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UCLA Basketball: AWOL Athletic Dept. Finally Releases Information On China Trip

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In recent days we pointed out how Chianti's athletic department has been completely AWOL wrt to giving out information on UCLA's upcoming trip. The incompetence is especially glaring when compared to how elite programs handle opportunities like this. When the trip was announced, it was billed (for good reasons) as great marketing opportunity for the UCLA brand and the Pac-12. The trip is also crucial because it's going to give Howland to work out the kinks and figure out chemistry issues in his program before the official start of the "boom or bust" season in Westwood.

You'd think that Guerrero who shamelessly took credit for making this trip happen would make sure that there was steady stream of information coming out. It never happened and after getting called out UCLA finally released partial information concerning the trip on their official site:

Traveling via Air China, the basketball program will arrive in Beijing on Thursday, Aug. 23, before facing Tsinghua University on Saturday, Aug. 25. The Bruins will fly to Shanghai the following day and play against Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Monday, Aug. 27.

UCLA will take on the Shanghai Sharks, a professional Chinese team, the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 28 at Yuan Shen Sports Center, before flying back to Los Angeles on Wednesday, Aug. 29.

Fans will have the opportunity to attend two "meet and greet" events - one in Beijing and one in Shanghai - where they can interact with head coach Ben Howland and the team.

They also linked a special site here. The information is better than nothing. But still we don't have anything yet on whether we will be able to watch these games on TV or online.

If we had a competent athletic director, who actually cared about the game and our fan base, the information would have been available weeks ago. A competent AD would have made sure that rabid UCLA alums who'd wanted to go to this trip and support the program would have made arrangements weeks ago, instead of scrambling in next two weeks. He or she would have made sure UCLA and the Pac-12 was using this trip to market the program from all available channels.

Instead it will be another huge opportunity lost. Another opportunity lost to generate excitement for Howland's make or break season at UCLA. Then again we shouldn't complain too much. We are sure Chianti will make sure we are plugged in through his "special medium of communication."