Dear Dr. Block,
I graduated UCLA in 1979 and have never written to you before, but I am so upset and frustrated at the way Dan Guerrero has run the athletic department that I need to let you know.
Obviously, the current very visible search for a new football coach is painful to follow in the media. There seemed to be no strategy, no preparation and no creative thinking involved. Mr. Guerrero appears to pursue the most obvious of choices – the bright, shiny objects of the moment. Everyone knew that Rick Neuheisel was likely to be let go all year, and would not someone in Mr. Guerrero’s position have had a full, intelligent plan in place months ahead of time? Mr. Guerrero just looks stunned, like a deer in your headlights, and his performance in front of the media on Monday was painful to watch with his nervousness. Is this the best UCLA can do?
Yes, it was likely time for Rick Neuheisel to go but Rick is a good Bruin and was classy until the end, and ran a clean program. I liked Rick, but I agreed he did not do the job and should be let go. But if Mr. Guerrero is going to turn this search into a circus and we end up with a marginal choice I would have preferred that Rick stayed with us. How ironic is that?
I am hardly an expert at what it takes to be a top-notch AD and I know there are a lot of internal considerations that I am not privy to. But with that said, from the outside it really looks like Dan Guerrero is in far over his head with the UCLA AD position and his job performance has been mediocre, not just in this search but in his entire body of work at UCLA. Too much money, prestige and visibility is at stake for UCLA to have a mediocre performer as our AD.
I would never want our football program to be like the USC football program where ethics and academics are secondary, but I would like it at least to be like we USED to be in the 1980s and like Stanford is today. The blending of high-caliber academics with top-notch athletics can and has been done, and we can do it at UCLA again with better, stronger and more visionary leadership in the AD position.