ProFootballTalk to their credit hinted at this story during the NFL draft and to give them credit their sources now look solid. The story is now out. Maurice Jones Drew, the face of Karl Dorrell's mediocre football program is now in trouble with the law. He has been implicated in an ugly incident involving two other former Bruins - (Toledo thug) Ricky Manning and Tyler Ebell (Toledo recruit who transferred out of Dorrell's program) - in beating up some kid near at a Dennys near campus (I don't remember a Denny's back in my days during Westwood). If this allegation against MJD turns out to be true I hope MJD pays whatever stiff price he faces from the legal proceedings. One would think he may not have the same connections to the DA's office enjoyed by (alleged) Trojan thugs when they were being defended by Tratunich.
But this news (allegations) concerning MJD is bad. This allegation looks bad. This reflects badly on the image of UCLA football. And this reflects badly on UCLA. There is no question MJD was the face of Karl Dorrell's UCLA football program this past season when he took the team on his back and made a run for the Heisman.
Of course this is not the only time Dorrell's football players have been in trouble with the law. Here are some other instances I can think of right off the top of my head. As I mentioned earlier perhaps it is time for us to make an exhaustive list of alleged transgressions by UCLA football players/coaches connected to the Dorrell era (may be a SC alum can beat us to it):
- MJD (allegedly) teaming up with Ricky out to beat up some poor kid with a laptop at Dennys. The alleged incident at Denny's took place few months ago;
- Ward and Hale alleged to be involved in a fight at a house party off campus;
- Hiring an alleged child abuser/wife beater into his coaching staff;
- Medlock getting himself in a (stupid) DUI related accident;
Players showing up drunk at team meetings before a bowl game;
- C J Niusulu getting suspended from the team for violating some undisclosed "athletic department policy";
- Derrick Williams getting suspended from the team for some undisclosed violation of team rules
I imagine someone can flush out the bullet points even more in detail (perhaps there are Trojan partisan bloggers out there who will do the work?). As mentioned above, I just thought of those incidents during the Dorrell era off the top of my head. Of course we are no where close to the surreal systematic pattern of thuggish goonery at USC, but there is a hint of a trend here under Dorrell. Perhaps this is what Gurrerro and Dorrell mean when they talk about closing the gap with USC? So much for the underbelly nonsense, Dorrell supporters were spouting in regards to cleaning up Toledo's football program.
I remember one of the reasons Guerrero gave for firing Toledo was the circumstances around his football program clearly referring to all the off-field issues at UCLA during the Toledo era. Here is a flashback to 2002:
Now we have the face of post Toledo era getting arrested for an alleged brutal and senseless off campus assault.
This is Dorrell's program. MJD represented the best of what Dorrell had to offer. So much for Dorrell restoring honor and dignity to the UCLA football program, which was flushed down the toilet during the later years of Bob Toledo.
Of course Dorrell could help himself out by coming out and taking a strong stand against even the appearance of alleged thuggery in his football program, but we have not heard anything from the listless, uninspiring leader of UCLA football.
Yet another reason Dorrell has turned out to be a miserable failure at UCLA. Like I said during lunch time ... it's a slow burn.