REBUTTAL to CFN's Fiutak: UCLA is the BEST place to be a HC.

Fiutak HAS to be kidding.  Where to begin...

 Notre Dame? Sort of, but outside of a few academic issues, Charlie Weis has every advantage in the book.  No, the toughest place to be a head football coach right now is at UCLA..

Are you KIDDING me????  

Charlie Weis, coaching a team that is (a) 0-4 for the first time in its history; (b) derided throughout the NCAA for blowing BCS bowl games; (c) notorious for lacking athleticism and speed in 21st-century football; (d) burdened with the ghosts of multiple national championships in football; (e) located in the middle of the Midwest in INDIANA; and (f) is perceived, accurately or not, as being from a predominantly sectarian, single-religion academic environment, has "every advantage in the book?"

Over a school that (a) is located in an area where literally HUNDREDS of quality HS recruits play ball on Friday nights within DRIVING DISTANCE; (b) has a truly picturesque campus; (c) plays its home games at the historic, everybody-sees-it-and-recognzies-it-on-New-Year's-Day Rose Bowl; (d) led the nation in freshman applications for the 2nd year in a row; (e) is in an incredibly ethnically, spiritually, economically, and politcally diverse metropolis; (f) has NO SNOWFALL ON CAMPUS or the practice fields???

I would respectfully submit that the reasons why UCLA is/ would be an OUTSTANDING place to be a head football coach simply reflect all of the reasons why Notre Dame is/ would be actually a far WORSE place to be a head football coach.

In fact, Fiutak's complaints about the UCLA job are mostly positives:

[1]It's a major media market without pro football (keep your Reggie Bush comments to yourself), so until the Lakers get rolling, all the focus is on USC and UCLA.

"Major media market" = ad revenue from radio and cable and print coverage of games, which means revenue coming into the program for good facilities and support staff.  It means local, small-to-large corporate tie-ins and endorsements for the school, meaning more revenue from companeis who want widespread [ublicity by being tied into a successful program.  It means the potential for Heisman Trophy publicity machines, travel deals for Bowl Games, and commercial endorsements for players once they sign their NFL rookie deals.  It means the ability to sell your program to potential recruits because somebody, somewhere always has an HD digital video camera at your games.

Shoot, do you think Pete Carroll thought starting his head coaching career in L.A. was a DISADVANTAGE?

[2]Of course, the unattainable success of the Trojans under Pete Carroll jacks the expectation levels to unfair proportions, ...

Maybe.  But it also has proven to mean that what is almost as unattainable over at Figueroa Tech is some of the most valuable currency a HC can legitimately give to a recruit under NCAA rules -- PLAYING TIME.  A team can only put 11 players on one side of the one ball on the one field at any given time.  This means that in the lush, bountiful recuriting valleys of Southern California, U$C can't play with ALL of the fresh crop at once.  Any solid head coach can come in, go head-to-head with $C's recruits on the fair and relevant issue of playing time, and still find a host of talented, hardworking, hungry players from the enormous talent pool that stretches from Bakersfield out to Imperial Valley.

Long Beach Poly.  Crenshaw.  Centennial.  Crespi.  Taft.  Forget Texas -- the lights are on on Friday nights throughout California.  An established HC can legitimately fill his first couple of classes with 10-20 three to five-star players without leaving the Pacific Time Zone.    

Forget Fiutak -- high-level success IS attainable at UCLA.

[3] ... made only worse by a very rich, very powerful, very demanding alumni base that can only take so much abuse from their University of Spoiled Children friends and co-workers.

And what has this rich, powerful, demanding alumni base helped to do?  It (a) helped fund renovations to the team facilities at the Rose Bowl, (b) helped fund an entirely new training facility, (c) thrown its weight behind the first major renvoation of the hallowed halls of Pauley Pavilion in decades, and (d) thrown its love and financial support behind BB Coach Ben Howland, who hasn't YET won a NC, but has shown undeniable progress and achievement.

Funny, when a coach wins, I don't hear anyone complaining about the alumni.  I wonder why that is...

[4]And then there's the overall UCLA expectation level, with all the success in various sports, ...

And this is a disadvantage?  At a school where our greatest OL ever, Jonathan Ogden, kept in shape in the off-season by performing as a world-class SHOT-PUTTER?  Where one of our most exciting receivers, Danny Farmer, came to the team as a WALK-ON from the VOLLEYBALL team? Where our unprecedented success in so MANY different athletic endeavors have allowed us to develop, with the help of some of the finest medical programs in all the world, one of the finest physical therapy and sports rehabilitation programs in the NCAA?

 [5]the resurgence of the basketball program, ...

Come ON.  One would think this would allow a new UCLA HC to take his time in laying the foundation for a successful program.  Even if didn't, the fact that the UCLA basketball program is resurrecting itself under the leadership fo Coach howland should make it clear to ANY savvy, experienced HC candidate that UCLA is willing to pay competitive rates for truly competitive results.  This applies not only to basketball, but baseball, as well.

[6]and the all-timer success under John Wooden. (Unfortunately, there's no Sam Gilbert for the football program.)

Whoa, whoa, WHOA.  Name me one coach in any sport that wouldn't welcome the opportunity to meet with Coach Wooden for lunch a couple times a year just to learn at the foot of the Master.  Shoot, Valerie Kondos-Field poltiely but enthusiastically convinced Coach to speak to her squads for years.  Not only is Coach now a fan, but Kondos-Field has matured into a consistently successful, top-of-her-game gymnastics coach.  She may not win the NC EVERY year, but you know her teams are always right there in the thick of it, year in and year out.

Some people chafe at our history.  Some fall all over themselves to publicly embrace it.  The best of our coaches LEARN from it.  And Coach is, if nothing else, a TEACHER.

[7]This is a place that always demands winners.

Some say UCLA demands winners.  I like to think UCLA PRODUCES WINNERS.  UCLA has a unique environment where athletic talents and competitive greatness are cultivated and honed and refined.

From lockerrooms, to classrooms, to dorm rooms... from seniors in HS, to seniors in college, to senior citizens cheering in the stands.

UCLA has to be the BEST potential spot for a new head coach.

Any takers???


This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

Trending Discussions