As saddened I am that it has come to this point, it is indeed time to let Rick go. I like most of you all was excited for the hire. But, this has just not worked out. In my opinion, we cannot wait to make this decision.
1) Waiting will not help recruiting, waiting will hurt recruiting. At this point, I would not send my kid if he had other scholarship opportunities to play football at UCLA. I assume the vast majority of kids right now feel that way. A change now gives us a chance for two reasons, first some of the uncertainty is gone. Secondly, we have time to make a hire before the recruiting season begins. Or at best case scenario, the interim coach performs well and at least puts the program in a better light.
2) We need to begin the coaching search now. As much as we'd all like to think we could get a Urban Meyer or Jeff Fisher, we don't have the money for them, nor the alumni $$$ to pony up for them. It just won't happen. So we need time. Time starts now, we should do this openly not behind the scenes with Rick at the helm.
How I think the search will go and where we end up - at the break
Personally I think the next coach comes from a guy who has some attitude and swagger and Someone the administration can sell. But it also needs to be a guy who will do it for $1.5MM or so.
1) Mike Leach - The guy won at Texas Tech. Hard nose. Innovative and can get some attitude back in the program. You can also hire him NOW. Get him on the recruiting trail and make something happen going into 2012.
2) Mike Bellotti - Winner at Oregon. Got his team at points to a number 1 ranking. He is a great candidate and is a guy we can also hire right NOW.
3) Rich Rodriguez - Was a 10 game winner yearly at West Virginia. Actually improved his record at Michigan every year. I could see him, making the move. He has something to prove and we have a lot of the pieces in place for him to work some magic. We can get him NOW
4) Brent Venables - Asst Head coach at Oklahoma - Little bit of a longer shot. Reason I say this is a guy like Venables, arguablly the top asst in football, will want a top 10 program opening. Similar to what Will Muschamp got from Texas to Florida. Also - he will sit and wait and it will hurt us in recruiting. We need a guy now.
Reality hit us in the face last night. Let's do something now to help us for 2012. Get as much out of 2011, but give the kids some reason to be here in 2012. Time is now