Fox71 recently made a comment in one of the fanposts along the lines of getting me to take over for Dan Guerreror when he is removed from office.
Now you and I both know he was only joking, but it got me to thinking, and I made a nice long list of the things I would do if I were Athletic Director. Now let's dispense with the obvious stuff, like Firing Rick Neuheisel and Hiring Mike Leach. Those things are a given in my mind. So, what would I do?
The first thing I would do is take a pay cut. As discussed before, Dan Guerrero makes in excess of 600K per year; in no uncertain terms, it is a poor investment. I would take HALF that amount and consider myself blessed. The other $344,148 would be reinvested in UCLA Athletics. I know I'm too late, but just imagine how much of that I would have needed to keep Nikki Caldwell? My salary? More than enough to house and feed my family.
I would bring back Card Stunts. Card stunts were once a part of the College Football world. And UCLA was famous for them. I remember we were one of the last remaining schools to perform them regularly. I would bring them back, and keep them permanent. The only real problem is we would need full stadiums to do them right. And, I would have to rebuild UCLA Football first, but as I stated earlier, that is a given.
I would call Mike Leach into my office and demand he win the City Championship. While this seems obvious the next part is not. I would congratulate the players for winning back the Victory Bell, I would have that ugly Ketchup color removed from it's base, and returned to it's natural color of blue; then I would refuse to give it back.
History tells us that it was stolen by some SC Frat boys. Ask yourself, if something were stolen from you, would you feel inclined to allow the thief to hang on to it every now and then? I would just as soon punch them in the mouth. I would commission someone to make a really cool bell shaped trophy; something like Lord Stanley's cup. But those petulant and whiny ass munchers across town would never get their hands on Our Bell again. Then I would make sure you heard it every time UCLA scored a touchdown as it was orginally intended. Tradition Restored!
Perhaps I'm being influenced by Harry Potter, but I would see to it that every residence hall (Sproul, Dykstra, etc) would compete for house points culminating in a yearly house cup trophy and banquet. Residence Halls would win points for attendance at all manner of sporting events, not just the revenue generating kind. Student Seating at Pauley would be broken up by residence hall affiliation. After your freshman year, when presumably students move out to their own apartments, they would be welcomed back at house wide events and allowed to represent their Residence Hall in a number of ways. Intramural sports? Debate Teams? Backgammon Tournaments? That's right I said it. There is a large number of existing activities on campus that can easily be tied in to Spirit Building exercises for the good of all sports, and the university as a whole.
I would demand that all athletes take part in such spirit building exercises. I would demand that Football Players regularly attend basketball games, and Basketball Players attend football games. They would do this in clearly visible warm ups. members of non revenue generating sports would also attend these games and be expected to wear their appropriate team warm ups. Athlete's attendance would count double towards house points.
I would fold the Marching Band's travelling costs into the Athletic Department's budget if it isn't already. Some years ago, I seem to remember the Marching Band would play the Carmina Burana ~ O Fortuna as a sort of second fight song. It didn't last long, but it was a good idea. And, while very inspiring, It was also a bit misguided. I would license (In perpetuity) Alumni John Williams' Imperial March to play as our second fight song during the 4th quarter of football and basketball games. It not only speaks to complete domination, it has a very real connection to UCLA.
We have discussed (with disgust) the Sword Swallowing Douche Canoe the other school uses before games. Somehow they have convinced the world that their phallic obsessed pre-game ritual is part of their band's performance. I would work with the UCLA American Indian Student Association and reach out to a local Native American drum circle. I would ask them to bless our field with a song before every home game.
That song would be A Bear Song. I would encourage UCLA Band drummers to get in on the fun and join the drum circle. This is the Lil'Wat Nation's (British Columbia) bear song. But any people living near bears would have one. The local Chumash, or Gabrieleno nations would likely have a Bear Song.
I would make every member of the Football Team memorize the Vince Lombardi Speech. I would ask the team to recite it in unison before every game as a form of team prayer.
I would march into Murphy Hall and demand that a Philosophy of John Wooden class be created. Then I would demand that it be made mandatory to all incoming freshman.
I would reach out to the members of Linkin Park and convince them to hold a benefit concert on campus to raise funds for UCLA Athletics. For the Geezers out there, Linkin Park is a very popular rock band, maybe the most popular band right now. Two of the members are UCLA Alumns. We would generate funds through ticket sales, parking, and concessions.
I could honestly keep going for days. I might just do that in the comments. Please feel free to think outside the box and share your ideas in the comments.