Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
All of us are enjoying (in my case, extremely enjoying) that the NCAA has finally come down hard on the bold, arrogant, open institutional flaunting of NCAA recruiting standards by USC, Carroll, Garrett, Kiffin and SC alums. We all look forward to their imminent 5 year demise. But now, let's turn our focus on the restoration of the UCLA football program that to me is obviously well under way under CRN. We all love the Bruins. In our family we live and die with Bruin success and failure on the field, diamond and on the court.
In my view, it is fine fun to enjoy the long overdue agony of the $C fan, but it is more important to provide overwhelming support to our own program so that it equals and exceeds the SC programs perceived former stature. As Bruins, we expect our programs to be above reproach, while achieving excellence on the field and in the classroom. Our long list of National Championships combined with academic excellence speaks for itself. Last week's 11th Softball National Championship is a case in point. We don't have to make excuses or apologize to anyone. We are the premier athletic institution in the NCAA.
However, I do believe that in order for us to return to the Football glory years, (and we had them despite only one National Championship) and to compete in the newly formed Pac-16, we need to strive for and achieve higher levels of excellence on the field and in the stands. In addition to reading Bruins Nation every morning for its excellent reporting of sports news and ideas, we all need to support the team at a much higher level.
Attendance at the games should increase to above 70,000-80,000 every game. Tough in a town like ours with all of the options on Saturday, but our teams deserve that support. Travel to out of town games so a large Bruin contingent is present wherever we go. I can't help but shake my head when teams like Washington, Fresno State, etc. fill the visitors section and the end zone in the Rose Bowl. I'm as guilty as everyone, traveling only once every couple of years to an away game. Travel to the Bowl games so we lose the tag that the team doesn't travel well. That impacts bowl selection opportunities that lead to exposure, reputation and aid recruitment. Get involved with the local Bruin clubs. Answer the call for support from CRN. Pack spring and fall intersquad games. Terry Donahue had the Bruins competitive in nearly every season he coached, including our glorious pounding of $C year after year in the 90's.
Rather than having our focus on the much deserved failing of $C, we need to focus on the future PAC-16 Championship runs, victories over $C, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon and all of the other excellent University programs that will now be our challenge. For the next 5 years it is going to be the Pac-15 plus the embarrassment that is the $C program. I hope we all enjoy it, but I also hope we all pick up the level of support we provide CRN and the players that proudly wear the uniform and give us their best every day during the off season, in the training room and in the classroom, to prepare so that they can give us their best every Saturday during the fall. Remember these are the guys that selected UCLA for what we stand for, and rejected programs like $C. They deserve our appreciation.