as my son's trying to figure out college, and it was just the disappointment of, you pay to go to a camp and you think your son should get every opportunity like everyone else."

Warner said he's not looking for special treatment, but rather equal opportunity for every kid who attends a camp such as the one hosted by UA coach Rich Rodriguez -- and he said his son wasn't the only attendee to complain about having a poor experience at that camp.

"We had a number of kids from our area that went and they're just like, 'I went and never got an opportunity to really compete,'" he said. "Unfortunately I probably shouldn't have just called out one university because it happened three or four different times for my son, and it was a frustrating process.

"Again, it was blown a little bit out of proportion, but it was the frustration of a dad saying, OK, you hear all these things and people tell you all these things, and then many of them don't live up to that. Hopefully with my platform, people read that and go, OK, let's check and make sure in the future we do right by everybody -- not (only) our university or coaching staff, but also those that commit to come to our university."

Warner said his goal is to ensure that his son and others have the best possible experience at future camps -- and he hopes his public criticism of UA's camp will help make that happen.

"The worst part is for any young man who's trying to do the right thing, who's trying to do what he's told, for them to leave a camp frustrated, going, 'I don't want to go to any more camps, I don't want to go to any more of these things because it's not what I expected' -- I don't think any university or any coach, and of course any family, wants their kid to go through that."