If you are writing and emailing to Chancellor Block urging immediate termination of Dan Guerrero, please share in this thread. GO BRUINS. - N
[My email letter to Chancellor Block. Thanks to JoeBruin15 for publishing his letter, and inspiring me to get past my disgust and write this.]
April 1, 2013
Dear Chancellor Block,
In many ways, Coach John Wooden put UCLA on the map. And, UCLA's notoriety wasn't just about basketball. Coach Wooden inspired and taught many people about love, virtues and principles. In his own life, he exemplified integrity and character. I feel blessed to have had my life touched by this beautiful man, beginning with my Freshman year at UCLA in 1964, and continuing to this day, being guided and inspired through his books, and especially, through his actions in life.
In 1947, Coach Wooden's Indiana State team was invited to the then national championship tournament. He refused, because at the time, the tournament was not open to black athletes. The fact that the ISU team WAS open to blacks was, of course, no coincidence. Young Coach knew right from wrong, even as a youngster. What's more, he wasn't afraid to pit his principled youth against the established status quo.
In 2002, one of Coach Alford's players was charged with forcible rape on a fellow University of Iowa student. Without contributing any new facts or evidence to the case, Coach Alford found it appropriate to go public with his defense of the player, declaring him innocent. Worse, he tried to portray the player as the victim, and sought to pressure the young lady into dropping the charges. Through a deceptive invitation to a "prayer meeting," he had proxies remind her that she was going up against the powerful Iowa basketball program, and would surely lose. So much for character.
In 1948, Coach Wooden accepted the position of Head Coach at UCLA, only because he thought that his first choice, the University of Minnesota, had lost interest in him. Only, Minnesota had not lost interest in him, at all. Rather, a snow storm had prevented Minnesota from conveying an offer to Coach Wooden. Minnesota finally got in touch with Coach Wooden a short time after he had agreed to the UCLA offer. All parties, including UCLA, would have understood and forgiven, had Coach Wooden reneged on UCLA and taken the Minnesota offer. The Midwest was home to Coach Wooden and his young bride, Nell. UCLA was a distant land, far from roots, far from friends and family.
But, Coach Wooden wouldn't have any of it. Yes, his preferred job offer had come through. Yes, it was just a quirk of nature that they hadn't reached him before he accepted UCLA's offer. But, he had given his word. So, that was that. But for a matter of hours, UCLA would not have enjoyed the decades of accomplishments and good deeds that Coach Wooden bestowed on our university. That we did have those special decades was due, entirely, to John Wooden's unshakably principled character.
A little while ago, Coach Steve Alford agreed to a ten-year extension to his contract at the University of New Mexico. He said that there was no place he would rather be. Whether Coach Alford actually signed a contract or merely reached verbal agreement with New Mexico is immaterial. He had given his word. So, what happened when UCLA called? I guess Coach Alford's word wasn't worth very much. So much for integrity.
Now, please understand, this is not a blanket condemnation of Coach Alford. I'm sure that he has many fine qualities. I bear him no ill will. I do think, however, that he is not fit to be the Head Coach in Coach Wooden's program at UCLA. But, when you talk about people not fit to represent UCLA, there is no better example than Athletic Director, Dan Guerrero. Over the years, Mr. Guerrero has systematically gutted the proud tradition of excellence in UCLA athletics. He has alienated lifelong Bruin alumni, such as myself. He has disenfranchised students, considering them secondary to money donors. His leadership has fostered atmospheres of apathetic spectators in half-filled arenas. His tepid support of coaches, rather than putting them in position to succeed, have had the opposite effect. His bungled efforts to hire coaches would be comical, if they weren't so detrimental to my beloved alma mater.
This latest hiring search for a new basketball coach is just the latest example of Mr. Guerrero's incompetence. He has made UCLA a laughing stock. He has sullied UCLA's good name. And, worst of all, he has stunningly tarnished the honored and highly principled traditions, established by Coach Wooden, that have so much made UCLA what it is today. Incredibly, Mr. Guerrero had no problem with Mr. Alford's integrity or character, and found him perfectly suitable to carry on Coach Wooden's program.
I find this to be repugnant with a capital R. I implore you to terminate the contract of Athletic Director Guerrero immediately. He is not fit to represent UCLA.
UCLA 1968, Mathematics