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More On Restoring The Cathedral Coach Wooden Built ...

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Let's stay with the theme of honoring and preserving the legacy of the Patriarch of our basketball program.

Some of you have already flagged this awesome article entitled "Pauley Pavillion: What's Not To Love?" from WWL.

Doug Ward, a Southern California based freelance writer, who wrote up that piece for WWL's "Sports Travel" section, basically put together what amounts to a brochure straight out of the admissions office (as if they need any extra attention lol).

Read the entire thing. It's AWESOME.  However, I thought I highlight the some of the following grafs given our ongoing vibrant conversation re. restoration of Pauley:

A walking tour of the campus ends at Janns Steps, the original 87-step entry to UCLA that has witnessed speeches by John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The steps also are where John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga parted company at the end of their cross-country road trip in "The Sure Thing" (directed by UCLA alum Rob Reiner) and where Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn strutted in matching collegiate sweaters in "Old School."

The steps land within a long outlet pass of Pauley Pavilion. Inside, eleven NCAA championship banners hang above the glistening hardwood, billowing like apparitions of Walton, Alcindor and Marques Johnson.

But, it's not the buildings or even the banners that make a trip to a UCLA game like attending the ultimate history class. It's not the timeless uniforms, which look exactly as they did when Abdul-Jabbar was known as Alcindor, either.

When you attend a Bruin game, you often do so in the company of Wooden, who sits in the risers behind the Bruin bench. When Wooden is on hand, his presence seems to make time stand still. Wooden hasn't coached the Bruins in 33 years, but you get the sense he's still guiding them.

Whereas a trip to Notre Dame enables you to feel the presence of Knute Rockne, taking in a basketball game UCLA often enables you to actually be in the company of Wooden. It is, in a word, awesome.

The building is named for Edwin W. Pauley, a Los Angeles oil executive and real estate developer. Pauley donated $1 million toward the $5 million construction cost for the building. Not bad. Today, $1 million wouldn't get your name on the title of a guesthouse in neighboring Bel Air.

Wooden isn't the only Bruin who is drawn back to the place. Don MacLean, the Pac-10's all-time leading scorer, can be spotted a midcourt, providing commentary on the Bruin radio network. Johnson, a member of Wooden's final NCAA title team in 1975, often is in the house as a TV analyst. Reggie Miller still drops in to check up on his alma mater.

Still, the most prominent name in the program's history is the one on the floor. In 2003, UCLA named its historic home court for its legendary coach, honoring Wooden's one request: That his late wife, Nell, be included in the honor. So it is that UCLA games are now played on Nell & John Wooden Court.
That last para was interesting to me because for me those are the two most important names associated with the Cathedral of college basketball.

From the conversations that I have read here on BN, I understand the emotional connection some of us have to the name of "Pauley Pavillion," and why folks would have objections to accepting any kind of corporate contributions that would hinge on the naming rights of the entire arena. However, I also think this project is difficult and arduous that we simply cannot dismiss that idea out of hand. If it takes corporate money to do it right, we must consider using it.

Moreover, I really believe we can have it both ways. We can do this right. If UCLA administration/athletic department fundraise in a creative way, exploring all practicable options, they can pursue donors who might be willing to enter into appropriate arguments that will enable us to preserve the most prominent names in our program - Nell & John Wooden - etched in a renovated arena the right way, while allowing us to spend the necessary resources to renovate the Cathedral of college basketball.

Also, I think UCLA administration/athletic department needs to think about fundraising online from small money donors engaging thousands and thousands of Bruin alums who I imagine might be more than willing to contribute to this project. However, that kind of effort will take a creative effort on the part of the Morgan and Murphy crew to build the right narrative and educating the larger Bruin community on why getting this project done is so pivotal and essential in preserving one of the key hallmarks of the greatest university in America.

GO BRUINS.