FanPost

Gene, You Can Still Make Things Right

Although it's difficult to know exactly how you feel about UCLA athletic programs, it seems clear at this point that they're not high on your list of priorities. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe you have taken the University of Virginia (a very different school) as a model. Or maybe you're simply not interested in college sports.

Here's my best guess, though. I think you underestimated how important sports were in the life of UCLA students and alumni. And now that you're here, you've decided that supporting Dan Guerrero is your only option. That's why I'm writing: to remind you that you have alternatives.

There are three alternatives that come to mind for me (and I'm far from an expert). The first is to use your position as chancellor to unofficially contact the presidents and chancellors of other universities to get recommendations for young - and talented - athletic directors. The second is to indicate, even indirectly, that you intend to make changes in the athletic department; if you do, there will be an avalanche of suggested candidates, all of whom you can evaluate later. The third option is to use the inventiveness and creativity that's evident in your biography on the UCLA website.

I am not, of course, making these suggestions in a vacuum. From the accounts I've read, contributions from UCLA alumni are declining (and I respectfully suggest there is a link between the dismal performance of the football/basketball teams, as well as the athletic department, and the decline in contributions.) In addition, the mismanagement of UCLA athletics is drawing increasing attention. Today, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a legend among those who follow UCLA sports, wrote about the dispiriting state of UCLA basketball.

If you look at the picture of John Wooden leaning on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar amid the cheers at Pauley Pavilion, you will see a picture of one generation passing the traits of courage and decency onto the next generation. THAT IS WHAT WE'RE ABOUT. That is what sports mean at UCLA - pride, discipline and intensity - the flesh and bones that carry us forward in law, business, teaching and medicine when we leave this school.

DO NOT TURN AWAY FROM THAT HERITAGE.

The choice is yours - UCLA students, fans and alumni hope you choose wisely.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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