Thursday night's loss appears to have been the last straw for some fans.
A new website was launched yesterday with the goal of petitioning UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero to fire Steve Alford immediately.
Initially, the backers were providing a password to the site via DM and other direct means. Personally, I don't understand why the site was password-protected, but that's ok as Twitter user Greg Crozier tweeted the password out in response to a tweet from talk show host and noted Southern Cal backer Steve Mason.
@VeniceMase The password is 'bruins'...brilliant.— Greg Crozier (@GLC3) February 26, 2016
There is no doubt that this isn't anywhere close to being what I hoped for when I started hearing rumors about this earlier this week.
If you've read enough of my articles, you know that I try to be a realist when it comes to whether or nor some of the individuals we disdain will go away anytime soon. I've written on more than one occasion that UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero will not get fired before he is forced into mandatory retirement by the University of California's mandatory retirement age unless Gene Block goes away first.
I've also written that I just don't see Dan firing Steve Alford while the buyout remains at $10.4 million. That may be the case.
But, at the same time, the backers of this particular petition are opting to appeal to something else: vanity.
They are doing so by connecting the firing of Steve Alford to Dan's notion of his legacy as UCLA Athletic Director.
Is this the petition I would write? Hell no. Personally, I think that this petition would be a lot more palatable to every member of the Bruin Nation if the authors would remove all of the sunshine pumping it contains. For instance, I would remove the third paragraph in its entirety:
We would first like to let you know we understand all the pressures and challenges you face in running the UCLA athletic department. We recognize and very much appreciate how difficult your job has been in making UCLA’s athletic department fiscally successful, renovating Pauley Pavilion and building the football and basketball facilities, especially in the state school environment of California and the economic climate of the last several years.
If you're reading this after eating, I'm sorry. I'm sure some of you just threw up a little. Whether you did or didn't, this excerpt certainly won't help:
Again we want to say how we greatly appreciate and want to thank you for all of the work you’ve done for UCLA. You have fulfilled the UCLA ideals well and the Pauley Pavilion re-model and construction of the basketball practice facility will both resonate as lasting contributions to the basketball program and UCLA as whole, for decades. But the reality is, when it comes to your legacy as UCLA’s athletic director, the great things you have done could ultimately be overshadowed by how you handle the Alford situation.
Initially, I felt that I simply could not sign it good conscience as it is written.
To say that I'm sure many of you will be equally disappointed with the way it is written may be an understatement of the highest proportions. Of course, you are welcome to express that in the comments below.
At the same time, there may be some of you who are just so disgusted by the state of the basketball program that you are willing to do just about anything to get rid of Steve Alford and may be willing to sign this.
Or, you may decide to write a comment which the organizers have asked to be kept respectful.
Ultimately, I decided to sign it last night with the following qualifying comment:
While I do not personally agree with everything written in this letter, I do agree with the numbered bullet points. For those reasons, please fire Steve Alford and restore UCLA basketball.
But, the decision of whether or not to sign it is up to you. Feel free to use my comment if you like as it is short, simple, to the point and respectful.
Do I think this effort will be effective? I don't know. The optimist in me says, "I hope so." I'm as tired of writing about the current state of the basketball program as many of you are tired of watching and/or reading about it.
Bruins Nation, in general, and yours truly, in particular, has wanted Steve Alford gone since word of his hiring first leaked. We made a valiant effort to try to stop his hiring when it first leaked. But, ultimately, we couldn't stop the hiring.
Almost 2,000 individuals stepped up at the time to sign a petition to Gene Block to fire Dan Guerrero for hiring Alford without even a cursory background check. But, that petition fell on deaf ears in the Chancellor's Office.
If appealing to Dan Guerrero's sense of his legacy is the way to get him to fix a three-year mistake, perhaps some of you are willing to take a moment to sign this petition and support this effort.
Realistically, it's probably the only chance of getting rid of Alford right now.
UPDATE (2/27 Noon): I've learned that the site no longer requires use of the password.