BRO (which if you're really into recruiting news, we recommend subscribing, as they are always on top of recruits) published this story late last night about the hiring of Steve Alford (free at the time of this posting). It's not written by Tracy or Greg, but from another basketball contributor who isn't from Southern California and has knowledge of Steve Alford from when he was in Indiana.
And boy, does he provide insight. Some of the commentary reinforces the points we have made time and time again at BruinsNation.
For example, on the arrogance of Alford:
From what I’ve heard from sources close to the Iowa program, much of Alford’s limitations stemmed from arrogance. It was described to me as a "I’m-Steve-Alford" mentality. Alford operated as if recruits should flock to Iowa City simply because he was and is "Steve Alford."
Or how Alford spends so much time mentioning Bobby Knight, but Knight may not want anything to do with him:
Alford purports to be a disciple of Bobby Knight, obviously from Alford’s time at IU as one of Knight’s players. However, according to what I’ve learned, there was a falling out between the two when Alford took the Iowa job. Knight apparently didn’t want Alford to take the job, thinking Alford could possibly replace him at Indiana when he retired (we all know how that worked out). In short, Knight thought that Alford considering Iowa, a Big 10 rival, was a stab in the back and Alford felt Knight was trying to hold him back. Apparently their relationship is still a bit frosty.
Or that Alford is a narcissist:
At the time of UCLA’s hiring of Alford, Greg Hicks posted on the BRO message board about hearing of this narcissism. If Hicks, who is very west-coast based, obviously, heard about this then the question becomes: Why didn’t UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero or anyone in the UCLA athletic department hear the same? Not to discredit Hicks, but shouldn’t whoever conducted the UCLA coaching search have as much insight into college basketball as an Internet basketball writer?
You would think, right?
But Alford's arrogance will doom us. Along with that ridiculous buyout, which feeds his arrogance, which feeds his ego in showcasing his son, whom he may hope has a better NBA career than he did.
What I think, based on what so many sources have told me about Alford’s personality, is that arrogance reigns here. Alford knows he has a monstrous, almost-ironclad buyout that he believes will keep UCLA from firing him, at least for a good long while. I think the arrogance has also bled over toward blindness about his son, and with the buyout he believes he can safely provide a showcase for Bryce with impunity. I think the coach’s ego will not allow him to change, which is a shame because he has proven he has it in him to get it right and he should know enough about the game to be a solid-to-good major D-I coach.
Also, if we had conducted this search properly instead of panicking, maybe called a reference or two, this SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A SURPRISE:
So much has been written about this but it needs to be repeated in this context: What was UCLA thinking when they made this hire and, to compound it, the monstrous and unprecedented buyout? As I said, I’m not a program insider, so on this point I’m speculating, but it doesn’t seem very complicated to conclude: UCLA either hired Alford without full knowledge of his background and personality or, perhaps, in spite of it. So it’s either a case that the UCLA powers-that-be were beyond remiss in doing their due diligence or they knew it all and they uncannily thought it was worth it because they believed Steve Alford was a homerun hire. Either way it was outrageously inept and a massive fail.
Obviously, emphasis ours. And everyone else that has taken a rational look at this hiring and the circumstances around it. We recommend reading the entire article - it's fantastic.
Thank you Dan, for ruining UCLA Basketball.