A Refresher on Mike Riley/Karl Dorrell Debacle at UCLA

So Scott Reid from the OC Register has written up a lengthy article making the obvious point about UCLA blowing it by hiring Karl Dorrell instead of Mike Riley back in 2002. He then used it to throw in bunch of cheap shots against our current program asserting how we didn't get it done last two and half years (completely ignoring the big picture about how the program did take a step forward last year and in the recruiting circuit).

Where Reid really failed though (and he usually is a BIG FAIL when it comes to presenting stories with full context) in his shoddy piece (won't give a link) is pointing out how Dorrel was hired over Riley at UCLA. In case anyone needs a refresher:

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."

And there was this from Dorrell's first 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.''

Let's just say based on background information we can also assert beyond what is excerpted above that it was Carnesale's decision to hire Dorrell. Most of us on the frontpage followed that process hour by hour when it was unfolding back in 2002. Moreover, Dan Guerrero at the time was barely in his first year at UCLA and was focused on addressing the basketball situation which materialized few months later through the firing of Sleaze Lavin and ushering in the Ben Howland era in Westwood.

Folks can raise questions and concerns about the athletic department (which is one of the few in Pac-10 operating in black). One thing we are not going to let is anyone engage in revisionist history putting the responsibility of hiring Karl Dorrell on Dan Guerrerro. DG ultimately will have to answer for the datapoints on Neuheisel (which will provide a more clear picture by the end of next season) but incomplete and shoddy article like the one Reid wrote up in today's OC Register really does a disservice to painting the real picture on what transpired around the Dorrell debacle in Westwood.


<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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