Monday, October 15, 2007

Starting at the Top

You see, Nebraska got the memo. They took a hard look at the state of their football program and decided it was stuck in neutral. Did they fire their head coach? No... at least not yet. I'm sure that is coming soon enough. They decided that the first thing they needed to do was get a new direction for their program. They did that by firing their Athletic Director.

This is exactly the type of action I'm calling for UCLA to take. I don't think the answer is firing Dan Guerrero, who has done an excellent job with basketball and baseball hires. No, I think DG should stick around for a while. But I like the message the Nebraska chancellor is sending. Make football a priority... or else. That is the message we need to send to DG: Make football the priority.

Make sure we hire an experienced, proven coach. Before we get rid of Dorrell, we need to insure that UCLA and the Morgan center are serious about getting a winner. Not just another bargain-basement, up-and-comer. We want somebody who has a track record of success as a head coach. That will likely take some money and some fortitude to put other sports and projects on the back burner. These are the tough decisions you have to make as an Athletic Director and if Guerrero can't do it then we need to find someone else who can.

(photo credit: AP Photo/Nati Harnik)


AaronM said...

Make football the priority? UCLA is a basketball 1st school. Would you sacrifice Howland for an equally impactfull football coach? Would you let basketball linger in a Lavin-esq purgatory while the Football team is in BCS contention?

I want KD gone as much as the next guy. But calling to make "football the priority" over other sports is off base.

CPBruinFan said...

I don't think supporting the two are mutually exclusive, but yes, I would put football ahead of basketball at this point in time. I would like to see the AD put the Pauley Pavillion reconstruction project on hold and divert those funds to getting a better football coach.

Football is an investment. It is, by far, the biggest money earner; even ahead of basketball. If UCLA is in BCS contention that means more tickets sold at games, bigger TV contracts, and huge merchandise sales. All of that money means more for all the sports. The more you help football the more you help the entire athletic community at UCLA.

I think the attitude that "UCLA is a basketball 1st school" is one of the main reasons why this football program suffers. You want the coach fired but you aren't willing to make the sacrifices it takes to hire a proven, experienced head coach to replace him. You get what you pay for.

Why is it OK for football to linger in purgatory but not basketball? I'd like to know the answer to that question.

Anonymous said...

UCLA is not a "both feet in the water for football" kind of school. Texas is. USC is. Alabama is. Oklahoma is.
UCLA wants to be a well-rounded academic and athletic institution. Stanford is the same way (ironically numbers 1 and 2 in total NCAA titles).
As much as some "cranks" want a new "high profile" coach...UCLA only pays so much. UCLA only can get a certain type of athlete into the school. UCLA has a housing situation for coaches (aka too expensive).You know how many "coaches of stature" would look at the UCLA situation and laugh their asses off at the admisiion policy?

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