Carnesale (Lavin & KD's UCLA father) - good riddance

So UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale (Carny) is leaving Westwood in June 2006 to resume to "resume teaching, scholarship and engagement in international affairs,national security policy." Here is the release from UCLA's Office of Media Relations, listing all the "accomplishments" Carny had at UCLA. It doesn't mention the fact before Carny arrived in Westwood, UCLA was around no. 19 in the US News & World Report rankings in 1991 (our entering class), and we are now barely hanging into the top-25 slot, while USC (which still is a joke school) have crept into the second tier of academic rankings. But the issue whether UCLA has advanced its already elite stature as one of the premier higher education institutions is debatable and we can talk about that another day. But in terms of athletics it is probably a good think that this guy (who is not an alum unlike his predecessor Charles Young) is leaving because his actions showed he knew nothing about either UCLA basketball or football.

Yes Carney is a tool when it comes to understanding UCLA football or basketball. Carny was the guy who kept Lavin, providing that con artist administration cover time and time again. Here is an example. From Michale Miller, a Lavin apologist from back in the day (emphasis mine):

When it comes to Lavin leaving the program, it's hard to see since he has the backing of upper management at UCLA. Jokesters in the Chancellors' Office refer to him as "Albert Carnesale JR" or "the son Carnesale never had" because of his close relationship with the Chancellor. Of course, a few NCAA violations or academic disasters could chill even the best relationship at a major university, but disgruntled fans should understand that Lavin is on very solid footing with Carnesale and, in effect, the school.
Yeap it was Carny saving Lavin's ass over and over again and Lavin made it sure to broadcast that fact by using people like Michael Miller. Lavin also always made it clear who had his back at UCLA. He never got along with former AD Peter Dalis (who was fairly worthless on his own right) but he always had the support he needed to stay on at UCLA (emphasis mine):
TSN: How do you and your AD, Peter Dalis, get along now?

SL: Pete Dalis and I have a working relationship. My senior administrators -- chancellor Albert Carnesale and vice chancellor Pete Blackman -- have been very supportive throughout my coaching tenure during both good and challenging times. Their communication style has been honest, direct, and eyeball to eyeball.

I have said before that head coaches at UCLA have been shuffled in and out of the basketball office faster than Domino's delivers pizzas. Since John Wooden retired, there have been seven coaches in the past 25 years. If my math is correct, that works out to about a 3 1/2-year career lifespan per coach. This lack of continuity and stability affects the long-term success of a basketball program. I have been fortunate to have senior administrators that appreciate the success we've had to this point, and understand the natural learning curve involved when a 31-year-old head coach takes over a program the magnitude of UCLA with no previous head coaching experience.

Yeap, it was Carney (and Blackmun) who time and time again provided Lavin with the cover he needed so that the roach could stay on and further drive UCLA basketball into the ground. Lavin conned these guys into thinking that he was actually a real basketball coach simply because somehow he was making to all those Steve-16s riding the overwhelming talent Lavo stocpiled in his first two recruiting classes. The way Carney let Lavin skate at UCLA while the guy was berating UCLA alums and fans for being "unreasonable" day in and day out showed how little Carnesale appreciated the tradition of John Wooden's basketball program, and what it mean to the alums who bled blue and gold. Carney who came from Harvard never understood UCLA athletics and never got it. This was apparent when I met him in person during an alumni reception back in Lavin era when he showed total lack of knowlege and passion for UCLA athletics.

Carnesale (and Blackmun) did not have much better judgement in football either. It was them who made the call on UCLA's hiring Karl Dorrell (emphasis mine):
Riley's near-30-year relationship with Field and his experience as a head coach -- something Dorrell and Robinson lacked -- was taken as a sign by many that UCLA would hire Riley. That speculation was further fueled last week when Riley turned down a more lucrative offer from his alma mater, Alabama, and no other proven commodities had surfaced in the UCLA search.

Even if there were many who were lukewarm about Riley -- he did not have a winning record in his five seasons at Oregon State and San Diego -- few thought there was a more likely hire.

However, according to a source close to the search, Dorrell, dressed in a stylish dark suit and white shirt, had an extremely impressive interview with Carnesale and vice chancellor Pete Blackman on Tuesday.

"The bottom line is, Karl kicked (tail) in the interview," said the source close to the search. "He really showed passion and demonstrated from a philosophical standpoint the importance of discipline, what it means to be a Bruin, what it means to wear that uniform, to go to school and graduate from here and to beat SC and win Pac-10 championships."

Dorrell, as he prepared Tuesday to return home, thought he left a good impression, too.

"It was very positive, he said. "I told them I could redirect the program back to the level it should have been and bring the toughness, discipline and integrity that the program should have."

So just like Lavo conned Carny with his smooth talk over the years, Dorrell blew him away with his stylish dark suit and white shirt? And check this out from Carnesale on Dorrell hiring press conference:
The chancellor gave Dorrell a hug as the news conference ended.

''There's a sense of quiet maturity, poise and leadership that he possesses,'' Carnesale said. ''You can spot passion without him jumping up and down.''
So much for the passion Dorrell has brought into Bruin football. Side bar re. that press conference. This is what Dorrell said the day he was officially introduced as the UCLA head coach:
''My expectation for next year is to win the Pac-10 championship,'' Dorrell said. ''Winning the Pac-10 and beating our crosstown rival are the biggest things on my mind.''
Well I will let you guys react to that doozy. You wonder why we set the expectations of beating SC and winning Pac-10? On surface those were the criterias UCLA's PR department belted around when announcing/publicizing the hire of Karl Dorrell. Of course he has come no where close to delivering those goods after three years in Westwood. But we will get back to that topic later.

Now going back to Carnesale. I cannot wait for this Ivy League loser to get out of Westwood. Perhaps UCLA will bring in someone who understands college sports, gets how important it is to the fabric of UCLA's tradition, the Bruin culture, and how it is engrained in the history and identity of this great university. Carnesale never got it. He never had a clue as evident in his clueless support of Lavin over the years, and the role he played in the hiring of Karl Dorrell. He cannot leave the campus sooner.

GO BRUINS.
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