So more details are emerging regarding an ugly day for Karl Dorrell’s mediocre football program. I will share with you Scott’s version of the story first. From Dohn:
However, some of the reports I am reading this morning are troubling to say the least. From the LA Times (emphasis mine throughout):
"A neighbor saw the three suspects on the porch of a single-family home, then saw them force their way in," Harmon said. "When deputies arrived, the three were seen walking from the location, and were found with property from the house they admitted to taking."
"We're actually still trying to figure this thing out ourselves," Rivas said. "We have no victim. They're charged with burglary, but it's still an ongoing investigation. We're still trying to figure it out ourselves."
"He's really a nice guy to talk to … but he obviously has some problems," Highlands sports information director Gavino Archuleta said, adding that school officials suspected that DeAlba also was involved in a break-in at the football team's fieldhouse.
Now I am sure the facts will come out in the coming days wrt to Scott. But already from the stories troubling questions regarding exactly how Dorrell went about in hiring Eric Scott. We are getting two different stories.
From Dohn’s account the news of Scott’s prior problems came as "a surprise" to UCLA:
Court records show Scott was stopped by police while carrying a Ruger handgun with a 9-mm magazine clip and five rounds of ammunition. After his attorney challenged the police search, Scott pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of carrying the concealed weapon in the car and was sentenced to 240 hours of community service and probation that lasted until this year, a law enforcement source said.
"He never brandished or pointed that gun," Hernandez said. "He lives by Crenshaw High School. As a coach, you have to go to different homes at night. He told me his brother was shot and killed."
Culver City Police arrested Scott in February 2002 and he was charged with misdemeanor unlawful obstruction of a police officer. When a judge amended the charge to misdemeanor disturbing the peace, Scott pleaded no contest and was sentenced to one year of probation.
- How did Dorrell’s hiring process miss Scott’s prior convictions, if what Dohn said is true??
- Did Dorrell hire Scott KNOWING his criminal past, KNOWING that his application contained lies by omission?
- Did Dorrell hire Scott despite knowing his criminal past because he knew Scott could bring in recruits Dorrell desperately needed?
- How did Scott get an opportunity of a lifetime, position coach at a marquee program, without any experience?
- How was Scott, who spent not a second on a UCLA sideline as a coach, able to recruit so successfully so early in his tenure and so quickly??
- What influence did Scott have on the recruits that they would name him as a reason for committing to UCLA?
We have to wonder while Scott was filing out his various employment forms whether or not he indicated in those forms that he had a criminal background.
And more importantly why did UCLA allow Dorrell to hire a guy with this kind of questionable character, just a year after he hired another assistant coach who was convicted for domestic violence?
I am not sure how this kind of personnel decisions helps to create a "healthy environment" at UCLA.
I sympathize with the notion that everyone deserves a second chance. I believe in it. However, I do believe people have to earn that chance. I would have been more sympathetic to Scott and Dorrell’s plight in this scenario, had Scott showed beyond a shadow of doubt that he had changed his ways. It shouldn’t make anyone feel comfortable with the notion that Karl Dorell is turning the UCLA football program into a rehab program for former criminals where they can come and work on putting their lives back together. Surely there are lots of other community colleges and lesser universities that can offer that kind of opportunities.
Anyway you look at it, right now even though Dorrell took a good first step in immediately putting Scott on administrative leave, it doesn’t look good for him. I don’t care how this turns out for Scott, but he shouldn’t be allowed back on UCLA sidelines.
Just based on his prior record, I don’t want a former gun totting criminal roaming around UCLA football sidelines. The fact that it almost happened or that it can still happen (if Scott’s current problem resolve in his favor) under Dorrell’s leadership, is yet another indictment against his program, and will further cement the perception that the environment around Dorrell’s program is not healthy both on and off the field.
Anyway you look at it this is serious trouble for Karl Dorrell and we haven't started practice yet.