According to a report in the OC Register yesterday, Coach Neuheisel is supposed to make a decision "this week" between former Miami head coach Randy Shannon and former USC assistant Rocky Seto. Obviously, it's Friday, so there's not a whole lot of "this week" left. According to published reports via the L.A. Times, however, there are legitimate questions as to the kind of decisions made earlier this week.
On the morning of National Signing Day (Feb. 2), at 7:09 a.m., Chris Foster of the Times posted the following on its regular sports blog (emphasis added):
The strange tale of Rocky Seto took a humorous turn late Tuesday night.
Seto, the front-runner for the UCLA defensive coordinator job, was hired by the Bruins, according to a Daily Trojan story posted online Tuesday night. The story included a text attributed to Seto, "[I] accepted the position tonight to coordinate at UCLA. Praise the Lord!"
Shortly after a text message was sent Seto by the Los Angeles Times, the quote in the Daily Trojan story mysteriously vanished. The story still reported Seto was hired, just without attribution.
A UCLA official said that no one has been hired as defensive coordinator.
Despite Mr. Foster’s jovial interpretation, this story raises two very sobering concerns about the apparent vaccuum of judgment surrounding this "decision."
First, it seems that CRN was set to hand over the defensive coaching reins to the untested MR. Seto, despite having spent several WEEKS interviewing other far more experienced and established candidates, including (according to mainstream media reports):
(A) Teryl Austin (19 years in coaching, ex-Florida Co-DC and secondary coach on 2 Super Bowl teams, new secondary coach for Baltimore Ravens);
(B) Mark Carrier (11 years in NFL, 6 years as secondary coach with Arizona State and Baltimore Ravens, current defensive line coach with NY Jets);
(C) Vic Fangio (24 years in coaching, ex-Stanford DC, new San Francisco 49ers DC);
(D) Chuck Heater (34 years coaching, new Temple DC);
(E) Thom Kaumeyer (20 years coaching, former SDSU DC, Jacksonville Jaguars assistant coach); and
(F) Randy Shannon (19 years, former Miami DC and Head Coach).
Of course, as Head Coach, CRN certainly has the right to choose which coordinators and assistants he hires to be on his staff. Obviously, we have questioned his judgment in offering the position to such an unproven candidate.
However, it appears that Mr. Seto displayed an equally alarming lapse of judgment after he was supposedly given the job. As documented by Mr. Foster on his Twitter account, and presented in actual chronological order (emphasis added):
Interesting twist in the Rocky Seto saga. Daily Trojan reported tonight that Seto is the new UCLA's D-coordinator, quoting a Seto text. 11:11 PM Feb 1st via web
After text message was fired off to Seto by LA Times, Seto's text quote was mysteriously removed from the Daily Trojan story. Tuesday, February 01, 2011 11:12:58 PM via web
the missing quote: "[I] accepted the position tonight to coordinate at UCLA," Seto said via text message Tuesday night. "Praise the Lord!" Tuesday, February 01, 2011 11:13:56 PM via web
Story still says that Seto will be hired...so why remove the quote??? Tuesday, February 01, 2011 11:14:29 PM via web
For those slow on up take, on the surface, it would appear Seto called Daily Trojan to have it removed. Tuesday, February 01, 2011 11:15:17 PM via web
All indications are, there is movement toward hiring Seto, but things mow v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y at UCLA. Ask Norm Chow. Tuesday, February 01, 2011 11:16:27 PM via web
move* Tuesday, February 01, 2011 11:17:17 PM via web
Coach Rick Neuheisel to speak to media at 4 p.m. tomorrow. Seto will probably be brought up. Tuesday, February 01, 2011 11:17:52 PM via web
In short, literally at the eleventh hour on the eve of National Signing Day, Mr. Seto allegedly displayed what is, at a minimum, an appalling lack of professional judgment.
If these reports are accurate, then it would appear that Mr. Seto...
... leaked sensitive information of his hiring before his own boss (CRN) could annoucne it at a pre-scheduled press conference
... distributed this sensitive information in a manner providing irrefutable, easily-transmittable proof of its accuracy in that the message came from his own phone;
... confirmed this sensitive information with a student-run media organization; AND
... provided this sensitive information to a student-run media organization at a school in direct competition with UCLA for MULTIPLE highly-ranked recruits.