We've talked about nepotism for a long time. There have been posts about it. Questions have been raised about whether nepotism could be a violation of any UCLA regulations or any other regulations of any kind. What nepotism really is all about, in my opinion, is "fairness." Is it "fair" for someone like Bobby Knight to have a term in his contract with Texas Tech requiring Tech to hire his son as head basketball coach after Bobby retires? Is it "fair" for someone to hire his buddy's son to fill a spot on the coaching or support staff?
I've put "fair" and "fairness" in quotes because those words seem to have pretty broad definitions. Here's what Merriam Webster says: "treating people in a way that does not favor some over others" (one of three "simple" definitions), or "a :marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism fair person to do business with (b)(1): conforming with the established rules : allowed (2) : consonant with merit or importance : due fair share" (two of several "full" definitions.)
Are those definitions helpful in general, or in the context of nepotism and hiring? Frankly, to me they seem pretty straightforward. The simple definition seems to tell it all: "Treating people in a way that does not favor some over others." I think Jackie Robinson would understand that term. The question is whether Jackie's former UCLA home, the Athletic Department, understands it. Does the Athletic Department's understanding include any exceptions? BrendonBruin has public records requests in to UCLA now. If UCLA produces any documents, we might get some answers to some questions.
UCLA is ostensibly an "equal opportunity employer." One internet definition of an "equal opportunity employer" is:
An employer which follows the principle of equal opportunity in regards to its hiring and promotion procedures. An equal opportunity employer is not allowed to discriminate based on items such as race or gender, and is required to give everyone an equal chance.
I think the key words are in the last phrase - "give everyone an equal chance."
We've seen how that's worked with the video guys in the basketball program. Now we have an opportunity to watch how things play out in real life. According to another internet site (isn't Al Gore's invention grand?), UCLA has a job opening. Here's a little job description (and as you're reading, ask yourself how you think the Athletic Director is handling these functions):
"Major functions include marketing and program development of department booster travel program, management of departments corporate and pre-game hospitality operations, coordination of customer service program, coordination of department's travel expense reimbursement section, coordination of various team travel plans and management of event day operations. Must possess ability to adhere to and comply with Department, University, NCAA and PAC-12 rules and regulations."
But I'm teasing. Here's the whole thing:
Game Operations Assistant
UCLA Intercollegiate Athletic Department
Posted: March 22, 2016
Location: Los Angeles, California
Type: Full-time - Entry Level
Categories: Operations, Operations - Event Management
Preferred Education: 4 Year Degree
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is accepting applications for the position of Game Operations Assistant. This is a contract, full-time position with a target salary of $27,144 .00/year with full health benefits and membership in the UC Retirement Plan. Under the direct supervision of the Associate Athletic Director-Game Operations/Travel in a learning capacity, provide administrative services for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Involved primarily with management of game day/event operations, individual team travel, departments booster travel program, official pre-game tailgate function, group services, and customer services. Major functions include marketing and program development of department booster travel program, management of departments corporate and pre-game hospitality operations, coordination of customer service program, coordination of department's travel expense reimbursement section, coordination of various team travel plans and management of event day operations. Must possess ability to adhere to and comply with Department, University, NCAA and PAC-12 rules and regulations. The position is full-time with full benefits, including membership in the UC Retirement Program, and is on a one year contract with the option to extend for a second year. Continued employment will be contingent upon satisfactory performance, meeting targeted goals and compliance with University, PAC-12 and NCAA rules and regulations.
Expressions of interest must be received by April 18, 2016. All applicants must submit their cover letter, resume, references and salary history via the following website link: https://hr.mycareer.ucla.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1401400174363. Search by requisition #23544. UCLA is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
All applicants should demonstrate the following abilities: Knowledge of UCLA, Pac-12, and NCAA rules, regulations, policies, and services; Detailed knowledge of and experience with rules, customs, and practices of intercollegiate sports administration; Ability to deal effectively with university administrators, athletic administrators, coaches, and a wide variety of outside entities; Working knowledge of athletic facilities; Working knowledge of University accounting procedures; Ability to arrange and execute schedules in a timely and organized manner; Ability to work under various conditions and time constraints; Ability to draft clear and concise communications to a variety of parties.
Knowledge of various computer software packages (both PC and Mac): Lotus Notes, Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Pagemaker, Publisher, and Graphics programs; Skill in customer relations; Ability to analyze projects and their related components and issues and determine successive strategies related to those projects; and demonstrated ability to adhere to and comply with NCAA, PAC-12 and University rules and regulations. Continued employment is contingent upon completion of satisfactory background investigation.
Additional Salary Information: This is a contract, full-time position with a target salary of $27,144.00/year with full health benefits and membership in the UC Retirement Plan.
Internal Number: 23544
About UCLA Intercollegiate Athletic Department
UCLA Athletics is recognized as the Number One Academic and Athletic program in the nation and leads the NCAA with 113 team National Championships. UCLA offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits package. UCLA is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
And there are the key words: UCLA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. An equal opportunity employer gives everyone a fair chance. We already know that there is an asterisk in connection with the basketball program. Let's see who becomes the next "Game Operations Assistant," at a salary about $1,000 a month less than Kory Alford's salary. Or to put it another way, are there any coaches out there whose offspring would be willing to take as an annual income what the guy currently in charge of the basketball program makes in about four days? I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.