So we have been tracking some of the rumors in recent weeks about Coach Jim Mora being pursued by programs in the SEC. Auburn's name in connection with Mora has come up prominently. Fox CFB anchor Erin Andrews mentioned that Tennessee also made "big runs" at Mora.
We haven't paid much attention to it (actually none) on the cover page of BN because at this time we weren't worried about Mora leaving UCLA after just one (a successful one) year. Looks like our assumption was right. But what is interesting is the way the news has been leaked to media from folks closely connected to Mora. From Fox News (HT greggin):
Two Southeastern Conference schools - Auburn and Tennessee - solicited Mora for their head-coaching vacancies, FOXSports.com has learned. Mora declined interviews with both, the source said, because he believes UCLA is committed to providing the resources needed to help him build a national champion.
And then on BRO (not behind premium firewall):
Apparently, Mora and his agent did receiver overtures from other programs, but he turned them down, the sources indicated.
Mora's entire staff, too, is committed to returning. Of course, guaranteeing the entire staff will return is a bit dubious, but as of now the staff intends to return.
A big factor, according to sources, is UCLA committing to increasing the staff's salaries, and to further support the football program financially.
According to sources, Mora, after achieving the first clearly successful football season at UCLA since 2005, has expressed to UCLA a need for more resources, in terms of facilities, better staff support, and an effort to generate more fan support.
It is not hard to interpret what Mora and folks close to him are saying. They are sending a clear cut message to Dan Chianti Guerrero and his boss Gene Block. If UCLA wants to hold on to him for the long term (provided he continues to build on his successful first season), they will not only have to pay up but actually do their jobs pertaining to changing the football culture at UCLA.
To date Guerrero has proven to be the worst AD in college athletics. This is a guy who will find a way to screw up making a cup of coffee. But perhaps this news will force UCLA administration (looking at you Chancellor Block) put pressure on AD to get moving now in getting the necessary facilities up grade and launch an all-out campaign to fully engage a hungry fanbase in Bruin Nation. Actually it ratchets up the urgency to kick Guerrero out of Westwood and bring in a football savvy AD, who will work closely with Coach Mora to continue UCLA's path to relevance and back to where it belongs in the world of college football.