Last week we noted the New York Times highlighting of BruinsNation's all out pressure on athletic director Dan Guerrero. The Old Gray Lady has been keeping a close eye on the pressure this community is bringing to bear on UCLA's sommelier. The NTY's writer Paul Meyerberg has now followed with a scathing column torching Guerrero for the hiring of Jim Mora.
Meyerberg is the lead writer of Pre Snap Read, a NYT associated college football blog which is one of the best reads in the business. He doesn't mince his words on Mora:
The latest coach to make the wires, former Falcons and Seahawks coach Jim Mora, possesses a year-by-year record that reads like an eye chart: 11-5, 8-8, 7-9, 5-11. The wins get smaller the farther down you go. But this is U.C.L.A., and this is Guerrero, and the latter's history of bumbling the steps needed to create a winning football program does not give many reason for optimism. ...
[T]his is a coach who wore out his welcome in Atlanta in three years, thanks in part to the touch that led the Falcons from within one win of the Super Bowl to back-to-back non-winning seasons. Mora lasted four months with the Seahawks in 2009, leaving three years and $12 million remaining on his contract. At neither stop did he - how to put this - endear himself to his team, bosses or fan base.
Nevertheless, all signs point to Mora. He's Guerrero's pick, which counts for something - it counts for everything, in fact. If he's the choice, U.C.L.A. will go from a coach who wanted nothing more than to be in Westwood to a coach who wore out his welcome at each of his major stops.
Meyerberg also tore Guerrero apart for his lack of preparedness during coaching search by comparing his botched effort to the methodical ones conducted by Washington State's Bill Moos and Arizona's Greg Byrne:
[G]uerrero and the university should have known Neuheisel was working on borrowed time; Guerrero himself said on Oct. 18 that "returning to a bowl is just one of several steps we need to take to get this program to the level we all desire." With the current coach firmly affixed to the hot seat, why didn't U.C.L.A. begin investigating future options in early November, if not sooner?
Guerrero and the Bruins are adrift. Lost without a paddle. In deep water, and the only possible conclusion is this: U.C.L.A. has no idea what it's doing. How else can you explain a search that started without a plan and has rapidly deteriorated into a free-for-all - worse yet, a search that seems to have no endgame? Hiring Jim Mora can't be the grand plan, can it?
Read the full piece here.
As Nestor said earlier this am, if you are a UCLA alum, student or fan, there are lot of reasons to be upset about the process that resulted in the Mora hire. This is not something Bruins should forget about for the sake of supporting a new coach.
So if you have a moment today, make sure to call the Chancellor's office (1-310-825-2151) and demand some accountability from Gene Block today.