Editor's Note: This fan post contains an email which was sent to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, Basketball Coach Steve Alford and was copied to BN Managing Editor Joe Piechowski and several others. Mr. Ira Swartz, the letter's author, expressed his desire to have it published on Bruins Nation. This letter is being published on Mr. Swartz's BN account, as it was received, and with the content completely unedited. As we do with our best fan posts, this fan post is being bumped to a featured spot.
Dear Coach Alford, Mr. Guerrero and Chancellor Block,
I am a proud alumnus of UCLA having graduated in 1966. I have also been an ardent supporter of UCLA athletics and have proudly donated in excess of 100K during my lifetime. I have also been a football season ticket holder for over 35 years. And, I am currently a Coaches Roundtable member of the Wooden Athletic Fund and have been a member of the Chancellor’s Society for many years.
Based on the press conference this date, all three of our UCLA basketball team players admitted to shoplifting during their recent visit to China. It is my understanding that the shoplifting occurred in three or four stores, not just Louis Vuitton. This crime is appalling and embarrassing, not only to UCLA and our entire nation, but on an international scale as well. Students, alumni, China and the entire world will be watching what form of punishment you impose on these three players. We all are waiting for you to do the right thing, which is a swift and strong penalty. This is about student integrity and accountability and these players need to be educated on the responsibilities of representing our great university and our country. Playing basketball for our esteemed basketball program is a privilege that includes being responsible.
I am further appalled that LaVar Ball recently told ESPN: "Everybody is making it a big deal. It ain’t that big of a deal". I ask you, do you really care that his son continues to play on our team (for at most one year) with such an outrageous and disgusting comment from his father?
I therefore urge you to take the appropriate and only action in this matter, which is to suspend these three players for the ENTIRE SEASON, if not expel them from school, no matter how much it may hurt the basketball program in the short-run. A short-term suspension for a handful of non-conference games would only be a slap on the wrist and a further embarrassment to the school, athletic department, community and the world. What is also galling to me is that all three players admitted to this crime, so why in the world would the university impose "an indefinite suspension" while assessing the incident? There are no tapes to review, so with their public admission today, why did you not impose a swift and strong penalty TODAY? The facts are the facts!
I promise you that if the punishment is anything less that an ENTIRE SEASON suspension, I will immediately give up my long-standing football season tickets and immediately drop out entirely from the Wooden Athletic Fund. This should not be taken as a threat but merely what I feel would be the right thing for me to do, speaking of doing the right thing.
Thank you all for your consideration in this matter!