Monday News & Notes

Before we get started with today’s news and notes, wanted to echo Rye’s post and wish a hearty congratulations to our friends at Building the Dam for their Beavers winning back to back NCs. They made Pac-10 and west coast baseball fans proud.

Moving on let’s start with football. A post over at Block U got my attention. Utah fans are marking up their game against UCLA as a loss:

UCLA - The Bruins manhandled Utah in the second half of last year's season opener and while I expect a much better game since it's being played in Salt Lake, it'll be very tough. UCLA is a possible top-10 team and if they play up to their talent (where does this sound familiar?), they won't be beat here, or there or anywhere (except maybe by USC). I'd like to think Utah can win this game, but they won't be favored and therefore I see this as a should lose.
The key point is whether Dorrell’s team is going to play up to its talent. Given his horrific track record on that account right now we have no clue.

Also on football Dohn wasn’t done answering questions this past weekend. He published a new set of answers in Part IV. And there are few I thought was bringing your attention to. First let’s start with the answer where he provided a stock answer to:
If Dorrell is in fact fired (as we're all hoping), any chance UCLA gets a good offensive-minded coach to go along with DeWayne Walker? I'm thinking Chris Peterson of Boise State...coming from a lower-profile school to UCLA, along with the guts to call plays like in the Fiesta Bowl, I think he'd be an absolutely PERFECT fit.
If Dorrell is not at UCLA, I think the only way Walker remains at the school is if he is made head coach. And for everyone with the pipe dreams of landing a Chris Peterson or equivalent, remember that UCLA does not pay its football head coach a bundle of money, and it is even more difficult to keep a well-run, cohesive staff together.
I think Dohn is off here. It is not accurate to say UCLA football doesn’t play its football coach "bundle of money," considering it is paying a mediocre to below average one almost a million bucks a year, and also spending a lot (compared to what it has in the past) to keep his assistant coaches together. When time comes I will have no doubt UCLA will have the resources to higher a coach it thinks will fit our program.

And I wouldn’t read too much into is answers on Chris Peterson. When Lavin was here we used to hear how coaches like Howland, Crean, Brey, Fey, or Williams were "pipe dreams" when it turned out that all of them were consideration when DG was going through his hiring process. So yeah Dohn is a little off on that one.

He wasn’t off in answering this:
Why does the NCAA hand down sanctions in such a seemingly arbitrary fashion? The University of Colorado just got a 2 year suspension for under-charging athletes on meals and UCLA has players suspended for accepting free groceries. Yet, when a star athlete at USC gets caught under-paying rent, all he has to do is pay the difference? Not one down of eligibility was lost.
Reggie Bush stonewalls, and USC is rewarded because the NCAA supposedly cannot find out any other way to get information? Carroll is sending limos to pick kids up and the NCAA looks the other way?

I’ll answer all your questions with this – the NCAA is a farce.
Forget USC for a moment, and think how Ohio State’s football program walked away from the Maurice Clarrett mess without a scratch. In my opinion, if a player does something wrong, or that is perceived against the rules, a la Bush or Clarrett, then the school should be penalized if those players do not cooperate with the NCAA.
Also, if you’re the NCAA and a high-profile school such as USC or Ohio State or Texas or Notre Dame break some rules, why would you punish them? Those schools are meal tickets to networks and the NCAA.
Good to see a local reporter being frank in what is going on. You will never hear that from rest of the TrOJan lapdogs in Southern California’s traditional media.

And then there was the question on academics:
How much harder is it to get an athlete into UCLA versus USC and how much harder is it to keep him in school once he is there?
From what I understand, USC does not have nearly the same type of trouble getting kids in as UCLA. Nick Young wanted to go to UCLA, but the Bruins couldn’t touch him because of academics. Ditto for several football players. I think once a kid is in school, it is basically the same at both places to keep them there. Each program has a tremendous support staff, and certain classes that can make it easier for an athlete to remain eligible. After all, UCLA has a bundle of history majors, but it seems every time I ask a kid, "What does a history major do after college?’’ it is often met with an "I don’t know.’’
Now I get the fact that there isn’t any such thing as "academics" in that glorified community college across town. But what about the comparison between UCLA and Cal’s football program? That’s a topic I will bring up in a stand alone post in a bit this morning.

Elsewhere, apparently TrOJan fans have been sending death threats to fellas over at BeatSC.com.

Stay classy South Central.

GO BRUINS.
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