-Bumped. BN Eds.
I appreciated Bellerophon's fury and indignation; it's totally understandable. But what has interested me over the last few weeks — maybe going back to the bad times last year under CRN — is what's going on with Chancellor Block. As I said in a previous post, I was a freshman in 1959 when, I think, Franklin Murphy was the chancellor, and I can't imagine him letting this kind of situation fester in the athletic department.
Since I've worked as an editor for many years, language is important to me, and some of what Gene Block said in an interview on the UCLA/ESPN blog made me curious. (I am assuming the transcript is accurate. If it's not, I apologize for making that assumption.) Referring to Guerrero, Block said:
GENE BLOCK: Dan and I are both frustrated with some of our athletic performances in some sports, on the other hand if you look under Dan's leadership, there have been extremely strong performances including a re-certification by the NCAA. We've executed I think 22 NCAA titles since he's been here. We've had a tremendous amount of success and I would say that Dan focuses on and his concern is about our student athletes and all the different ranges of their development and I have great confidence in him.
And near the end of the transcript he says in part:
I have an athletic director that I have faith in and he is aware of the issues and as you've heard from him, he's dealing with them. We talk a lot and we meet regularly. With Dan's leadership and with my advice, I think we're going to get back on the track we want to be on.
So here are a couple of questions I have.
First, how do you "execute" a title? Please understand that I don't intrinsically care about whether he used the right word. My interest is in whether the use of that word in that context suggests an unfamiliarity with sports in general. I don't know the answer to that question, but it may be significant.
The other question concerns his remark that "I have an athletic director that I have faith in ..." Of course he's entitled to put his faith in his athletic director (although many or most of us on BN think it's unwarranted). But, again, what interests me is whether Block has put his faith in Guerrero because he has little or no background in sports. I don't know the answer to that question, either.
But I do know this: Although a chancellor of a school like UCLA will almost certainly be most informed about his area of academic expertise, running a major school of the size and diversity of UCLA requires some familiarity with sports as well.