Guess it was little too much to expect class and decency from the Trogan lapdogs running the worst sports section in a "major" American newspaper. Yesterday, the Trojan Times used Coach's passing to attack UCLA alumni and basketball fans with the tired "spoiled and unreasonable fan" narrative. To get it done they assigned a "sports reporter," whose track record included puffing up Mike Garrett, writing a glowing piece dubbing Karl Dorrell as the "Thinker" from Westwood and a pulitzer piece on the appearance of Layla Kiffin (doing investigative google searches on her "long blond hair and bright smile'").
That was yesterday. Late yesterday evening, the Trojan Times rolled out Chris Dufresne - their "football analyst" - to fling Sam Gilbert smear at Coach and the basketball program. We have background information that shows the LA Times sports editor assigned Dufresne to write up this hit piece (there will be no link to that trash here on BN). A UCLA fan emailed Dufresne last night and he essentially admitted he had to write the piece per his "boss's" order. In other words it now appears that the biggest paper in Los Angeles is launching orchestrated attacks and smear jobs against the most revered Coach in American sports and an entire university community from its own city.
Think about it for a minute. It has been less than 72 hours since Coach left us for Nell. Yet the LA Times have absolutely no sense of moral compass in launching unseemly baseless attacks against someone revered by the entire nation, and smearing the entire Bruin Nation.
The article itself is a joke. Just for the heck of it (because it is so easy) let's rip it to shreds after the jump.
So here are the relevant grafs:
A 1981 Times investigative series, which interviewed 45 people connected with the basketball program, established Gilbert as "a one-man clearing house who has enabled players and their families to receive goods and services usually at big discounts and sometimes at no cost."
The paper quoted Brent Clark, an NCAA field investigator who said that, in 1977, he was told to drop his case in Westwood. "If I had spent a month in Los Angeles, I could have put them on indefinite suspension," he said of UCLA. An NCAA spokesman disputed this claim, saying that Clark was living a "fantasy world."
Hmm. So let's see here:
- The Los Angeles Times is using a 29 year old series of article based on interviews with people around the program - NOT any NCAA officials - to attack the Coach.
- The article than recycles a 33 year old quote from an "NCAA field investigator" who was disputed by ... uhm ... the NCAA
- The article then uses player quotes that are more than 30 years old despite the fact that most of players are still available. So these classless, pathetic and petty hacks in the LA Times did not bother to ask any of their players before running with three decades of quotes.
- Despite talking to "45 people" Duffster couldn't produce any hard proof. He just threw up quotes and inuendos to help orchestrate a disgusting attack within 3 days of Coach's passing.
Oh and then the Duffster ends with these quotes from former Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Littwin and Allan Greenberg:
" . . . Wooden knew about Gilbert. He knew the players were close to Gilbert. He knew they looked to Gilbert for advice. Maybe he knew more. He should have known much more. If he didn't, it was only because he apparently chose not to look."
I will punch any man in the mouth who says Wooden knew. He couldn't have known it or he'd have stopped it. He'd have sooner cut off his own hand than cheat.
So who are we going to believe? What our Coach has stood through an entire lifetime of work and teachings or a joke sports section of a newspaper, which has proven to be incompetent, lazy and hackish in its systematic attack against UCLA athletics over the years [one can just go through the tags and track their record in just last five years we have been on BN].
Chris Dufresne is not the first "reporter" to launch this kind of attack on Coach Wooden. It has happened before. Few years ago Dan Wetzel did it. Jason Whitlock tried it too. We debunked those smears through numerous posts that were threaded here and here. It is a good bet that there will more of these attacks in the coming weeks and years, notable from "over there," which is going to be extremely anxious to distract everyone from the most corrupt and shadiest program in the modern history of college athletics. Those guys have effectively used the Trojan Times to look away, while other traditional media reporters were actually looking into their seedy football program.
It's a good bet that the Trogans will try to pressure and push the LA Times reporters to dig up 30 year stories and attack our Coach, even though the NCAA never proved any allegation regarding Sam Gilbert that they think occurred during Coach Wooden's tenure as head coach. The Trojan Times of course will have no problem recycling tired story lines and stale quotes because it sure appears they have no intention of doing actual journalism when ...uh ... actual (alleged) violations (like pimped out Land Rovers from United States of China are rolling into parking lots) are taking place right in front of their eyes.
At the end of the day, these kinds of classless attacks from the LA Times (even though expected) are not all that relevant. It is not worth getting all that upset over it. It is not worth sending these guys emails. It is certainly not worth it to provide that kind of trash any links on BN. If you want to respond to it, you can do it by talking up Coach's legacy here on BN or more importantly firing back right through here in the comment threads, or in other Bruin communities. As mentioned yesterday you can spread our pushback through retweeting us on Twitter and sharing our post on your Facebook account (by using the tools below), but just don't give them the link and the web tracking they are angling for in such a classless manner.
Ultimately, what matters is that we will preserve Coach's legacy and given how he has impacted so many people (not just UCLA alums and basketball fans) in his life time, people will remember him for being more than just the greatest Coach ever to lead an American sports team. Meanwhile, most of the "reporters" in the LA Times will be out of their meaningless and trivial jobs sooner or later.