"Trust Me"

Got an email yesterday about how we should be laying off Dorrell’s recruiting because of the good start to his 2007 class, something which he really hasn’t been able to do in his five years at UCLA. The reader went on and on about unless we are involved in the day to day rigors of recruit, we should basically just STFU, and trust in the abilities of our coaching staff, who are getting paid to do this.

Hmm … that word … trust.

It’s an interesting one. And it reminded me of this:

"I think the American people—I hope the American–I don't think, let me—I hope the American people trust me."—Washington, D.C., Dec. 18, 2002
Yeah that came out of the mouth of Mr. 29 percent.

And now in similar vein some loyalists are urging us to "trust" our Mr. 11 percent.

Let me ask a simple question. What has Mr. 11 percent done to earn the trust of this Nation?

I have not seen any hard evidence that Dorrell’s recruiting of unknown – "diamond in the rough" – 2/3 star players have become conference superstars. Sure some of them have become starters ala Chris Markey. But have they become difference makers? As I mentioned yesterday we are going into Dorrell’s fifth season. And to date he has not signed a single 5 start recruit on offense on signing day.

I’d like to see any concrete evidence that 1 star/2 star ruits develop into difference making, program changing football players under Karl Dorrell.

Sure some 3 star recruits have developed into good contributors under Dorrell such as Chris Horton, Reggine Carter, Alterraun Verner. But note pretty much all of them are on defense (which can be attributed to Walker’s serviceable but not excellent work last season).

But what has Dorrell done to earn our trust?

He got a gift in Ben Olson, who was hyped as the most gifted quarterback out of Southern California since John Elway. He was certainly hailed as the most gifted quarterback to come to Westwood since Aikman. What has Dorrell done with him?

The fact is since he came in here three of his four seasons have been abominable. No the 13-9 doesn’t cover up the fact that last year Bruins had two come from behind losses against Washington and Notre Dame, and put together despicable performances against Washington State, Cal and Florida State.

I read a laughable attempt to equate the Connor Bradford commitment to Howland’s recruiting of Luc. That is just silly. We give Howland benefit of the doubt and we trust him because he came in with an established track record of building program(s) out of scratch. And in his four years he has proved beyond doubt how he is more than worthy of our trust and devotion (same goes for John Savage in baseball).

In contrast Dorrell has done absolutely nothing to earn our trust. The way some people around UCLA go out of their way to defend Dorrell from criticism reminds me of how people go out of their way to defend other Mr. 29 percent. To me it is a sign that people are essentially trying to hide incompetence.

As Bruin sports fans we have shown time and time again we have no problem worshiping results. However, we should never be discouraged (or intimidated) from criticizing something mediocre or below average. If we don’t have the courage to challenge a regime that has produced three horrible seasons out of four, than perhaps we deserve the mediocrity the remains of the Donahue regime left us with in Karl Dorrell.

GO BRUINS.
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