After (rightfully) getting eviscerated by the UCLA community and mocked nationally for his comments re. Pierre Pierce incidents in Iowa, Steve Alford FINALLY issued a prepared statement to apologize the UCLA community:
Over the past week, questions have arisen about my handling of an incident involving a charge of sexual assault made against a student-athlete in 2002, while I was coach of the University of Iowa men's basketball team. At that time, I instinctively and mistakenly came to his defense before knowing all the facts. I wanted to believe he was innocent, and in response to a media question, I publicly proclaimed his innocence before the legal system had run its course. This was inappropriate, insensitive and hurtful, especially to the young female victim involved, and I apologize for that. I have learned and grown from that experience and now understand that such proclamations can contribute to an atmosphere in which similar crimes go unreported and victims are not taken seriously. It's important for me personally and professionally to make sure Chancellor Block, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, all of my student-athletes and the entire UCLA community, including our fans, understand that today I would handle the situation much differently, with the appropriate regard and respect for the investigative process and those impacted by it. I look forward to being a Bruin and leading a program that everyone will take pride in, both on and off the court.
Wish, it didn't take 7 days of reflections to state what should have been pretty obvious response during his presser. As for Chianti here is his CYA nonsense:
I appreciate and respect Steve Alford's statement on this issue. Everyone has regrets in their past, but acknowledging them and learning from them shows true character. I was aware of this situation when we hired Steve and concluded that although he made an error in judgment 11 years ago, he had learned and grown from that experience. Our evaluation was based on his entire career, both on and off the court, and that is what led us to make our decision that he was the right coach for UCLA. Steve came to us with a tremendous reputation and record in New Mexico, and I am excited to see how he can build on and grow our men's basketball program at UCLA. I expect all of our coaches to serve as an example to our student-athletes and the entire Bruin family, displaying true character and strong values. Working with Steve over the last two weeks I am confident that he will demonstrate the leadership we expect of all our coaches.
Sure Dan - we are sure you had done all your due diligence on Alford while making a desperate hire without even arranging a face to face interview between Alford and the Chancellor. It is unclear right now whether Guerrero even had extensive meetings with Alford in person before offering the job.
In any event, Alford after a week of ugly press for himself and UCLA basketball has finally done the right thing. Let's hope he doesn't show this kind of indecisiveness in the next big decision as the leader of the basketball program.