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Yesterday Was UCLA Football’s Bye Week So Let’s Talk About Bruin Basketball

With the football team having yesterday off, let’s honor a timebound UCLA tradition by discussing Bruin Basketball in the middle of football season.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Sacramento Practice
Steve Alford’s contract was re-extended Friday, but the devil is in the details and no one has those yet.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The good news this morning is that UCLA Football did not lose yesterday. The bad news is that UCLA Football didn’t win yesterday either. Of course, that’s because the team had a bye yesterday.

So, let’s perform a time-honored UCLA Football ritual.

“Is it basketball season yet?”

Well, not quite, but there was some big basketball news on Friday when UCLA announced that Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Alford’s contract has been extended to 2021, returning the year he gave back after the team’s disastrous 2015-16 season.

Friday’s announcement also included the fact that Duane Broussard has been promoted to associate head coach.

But, the details of the extension were not announced on Friday. As a result, we don’t yet know the key details of Alford’s contract extension like how much he will be paid and, more importantly, how the extension affects Alford’s buyout.

At the same time, I fully expect the extension to also extend the buyout time and dollar amount to where they were at the start of last season.

It shouldn’t, but Dan Guerrero is still UCLA’s Athletic Director and I don’t expect him to have learned from how expensive it would have been for UCLA to have fired Alford after the 2015-16 season or how expensive it will be for UCLA to fire Jim Mora after this season if the football team doesn’t turn things around.

That’s what makes being a UCLA fan so frustrating. The Bruins have an Athletic Director who doesn’t seem to know or care that he’s putting the UCLA Athletic Director on the wrong track long term with big buyouts for bad revenue sport coaches.

In other basketball news, Eric Sondheimer, one of my favorite LA Times writers, has an interesting article this morning which discusses two noteworthy things. Sondheimer discussed yesterday’s Bruins at the Beach event while focusing on some of the Bruin freshmen including Jaylen Hands, who won the dunk contest with a dunk of Alford, as well as LiAngelo Ball, who has dropped about 20 pounds coming into the season, and Kris Wilkes, who walked onto the court wearing a pair of SnapChat shades.

Sondheimer’s article includes this video with highlights of yesterday’s event.

But the big news in Sondheimer’s article is that, according to Steve Alford, the UCLA Basketball program has not been contacted by the FBI or the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the college basketball bribery and corruption investigation that has already resulted in 10 arrests and led to the firing of Rick Pitino at Louisville.

Sondheimer quotes Alford:

That’s not happened. Obviously it’s something you don’t like seeing in our game. It’s not all programs. I know how we’re doing things.

That’s certainly reassuring to hear.

Of course, it also puts Alford on record should the situation change.

Sweet Sixteen, here we come.

Go Bruins!!!