Not long ago I lived with a roommate that has a boyfriend whom was once a Division 1 coach. He followed college sports just as excitedly as we all do here on BN. One day we had a chat about Lane Kiffin and Jim Mora, about what the teenagers think when choosing which coach to play for. He told me, from his experience, the question the kids will ask themselves is, do I want to play for a guy like Mora or Kiffin? The answer to that revolved around how each coach handled himself. Likewise, the parents will have a huge influence as well, as he said, who do I want my son to play for? Who is the one that I can respect? He said these are the kind of questions parents and student athletes will ask themselves when choosing a university to play football for.
I bring this up because when we see how Mora genuinely mourned over Nick's passing, how he reacted to the camera guy for talking on the phone so loud, how he addressed Nick's family after the Nebraska game, and especially how he and the team honored Nick on the first play with New Mexico State - he's brought a kind of character to the program that we haven't seen in so long (for me at least). As we have said on here a million times, Jim Mora has shown class, compassion, true genuine care for the players, and lets not forget the roughness on players for not giving their all. Sometimes I can't even think of a single word to describe the kind of man we have leading our football program. But after these last few weeks, I couldn't help but think about the conversation I had with that Division 1 coach on what kind of impact Mora's character will have on the state of UCLA football. Sure, he has to win games, but USC has also won games yet their leader has been...well you guys can think of the words to describe him.
I personally think the shift will be an excessively positive one. I am not looking at it from a win loss perspective of games. I'm looking at how his demeanor and character as a result of the tragedy has put on a new kind of reputation for the UCLA football program.