The Bobby Petrino/Atlanta Falcons/Arkansas coaching search has left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths. Here is just a sample:
"Disloyal," said Anderson, Petrino's first pick as an NFL coach. "If he can leave players here, what makes you think he won't leave the players he's going to coach? I'm just afraid to see what happens if he does bad at Arkansas. Is he going to leave those kids?"
Fine. Do a google-news search on Petrino and you'll find a lot more players and writers weighing in on what kind of person they think he is. I'm not here to say UCLA should have hired Petrino or that UCLA should conduct its business exactly like the University of Arkansas.
"Fortunately for him, Arkansas had not already gone in another direction," Campbell said.
(Arkansas incoming athletics director Jeff) Long said he got a call from Campbell between 8 and 9 a.m. Tuesday. The message: Petrino intended to resign as coach of the Falcons.
Long decided he would not wait for the resignation and would fly to Atlanta to meet with Petrino.
At 11 a.m., Long spoke with John H. White, the Arkansas chancellor, and told him Petrino might be available. After getting the parameters of the contract terms he would be able to offer Petrino, he boarded a private plane with Scott Varady, the school's associate general counsel.
They landed at Fulton County Airport at 1:30 p.m. and went to an undisclosed downtown location to meet with Petrino and his agent. The meeting started at 2 p.m. and did not last long. After a short discussion, Long and Petrino agreed on the basic outline of a deal. The details of the contract were turned over to Campbell and Varady.
The details are not exactly the point. The point is that the Arkansas AD identified his man, called the chancellor, got the parameters of what he could offer, hopped a plane to Atlanta, presented the outline of a deal and got it done.
Is there any member of this community who thinks that UCLA could get things done this quickly. I'm not even saying that to knock Dan Guerrero. I'm not calling out any individual.
I am saying that this institution -- for whatever reason -- can not or will not act that fast. At least I don't think so. I mean, if Bill Cowher expressed interest and Dan Guerrero's feeling was mutual, does anyone think DG could call the chancellor, get the parameters of an offer, hop a plane to North Carolina and sign up a new coach in what amounts to a matter of hours?
We'd need to call 10 lawyers, the UC Regents, run Cowher's name past a bunch of donors, a bunch more alumni, the players on the current team, all of the recruits and half the remaining coaching staff. In the time it would take UCLA to make a deal, Cowher would be Pete Carroll's successor across town.