A Warning To UCLA Athletics & Neuheisel/Howland: Be Careful

Bumped. Originally posted on May 15, 2009 (little more than a year ago). This is even more relevant today. The Trogans are going to be out in full force looking for the most minute violations and then blow it up through their lapdogs in the Trogan Times and ESPN. We have to be more alert than ever. GO BRUINS. -N

So this week has been pretty amusing to say the least. While the blockbuster nature of the Tim Floyd/OJ May story was a little stunning when we first read it, it sort of settled in. At least for the people here it didn't seem all that shocking and some what par for the course as far as allegations and scandal stories, given what we have seen and read over the years out of U$C*. The reactions among Trojan fans all across the internet has been fairly predictable. (See a typical sampling compiled here). They are in their defensive stance sheltered within their bubble of denial and delusion. 

There are also the hilarious opinions about somehow U$C* getting penalized (and treated like any other program who would have the same laundry list of scandals) would be a bad thing for Pac-10 programs. As if the conference was hurting when U$C* was floundering around under Smith, Robinson and Hackett. Anyway, I don't really care much about those ramifications because frankly I don't think it matters. This conference has enough solid programs that it will do just fine no matter whoever is leading it as long as it is being marketed and promoted by competent officials in the Pac-10 administration (which has been a problem under the worthless leadership of Tom Hansen).

What I wanted to do is talk a little bit about what these stories mean for us. I am not from the school of thought that we can get all giddy about our recruiting prospects based on what is happening at U$C*. I don't think it really matters now given the kind of coaching staff we have under the leadership of Rick Neuheisel. Think about it. CRN after coming on board held together a top notch recruiting class (despite widespread concern trolling in the local media about how UCLA had to immediately anoint Dewayne Walker as the head coach because the class would fall apart) and then this year put together a top-10 recruiting class, despite coming off a 4-8 season. If we continue our gradual improvement this season and take steps to dig out of the deep hole left by the previous coach, the recruits will come under CRN. I am not worried about his ability to evangelize about all things Bruin and attract the local kids from the greater Los Angeles community.

However, if I were Neuheisel (along with Howland and rest of the athleic administration staff in Morgan Center), I put up my guards now and get on higher alert given what is taking place across town. More after the jump.

We don't know whether or when the NCAA will sanction U$C*.  Till this week I honestly thought it was never going to happen. For the first time though we are seeing signs that the NCAA might actually be on to something and they might have not been sitting on their rear ends. If the NCAA does come down on U$C with more than just a slap on the wrist impacting their holy tainted football program, then you can pretty much expect the MOTHER OF ALL MELTDOWNS from Trojan fans all across the internets within that delusional bubble of denial.

It should be obvious by now the Trojans think their football program (no matter how it was built by the current coaching staff) is the God's Gift to America and the Greatest program of all time. That sense of grandeur has been routinely elevated to unimaginable heights over the years from absurd and surreal hyping by all the clowns on ESPN. You can look through the archives here and also on Burnt Orange Nation to read about the UnGodly hype bestowed upon the Trojan football program (at the expense of disrespecting Vince Young and the Long Horns) leading up that famous Rose Bowl. 

I don't have to talk much about the kind of pimping Musberger and Herbstreet do of Pete Carroll (Boy! Look at him having so much fun!! Look at hime jumping on the sidelines!!!!) on every national telecast. All these characters on ESPN have always promoted an image of U$C* of being the Lakers of college football without ever bothering to cover what has been really happening for years. These guys always gave an incomplete picture creating the facade of a perfect program elevating the sense of delusion and denial the Trojan fans find themselves in today.

We already know about their predictable excuses. We have written about the "everybody does it" excuse here on BN. Menelaus tore that excuse apart few years ago, which you can look through the archives. 

So, here is the thing if sanctions do occur (and they turn out to be a little more than a slap on the wrist), expect a complete and total meltdown. And what you can also expect is a fanbase that will be out for blood looking to exact revenge by unleashing all out attacks on UCLA.  We already have seen hints of it. We have already seen the predictable attacks from Petey's Poodle during the recruiting season, drudging up CRN's history in Seattle.

If I were CRN and other UCLA coaches and officials right now, I'd be on extra alert.  The Trojans are going to be in an all out hunt to look for any missteps from UCLA coaches and players.  We saw this happen in 2001.  UCLA was in the hunt for big season (we were the program to beat at that time coming off 20 win streak seasons and great recruiting classes) when a Trojan fan leaked the DeShaun Foster/SUV story to the local press. Unlike U$C* UCLA didn't get the benefit of the doubt from the Trojan Times and rest of the Southern California's traditional media (neutered by the Trojan hype machine). We got blown up in the press, the community and nationally.  Our alumni and fanbase unlike theirs demanded accountability and almost immediately soured on Toledo. We never recovered.

So, Neheisel, Howland and other UCLA coaches more than ever needs to be extra careful. They need to get the message across to all of their players about how they need to be mindful about representing UCLA and rest of the community the right way. They also more than ever needs to work with the compliance officials in Morgan Center (which IMO is one of the best in the nation) to make sure they are taking care off all the right details while managing the program.

We know Neuehisel and Howland are  not wall flowers. That is all right. Nothing wrong with having fun while working hard and doing things the right way. The key is they need to make sure they are always doing it the right way, the UCLA way.  I have confidence that they will do just that but they still need to be careful and prepared as we can fully expect in the coming months/years we will be confronting an angry, delusional Trojan fanbase unleashing an all out assault looking for Bruin blood.

GO BRUINS.

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