Bumped. A powerful blog post from Jaime L. Brown - a former member of UCLA women's basketball program. Jaime blasts Dan Guerrero for his poor handling of UCLA athletics and demands new leadership at Morgan Center. - BN Eds.
What has happened to UCLA Athletics? UCLA Athletics used to be a powerhouse in nearly every sport, every year! And when I say powerhouse- I mean WIN! The student athlete was the best of the best, and the Athletic Department was a place of prestige and honor to just walk into. I say again, what has happened to UCLA Athletics? Nowadays the best student athletes, right here in our own back yard, are going back East, to Stanford, or to other PAC 12 schools. Why, because they are seeking top notch coaches and Athletic departments that have grown with the change in times. I know there is more parity now in college athletics and more schools have advantages that UCLA does not have. But this is UCLA! There is no reason to lose these quality student athletes and coaches to other Universities. The rules have changed, but the REAL problem with UCLA Athletics is the Athletic Director, Dan Guerrero!
Dan Guerrero is more content with mediocre performance from coaches and athletes than I have ever witnessed in a top 25 Athletic and Academic University. Guerrero is more interested in making a name for himself within NCAA Committees and Associations than doing what is necessary to keep winning coaches around and, just as important, getting rid of the ones who don’t! The best student athletes go to programs with successful coaches and teams that win. Winning teams mean more money to the school. Winning programs, successful coaches, and the best of student athletes mean that Dan Guerrero would have to work harder than he is willing to keep the Athletic Department in good standing with the NCAA. Guerrero will imply it is about the money, I say nonsense!
Football has the biggest fan base and brings in the most money but they do not win. UCLA Softball brings in no money and they win! Not for anything Dan Guerrero has done but entirely because they are from the mold of the prior athletic department mentality. For Dan Guerrero it is not about an elite athletic department that is consistently ahead of the curve, it is about making a name for himself. UCLA is not the place for him to learn on the job. He is completely content with not being a front runner and competitive in every sport, every year. Unfortunately, his attitude keeps UCLA settling for less.
It is time for Dan Guerrero to GO. He was given an opportunity to show that he could lead a national powerhouse athletic department, and he has failed! Not meeting with an outstanding coach in Nikki Caldwell to keep her at UCLA is a slap in the face and completely disrespectful of her and the program she rebuilt. Not meeting with Rick Neuheisel to fire him is complete neglect on Guerrero’s part, when Neuheisel has proven for three seasons he can’t coach very good talent.
It is time to bring in an Athletic Director that takes the necessary risks to restore UCLA Athletics to the dominance it once was. Dan Guerrero is from UC Irvine where they never won, never competed at the highest level, nor ever cared about having the best coaches and athletes! Excellence starts at the top and when the Athletic Director settles for mediocrity, as well as the Chancellor’s office that keeps him around, the program reflects that. Bring back the UCLA of past with an Athletic Director that embodies excellence.
In the past, signing the “letter of intent” for coaches and players a like, actually meant you are about to work harder than any other University in the nation to be the best you can possibly be day in and day out! Signing the UCLA Letter of Intent meant that you have now committed to one of the top 5 institutions in the nation both academically and athletically. With that commitment there comes a huge price in working harder on and off the field than your competitor. Wearing those four letters filled the athletes with an exceptional pride because as an athlete you knew it meant that everyone else was gunning for you every day.
UCLA used to embody excellence in every aspect of college athletics. Today, UCLA Athletics embodies only a substandard and content mentality do entirely to the Athletic Director Dan Guerrero.
Jaime L Brown
UCLA Athletic Dept. 1980-1984