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What The Bruin Alumni (We) Want

mark the bruin already linked up an interesting post re. the ongoing UCLA football coaching search in the Coaches Hot Seat Blog. We have lot of respect for their takes as throughout the year we have linked up a number of their posts during our discussions re. our former head coach.

I think those guys are generally right when they argue that the underlying cause of the current problems of our football program is a general disconnect between our athletic programs and our alumni and also a mentality that shies away from making necessary investment to make our football program competitive in the existing market place.

That said those guys kind of blew it by asserting that somehow Walker is the best of available option among the remaining candidates. Let's again revisit what those guys wrote re. the UCLA coaching search:

Putting all of this together, our own personal experiences and talking to our UCLA friends over the past years, we have drawn the conclusion that UCLA is more disconnected from it's alumni and fan base than any other major university in the US.  There are a lot reasons for this, but the main one is that the UCLA administration doesn't engage it's alumni in a way that would encourage them to become involved in campus events, both sporting and otherwise, and that lack of involvement by the Bruin alumni has led directly to the position that UCLA athletics now finds itself in.
Okay if a disconnected alumni base is one of the main problem then why exacerbate it by hiring someone like DeWayne over Rick Neuheisel?

Let's go over some simple numbers. I'd think it would be reasonable to assert that BN represents one of the key online communities made up for UCLA athletics fanatics on the internets. Well look who we represent? According to a poll we ran back in December of 2006 72 percent of BN readers are alums and students. Specifically alumni represent 60 percent of our readership. 6 of our 7 front pagers are alumni. The only one who isn't will be joining us at the end of this school year. To put it simply this online journal drenched in Bruin Blue and Gold, is dominated by Bruin alums who were blessed to attend one of the finest public universities in America.

And then in another poll we ran back in January of this year (I guess you can say we can be a little prescient) almost 60 percent of BN readers voted yes in response to a question re whether they would welcome back Neuheisel as head coach of Bruin football program. 24 percent responded negatively, while 16 percent were unsure. 449 readers participated in that poll.

And of course we have another poll running on BN at this snap shot of time asking our readers who would they prefer if the choice came down between RN and Walker? The total number of respondents that has gone past 500 votes give an overwhelming edge to Coach Neuheisel. Yeah, this is a little more than just bunch of RN buddies from Sigma Nu wanting him back. We - the UCLA alums - will be more than happy to have him back and go directly up and against Pom Pom with every thing he has in his disposal.

As for the concerns re. Coach Neuheisel's past at CU and at UDub, we have gone over those issues ad nauseum last few days at BN. Needless to say we are not that worried, given how he was vindicated at UDub, and the minor nature of infractions he committed very early in his career which he stayed away from during his later years at UDub. Given the tight leash UCLA compliance department runs and a humble Neuheisel, we are not all that concerned about those issues, which by many accounts were blown out of proportion, and frankly looks and sounds trivial given the stories we have heard coming out of the program run by Pete Carroll.

So if we were to go by one of the main factors Coaches Hot Seat Blog laid out today which is engagement of he alumni, I think the answer from Bruins Nation, which is dominated by thousands of U---C---L---A alumni are some of the most hardcore fans of this football program, the sentiment is overwhelmingly in favor of Neuheisel (specifically when our other option is some above average assistant coach with ZERO head coaching experience and no tangible ties to our alma mater).

If Dan Guerrero and the UCLA administration cares about, what we alums want, they would make the call for Rick Neuheisel. The numbers from this Bruin community dominated by thousands of UCLA alums give them a pretty clear and decisive indication on what we want. And if they want to take a concrete first step in establishing long term relationships between us (alums and students) and our alma mater's football program, naming RN as the next coach (over DeWayne Walker) would be a no brainer.