I know it is difficult to pin point last night's disgrace as the worst loss in the recent history of UCLA football. Man, we have a lot of ugly options to choose from last 3 years. Never mind the embarrassing failures from the Dorrell and the later years of Toledo and Donahue eras. However, as gbruin summed up so beautifully this morning, we collectively reached a tipping point at the half time.
We now have reached a point of clarity in BruinsNation and we will have lot more to say later today and this weekend. For now though, I want to take note of Dan Guerrero's post game statements. Here they are courtesy of Jon Gold and I am excerpting here for our archival purposes:
Will there be a press conference in the next week...
"No. No, not at all. I don't know why anyone would think that we would pull the trigger like that. My philosophy on early terminations may be different then some. That's not to say I disrespect anyone else that makes a decision they have to make. Every situation is a little bit different. In our case, we have a coach who is working hard, assistant coaches who are working hard, kids are doing their best. Obviously we didn't have the outcome we wanted to day. We got thumped pretty good. We knew we were coming into a stadium that was intense, knew their team was gong to be motivated. We needed to come in and match that and we didn't do it today. We get a shot next week. I want to see us come out this week and practice hard and have a great game against Cal. I have a lot of respect for the coaching profession, and obviously Rick is a great Bruin. I brought him in here to turn this program around, and obviously we're still very much a work in progress. But we get another shot next week, and I want to see how we do."
After seven games, has this team played one game you consider to be at UCLA's level?
"If we're talking about the standard I want set, I want us to be a national contender, I want us to be Top-25 every year and to play for something. From that perspective, we're clearly not there. Proir to this game, we lost three games to teams that are nationally ranked, and we're not at that level right now. We've played well in spurts this year, had some very bright moments. But we've also played inconsistently and tonight was a good example of that. We couldn't stop anyone in that first half. Good programs, great programs get to the point where they know what they're going to be game in game out. They can have expectation of how they're going to perform. We're just not they're yet."
Do you need to talk to Rick about his future?
"Rick and I talk a lot. We talk obviously every week. Right now were going to get in a plane and go home and we'll talk about the game. We've already talked a little bit tonight to this point. Different games give you a different conversation. Obviously, this one was one where we never got it rolling. We'll talk about that. We could not stop them. Could not contain them. We need to figure out why that happened and how we can stop it from happening again."
I am not going to take apart this statement because to me these kinds of public statement are not worth much. I am surprised that he did not "blog it out." There is lot more going on behind the scenes than those canned statements given to beat reporters, who were desperately looking for any "scoop" after that kind of beatdown.
So a big meh to DG's comments. I would suggest not getting too upset about them. There are bigger things to get upset over than just canned post game remarks. We have lot more than a "coaching problem" at UCLA. This is systemic failure that has destroyed what was once one of the best football programs in the entire West Coast.
We know many members of this amazing community are also boosters of this program. We can say that few of our frontpagers are also season ticket holders and donors to UCLA. So we are talking to colleagues when we urge those folks right now to reflect on where we are and think ahead in terms of what you want leadership to look like at the top of UCLA football program. You should also think about how you can use the leverage you have (such as the support you have given to our athletic program - not just the football team) to exact accountability and see the change you want to see in our football program.
No, this post is not call for a "boycott." Hastily called actions never work. However, people should be thinking about how and why they should continue support this program and whether the status quo - the leadership at every level - is working. You can't be upset about the football program and demand for change, while at the same time pledge to support the basketball team by donating to Pauley renovation. So think about that kind of commitment if you have already made them. Everything is connected to football. Everything should be on the table.
Collectively we have lot more power than you can ever imagine. If we exercise it judiciously (which we are going to do our best here at BN), we will eventually get to where we belong.
Never give up. Don't forget it's not about just a coach, it's about those four letters.