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#VetoSeto: Because UCLA Football Deserves Better Than THIS

<em>Veto Seto</em>
Veto Seto

We started National Signing Day by waking up to rampant speculation that Coach Rick Neuheisel had practically gift-wrapped the defensive coordinator position for Rocky Seto -- a 34 year-old "defensive quality control" assistant for that pillar of ethics and discipline, Pete Carroll.

Well, CRN's 4pm presser came and went. We have several more-than-decent gets in the form of DT Kevin McReynolds, WR Devin Lucien, OT Torian White, and all of our other new members of the Bruin Family. However, what we were also left with was the cryptic line: "We'll talk about coaches another time."

Sorry, Rick, but we are talking about coaches RIGHT NOW.

UCLA FOOTBALL DESERVES BETTER THAN THIS. No hysterics, no histrionics -- just history. We have been too faithful for too long and heard too many promises of our program "turning the corner" and "getting better" to settle for this. What is painfully obvious to anyone who has even remotely cared enough to follow Bruin football through too many winters of Bowl-less discontent is that there are numerous reasons why Seto must NOT be UCLA Football's next DC:

(1) Experience. After a season filled with plays where opposing offenses snapped the ball while our defense was still making substitutions... where our D-line would jump before the snap multiple times on the same 4-down series... where our linebackers were schemed several YARDS out of position... we are going to resort to THIS? A DC who spent only one year purportedly calling D-schemes while working an unabashedly defensive-minded head coach? One who only coached under two coaches his entire post-graduate life -- Pete Carroll and the wonderfully-inept Paul Hackett?

Prior to taking the DC job, Bullough had already filled assistant positions at 3 colleges and for multiple years in the NFL with the Chicago Bears -- and his defenses were still laughably unprepared.

Doesn't UCLA football deserve someone with MORE EXPERIENCE than THIS?

(2) Recruiting. There have been stories that Seto "should" be a benefit to our recruiting, especially given his youth and "energy." However, Seto's days as an assistant were spent learning the recruiting ropes as part of the staff which ran utterly amok under the most reckless and under-utilized compliance office since the days of SMU. Dan Guerrero had to weigh the pros and cons of bringing in one of our own, Neuheisel, due to his purported past with the NCAA. And now we're looking at someone whose entire professional life was spent at the feet of the most crooked coaches in decades?

Doesn't UCLA football deserve a MORE RELIABLE recruiter than THIS?

(3) Style. In Seto's narrow range of coaching apprenticeship, he has basically worked for one defensive guru -- Carroll. A coach who reaped the benefits of lower admission standards, players of questionable character (as evidenced by a ridiculous rap sheet of arrests and offenses), and unethical recruiting practices in molding an NFL-style, 4-3 defense. Now, after CRN reportedly terminated Bullough's services in favor of a DC who could be more versatile and more capable of utilizing our young speed to adapt to spread offenses and other formations and overcome our relative lack of D-line depth... he is considering a DC with nothing but 4-3 experience on his resume?

Doesn't UCLA Football deserve a MORE QUALIFIED coordinator than THIS?

(4) Discipline. At 34 years of age, Seto is barely old enough to be the brother of most of our players. Nearly all of his 11-year "career" has been under Carroll, where rappers, comedians, and sports agents roamed freely on sidelines, in locker rooms, and athletic offices, with no regard for rules or regulations, or the consequences that would result from breaking them. That kind of carefree and careless leadership bought U$C several well-earned years of lost bowl game revenue, lost scholarships, and lost victories.

Doesn't UCLA Football deserve someone MORE CAPABLE than THIS?

(5) Money. Donors, season ticket holders, alums, and casual fans have come to the Rose Bowl year after year to see one of our own return UCLA Football to its rightful place as a competitive football power. We don't expect a BCS Bowl every year... but it's been, what, OVER A DECADE since the last one? For THIRTEEN YEARS, we have been buying tickets, contributing to the program... and all we have to show for it is the free T-shirt from CRN's first year.

We deserve to have our loyalty, our commitment -- our FAITH -- rewarded.

In an age when a successful football team generates tens of millions of dollars not only for its own football program, but also for other athletic teams at the same school, and also stimulates goodwill and fundraising that benefits the entire academic institution, are we willing to give up the success both on and off the field that a proven coordinator can help generate?

Are we willing to bet the future of UCLA Football on an inexperienced, unreliably-trained, ill-fitting, unproven novice coordinator?

Doesn't UCLA Football deserve BETTER than THIS?