Bumped. Don't forget to sign the petition to get students back on the sidelines today and also join Facebook event asking UCLA students to vote to restore court-side seating. - BN Eds.
I'm going to be honest here. When I attended the UCLA Football Spring Scrimmage with a clipboard in hand, and a quickly worded demand statement printed from a small home computer, there were a large number of things I did not expect to happen.
I did not expect to get more than a handful of signatures. We got over 50. I did not expect to be accosted by a senior Morgan Center official; and when he told me it was a pointless exercise, I secretly agreed with him.
I did not expect to receive the signatures and/or support of current basketball players or for that matter past members of the basketball team. We did.
I did not expect to see the signatures of my personal friends, who had not heard about the petition from me. I did.
I did not expect students taking things into their own hands and pushing for a referendum to be placed on the student elections ballot. They did.
When I launched the online petition form, I didn't think we would get more and a few hundred signatures. Today we passed the 1,000 signature milestone.
I'm proud you! My Bruin Family. Follow me after the jump and read some of my personal favorite comments.Let's start with one of the most recent:
Name: Andy Wooldridge on May 3, 2011
Comments: I'm not even affiliated with UCLA; I am with another Pac-12 school (Oregon St.). But I am a fan of what is Pac-12 athletics and traditions, and feel the proposed move will detract seriously from the general atmosphere of college basketball at UCLA. Further, it is a disturbing move that disregards tradition, as well as the contributions made by students, and the commitments made to them.
Thank you Beavers! I loved the sarcasm dripping in the next one.
Name: Anthony Ferrara on May 3, 2011
Graduating Year.: 2002
Comments: One boring, lethargic sideline is enough. Let's not make it worse by having two of them.
Comments tend to have a theme. One recurring theme is that this is a student activity. And, therefore Students come first. Let's take a look at some of those.
Name: Michael T. Fox on Apr 26, 2011
Graduating Year.: 1971
Comments: Athletic events at Pauley are STUDENT events and the students should get the prime seats - this means endline to endline and floor to rafters. That was good enough for Coach Wooden and many, many championship teams, and it should be good enough for the current students.
Name: Zach Spitulski on Apr 27, 2011
Graduating Year.: 2013
Comments: Do the right thing. UCLA is for the students - sometimes I think the Morgan Center forgets that.
Name: Brian Freeto on Apr 27, 2011
Graduating Year.: 1998
Comments: College sports are ultimately for college students. I am shocked that the AD and student "leadership' allowed this to happen. I vow to never donate to the school until 1) Dan Guerrero is gone (for multiple reasons - not this issue alone) 2) the student section at Pauley is back on the sideline where it belongs. Students and student athletes are not meant to be tools of the university. The university exists for the students, not the students for the university.
Some commented on the long term repercussions of this decision.
Name: Randy Bautista on Apr 27, 2011
Graduating Year.: 2005
Comments: I am extremely concerned about the long-term effects of taking the students away from the sideline. You'll be asking the alumni to pay for more for premium seats in return for a less-exciting atmosphere, caused not only by moving the most excited and motivated fans to the recesses of the stadium, but also to the damage done to recruiting, resulting in a less competitive basketball team. I am disappointed with the lack of leadership from the Morgan Center (ex: inability to keep Coach Caldwell, lack of sports promotion to students, football coach selection, etc.), and the decision to evict the Den from the sidelines is the last straw. DO NOT EXPECT ME TO ATTEND ANY UCLA ATHLETIC EVENTS UNTIL THE STUDENTS ARE PLACED WHERE THEY BELONG, ALONG THE SIDELINES.
Name: Jared Hedden on Apr 26, 2011
Graduating Year.: 1994
Comments: Moving the student section to sell more seats to donors may in the short term slightly help finances, though that's debatable. However, while doing everything in pursuit of pleasing The Almighty Donor, think about how banishing the students from where they have belonged since Coach Wooden opened Pauley will affect donations five years from now, ten years from now...even fifty years from now.
Still others called out the Morgan Center for their Machivellian methods.
Name: Daniel Baldonado on Apr 27, 2011
Graduating Year.: 2014
Comments: When the Den voted, we were told that the student section would be split up into three parts, one in the sidelines, one in the mid section, and the rest in the upper section. We were not told that the mid section part would be right behind the basketball court. This changes everything.
Name: Kevin Abbott on May 3, 2011
Graduating Year.: 1986
Comments: I was a Coaches Roundtable member from 1996 til about 2002. I eventually gave up my membership because they moved my basketball seats from the floor (106) across from the recruits and players and moved me to the mid-section. The reason given? They were converting all the seats to student seats. I initially supported this, but warned if there weren't students sitting there I would cancel my tix. Guess what happened. There have never been students sitting there. I don't know who you are giving the tix to, but they are not students. Other arenas have dynamic fan bases that create an electric environment. Pauley is a great FAIL. Get rid of the old donors who complain if someone around them is too loud. Invite in the students, who can't pay, but will create an environment that vaults UCLA back to the top wish list of recruits cause it's so damned fun to be there!
Not only did we hear from our two Wooden era players we heard from someone on the team not that long ago.
Name: Eric Berman on Apr 27, 2011
Graduating Year.: 2009
Comments: As a former walk-on basketball player the student section up front and center made home court advantage a true advantage. The Den is UCLA basketball!
And we heard from those who only want future students to experience that which we did.
Name: Sherryl (Siembab) Nelson on May 3, 2011
Graduating Year.: 1969
Comments: I attended every UCLA men's basketball home game from 1963-1973, from the 30-0 Cinderella team through the legendary decade of winning teams. My friends and I were among the few attending in the early days, and we brought back the words to sing the fight song and alma mater. Looking back, our presence at the sidelines floor level, whether it was at the Sports Arena or Pauley Pavilion, was what college basketball is all about...students rooting for their team, singing the songs, learning the cheers, calling out to individual players who scored and showed great team spirit. My daughter enters UCLA this coming Fall, and I would hate to think she would never have such an opportunity as we did in the Wooden years.
Name: Jason Lee on Apr 27, 2011
Graduating Year.: 2007
Comments: The only thing worse than destroying the home of so many memories is lying to those closest to you to squeeze a few more dollars out of them.
But, my personal favorite is this one.
Name: Rodolfo Garcia on Apr 26, 2011
Comments: take away a tradition, and you take away our identity