Share your emails, letters in this thread. Chancellor Block's contact information: phone: 310-825-2151, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Blitz him with your (respectful) thoughts today. If you have fired off your email please share them in this thread. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
Dear Chancellor Block:
Allow me to explain why you must fire Athletic Director Dan Guerrero immediately.
I am a 1970 graduate who bleeds Blue and Gold, just like my uncle who graduated from our wonderful school after World War II, my cousins who like me graduated in the 1960s and 1970s, my two sons who graduated from UCLA early this century and my daughter who is a sophomore right now majoring in Biological Sciences. We are all UCLA.
I am not a big donor, a mover or a shaker, but I love my school and its traditions. I am just one of many hundreds of thousands who have graduated and moved on to success and service in our large metropolitan community, always grateful and proud of the school that helped me, for example, to become a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney now going on 32 years.
Part and parcel of that school experience and lifelong connection to UCLA are our athletics, especially the two major revenue sports, football and basketball. They have been a part of the culture and joy of my life and family ever since I was a small boy, through adulthood and now into my maturity as I near retirement. My family and friends’ lifelong, mutual camaraderie over Bruin Basketball and Football have enriched our lives immeasurably. They are part of our essence at work and at play. My season tickets in football are but a small measure of the depth of our entire families’ love for UCLA sports.
As great as our academics are, it was my wider family’s love of Bruin football and basketball that made us all Bruins for life, that inspired us to matriculate to this great university, to walk the walk on Bruin Walk when our turn came. It is the connection that cements our love and loyalty to the school and even helps endear us to one another. The academics feed our brains, but it is these sports that nourish our hearts on a daily basis. (Which is why we need a campus stadium like our big “sister” Cal.)
Our passion as Bruins is palpable, a real and a major element in the joy and meaning of our lives, even our collective identity. Even now, whenever I talk to my children wherever they may be, the first thing we talk about is the state of our football and basketball programs. It is as basic as breathing.
I write to you now because that state is rotten and has been for over ten years under the bumbling and stumbling, lack of leadership of Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. Both our football and basketball programs have fallen off the cliff. We are now the laughingstock of both college football and basketball, at the same time! Morgan Center now symbolizes a decade long failure of judgment, mediocrity, bureaucratic meddling and fundamental marketing incompetence in almost every aspect. The UCLA brand has been systemically undermined. This has cost the university tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars over a decade. And now it will get worse.
The fault for this mess does not stop with just an isolated football or basketball coach. It is systemic. Its common denominator is an athletic director who has become a caricature, a poster boy of what is wrong about our public administrators, an out of touch, incompetent bureaucrat who has hugely enriched himself to the tune of over $700,000 a year, the highest paid athletic director in the PAC 12, inversely to the performance of his programs on the field and on the court. We are at the bottom, literally nationwide in both revenue sports.
There must be accountability, not just at the bottom, but at the top. As in all fields, the four letters of UCLA must stand for excellence. Instead Mr. Guerrero has created and fostered a culture of mediocrity, a tolerance for the unacceptable. If he were a student he would get an F. Yet as athletic director he still gets to make one failed decision after another without consequence.
Do not allow him to scapegoat the coaches by just firing one or two of them. Do not let him paper mâché the debacle of the Pauley renovation, or the lying about the student sections or his complete fail on marketing of all things UCLA. Hold him accountable for his indelible and incredible history of poor decision making and execution and his complete lack of vision.
He already fired a decent football coach, Mr. Toledo, only to replace him with and keep one year too long a mediocre coach in Mr. Dorrell, only to replace him with what has turned out to be the worst football coach in the history of modern football at UCLA by far. He cannot be entrusted, on this ten year track record alone, to make a fourth choice.
I live by my choices at work every day. I suffer the consequences. If UCLA means anything it is the demand for excellence and the accountability for our actions. By any measure, if UCLA is the place where Champions are made, it must be the place where accountability starts at the top.
The top is Mr. Guerrero. 50-0 in a rivalry game, an 0-4 record against Division 1 schools in basketball, an alumni that wants to occupy Morgan Center because of its repeated bungling throughout every aspect of the program, are each indictments of the alleged athletic director. The fault lines all run through him.
We need more than just a coaching change. We need regime change.
Until it comes, I and tens of thousands of other alumni, will not support my alma mater or its sports in any way financially. Its not what we want to do. We have no choice. We will not stand idly by and watch the destruction of what is so near and dear to our daily lives.
Yes, fire Coach Neuheisel. Yes, fire Coach Howland if he continues to preside over an imploding team. But first and foremost fire Dan Guerrero because he must be held accountable for UCLA revenue sports to even begin to recover. He has lost our trust completely. And accountability must start at the top, not the scapegoated bottom.