This smacks of attorney-like calculation and backroom deals. I’m not so sure such tactics are what are required here. I highly doubt Haden took the safe route only because he wanted another of Petey’s Poodles.
Over the years I have heard SC fans complain that we only worry about them and yet their AD makes a coaching hire that was calculated, if everything plays out correctly for him, to reset the order of the PAC-12 and primarily harm UCLA. Remember, head coaches are packages nowadays, so assistant coaches figure prominently into this calculations. The cascading effect of all this can potentially be quite dramatic.
Haden is gambling that 1) Mora accepts the head coaching job at UW, 2) that UCLA doesn’t get lucky again with its next coaching hire (Dan? Anyone?). If he is not doing it to eliminate us as an up-and-coming power then why? Someone said that UCLA and USC trade off as to who rules Los Angeles and the recruiting game because one is standing in the other’s way. Haden, eliminates that roadblock. He knows that UW is Mora’s "dream job" (yes I have heard that before with Urban Meyer who said Notre Dame was his dream job but never went even though they threw boatloads of money at him). Further, Haden installs a coach that isn’t going to require a lot of rebuilding of the program in light of the sanctions, and can quickly fire him if it doesn’t work in a few years.
He gambles on a lot that Mora will leave. UW is going to give him anything. The risk there is that moving into the right situation isn’t always dependent on the coach. Very few coaches can move and succeed at any location. The fact that Mora has something here and would be moving into the unknown is something that should give anyone pause. If Mora goes to UW and doesn’t succeed? Imagine the repercussions of that? Here Mora has a winner, is in a position to win, and has a pipe-line to talent. If the NFL is his final destination, this is the place to prove it.
Personally, Mora strikes me as a person who is true to his word. His school is UCLA now. That is his connection to us. He is our Head Coach and he has won us over. If that isn’t a personal connection, I do not know what is. Dan, you’re gonna have to open the big True Blue checkbook and show your love.