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[UPDATED] The Ball Is In Dorrell's Court (And We Are Watching)

Less than five years ago UCLA Athletic Dan Guerrerro made the following comment after firing of former head coach Bob Toledo to the assembling media at the Morgan Center:

"If you think about the program in the general sense and what we are trying to accomplish it is all about having the right environment," Guerrero said. "In the final analysis it was not a healthy environment."
One of the principal reasons UCLA fired Bob Toledo was the sense of lack of control that developed under Toledo during his last remaining years in Westwood. Sure every time disciplinary issues emerged under Toledo, the UCLA administration dealt with them forcefully, immediately suspending or taking more severe actions against offending parties (in marked contrast with how things are handled across town). However, the constant stories that kept coming up eventually led to Toledo's downfall (in addition to underachieving on field performances) and led to the hiring of Karl Dorrell.

And Karl Dorrell was brought in to clean up the program and create an "healthy environment" at UCLA. So look what we have had leading up to today's blockbuster allegations against Eric Scott: Now obviously this list is nothing compared to the seemingly systematic pattern of transgression and total lack of institutional control in South Centrall.  In contrast in the UCLA incidents mentioned above all of our athletes were punished and suspended, and in one case kicked off the team. And in every single instance we demanded instant action. But that doesn't mean the incidents taking place under Dorrell's watch should be acceptable at UCLA.

Which brings me to the allegations against Eric Scott (a story which is still unfolding at a warped speed).

Obviously more facts concerning this story will have to come out before we render the final judgment on whether he is innocent. However, we need to bear in mind that the presumption of innocence is a concept for the criminal court, which necessarily doesn't apply to this situation.

A person like Eric Scott, who not only is a representative of UCLA, but also has the responsibility of leading and teaching young men at an institution of higher learning should be held to a higher standard.

Just based on the reports at hand before reaching any conclusions on whether he is guilty or not, Dorrell's first and immediate action should be to immediately put Scott on "administrative leave" and order him to stay away from the UCLA campus and the program, until he resolves his legal issues. If this was an obvious and trivial misunderstanding such as mistaken identities or whatnot which can be resolved in a swift manner proving his innocence, he can be welcome back to the program.

However, if there is any shred of truth to the allegations that have surfaced today suspension for few games will not suffice. Dorrell should immediately boot him off the program. And if he doesn't take swift or decisive action, I am not sure Dorrell or his supporters would be able to claim that under his leadership a "healthy environment" has been restored in the UCLA football program.

Moreover, if there is shred of truth to any of the allegations against Eric Scott that surfaced today, we - the UCLA alums and students - should not try to wash our hands by dismissing them as the actions of a stupid, clueless moron. The accountability chain will need to go higher. As pointed above Dorrell has a record of bringing in assistant coach with shady record of domestic violence. We should ask the questions concerning what kind of background check Dorrell has been running while hiring coaches. And its not like Dorrell deserves any benefit of the doubt at this point given his appalling record of hiring and firing coaches.

Lastly, this incident should not serve as an excuse for this football team. We are not going to buy the excuses of because of distractions UCLA football got off the wrong track in 2007. Dorrell was brought in because he and his supporters hyped his experience as an "NFL wide receiver coach." So when he puts Scott on immediate administrative leave we are not going to accept excuses that the WR rotation didn't get off on the right track because they lost their coach. Dorrell has the experience to handle and to take over those duties.

In short unless there has been a huge misunderstanding, Karl Dorrell needs to be put Eric Scott on immediate administrative leave and get him away from the program. Let him work out his legal issues. And as mentioned above, if there is shred of truth to these any allegations, then not only should Dorrell immediately boot Scott off the program, in addition he will have to answer some tough questions.

The ball is going to be on Dorrell's court tomorrow.  We will be watching.

And I am sure DG will be watching somewhere to see what his mediocre football coach is doing to create an "healthy environment" in the UCLA football program.


UPDATE -N:Ok. That was fast. Minutes after I published this post, Dohn posted that KD has put Scott on administrative leave:
"I have decided to place Eric on administrative leave while the matter is being investigated," said Dorrell. "We will continue to gather information regarding the case and will make a determination on Eric’s status at the appropriate time."

On other incidents in Scott’s background, Dorrell said, "Eric is the kind of young man, given his background, that knows his purpose in life is to help kids. He has helped so many kids over the last seven years graduate at Crenshaw and go on to college.

"I knew he had some rough spots growing up, coming from his inner-city neighborhood. He lost three brothers to violence, so yes, I knew he had some issues in his background. Some other information has surfaced during this investigation that I was not aware of. Eric was placed on probation and fulfilled his obligations for those issues.
It's a good first step. And we commend Dorrell for taking that step. However, as I said in this post below if there is any shred of truth to the reports surfacing today, he will need to boot Scott permanently off the program. Given his position as a leader and a teacher of young student athletes, he needs to be held to a higher standard. There should be a zero tolerance policy on this at UCLA. And then Dorell will have to answer some questions.

UPDATE II -N: Uh wow. Scott was arrested four times "between 1994 and 2005, and twice those arrests led to convictions and/or guilty pleas," per Dohn's latest post. Can someone tell me what kind of background checks Dorrell runs when he hires his coachs? This is insane and its not making Dorrell looking very good.