The UCLA coaching search is on everyone's mind. While the NCAA tournament continues on without us, who we will hire as our next coach is college basketball's favorite subplot.
It's to the point where you don't know what's fact and what's fiction. But we do know that pundits in both print and digital media are opining that the UCLA basketball is no longer elite and that our open coaching position is not necessarily desirable.
Of course, we all feel differently. We believe that UCLA basketball is still elite, still relevant, and that all it will take is a great coach to bring us back to prominence.
What makes the current coaching search so important is that we're all about to find out who's right and who isn't.
Because we are either going to hire one of the best coaches around and prove that the top coaches still want to sit where Coach Wooden once sat. Or we're going to hire someone fair to middling and we're going to be hit with the realization that the pundits might have been right.
See, this isn't the past when UCLA didn't want to pay top dollar for head coaches. And we no longer have that fetish for hiring from within or hiring coaches with past connections to UCLA. And the academic standards have been slightly relaxed (or so we're told), so top coaches won't have to worry about getting in the players they recruit.
No, this is the modern era. We have the money. The search is nationwide. We're contacting the top coaches.
We're going to all find out together if we're elite or not.