FanPost

Requiem for a Program- Track and Field

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Evelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Gail Devers, Francie Larrieu Smith

Rafer Johnson, Mike Powell, Kevin Young, Michael Marsh, Steve Lewis, Dwight Stones

What do these superstars in track and field have in common? They were Olympians, World Record Holders, and/or Inductees into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, and they competed for UCLA.

8 times national champions in men's outdoor track and field, 3 times national champions in women's outdoor track and field (one on Dan's "watch").

This is not a "start-up" program at UCLA.

Since Doughnut took over Morgan Center, here is the number of conference championships in track and field-

men's- 1 (2004)

women's- 2 (2003, 2004)

Here are the conference finishes the last 5 years (most recent (2013) listed first)-

men's- 3rd, 4th, tied for 3rd, tied for 4th, 5th

women's- 4th, 8th, 6th, 6th, 5th

Here are the NCAA meet finishes the last 5 years (most recent (2012) listed first)-

men's- 17th, 37th, tie for 52nd, no finishers, 34th

women's- tied for 21st, tied for 34th, 25th, tied for 16th, tied for 29th

Show of hands- how many think that the school of Rafer Johnson and Jackie Joyner-Kersee should be happy with a team best (men's or women's) NCAA finish of a 16th place tie in the last 10 tries?

There is apparently one hand up in the air- It is Doughnut !!

Doughnut hired men's head coach Mike Maynard, who is in his 5th season. His time has produced no conference result better than one 3rd place finish, and a best 17th place finish in the NCAA's.

Women's head coach Jeanette Bolden is in her 20th season, so clearly precedes Doughnut. She had phenomenal results through the early 2000's, including a national championship in 2004 which Doughnut counts in his 22 total (even though he had absolutely nothing to do with her being the coach in 2004).

But look at the last 5 years- a best finish in the conference of 4th, a best finish in the NCAA's of a tie for 16th.

I don't know the particulars behind the drop-off. But an active athletic director would definitely have taken action by now. Defenders of the status quo would no doubt shout "2004 2004 2004". For all we know, Doughnut would lead the cheers (although that would require an expenditure of effort on his part). This seems analogous to "3 Final 4's, 3 Final 4's".

Doughnut is receiving $750K to run an athletic department with teams in numerous sports. He obviously is not concentrating on football and basketball, given the results. And it is just as obvious that he is not paying attention to track and field, given these results.

I do not intend by this post to disparage the efforts of our student-athletes. Their dedication to their team and to the school should be applauded. They should receive the best possible conditions to succeed at the highest level. It is clear that Doughnut is falling short.

There could very well be circumstances behind the lack of results in track and field. But for $750K, we should not have to hear about circumstances.

The school of Rafer Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and 11 national championships deserves better. Show Doughnut the door.

<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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