If Steve Alford were an honorable man, he would have submitted his resignation after last week’s pathetic excuse for a coaching job against St. Bonaventure, but, not because Alford did a terrible job coaching against the Bonnies.
Steve Alford should resign because he made a promise to UCLA fans two years ago when he returned his contract extension. This year, he broke that promise.
Allow me to refresh your memory.
In his open letter to “UCLA Family, Friends, Alumni and Supporters,” Alford wrote:
It’s easy to just say we’ll be better next year. We’re excited to prove it, and that begins now. Over the course of my career, teams that I’ve led have owned, on average, a defensive rank in the top 50. This year we ranked outside the top 100. This can never happen again. We must return to the basics and instill defensive fundamentals in our young men from day one of permissible workouts. (emphasis added)
That’s what he wrote two years ago.
Apparently, when he wrote “This can never happen again,” Alford actually meant “This cannot happen next year, but, if it happens the year after that, it’s cool.”
Because that’s exactly what happened. Two years ago, UCLA was 118th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency. Last year, the team improved to 85th. But, this season, the team ranked outside the top 100 again at 103rd.
Technically, that makes Alford a liar. He lied to fans when he said it “can never happen again” because it has.
Sure, some may say that you can’t really say he’s a liar. He made a promise he couldn’t keep.
Of course, there is an implication in making a promise like that.
The implication is that if it does, in fact, happen again, he would no longer be employed by UCLA.
Yet, here we are. A week after the season came to a miserable end in which UCLA was embarassed in a nationally televised game and Alford is still employed by UCLA.
There have been rumors that Alford was interested in the coaching jobs at Louisville and Missouri State among others. Unfortunately, so far, no one has been willing to hire a guy who shouldn’t have been hired by UCLA in the first place and may not have been had the #Metoo movement been started five years ago.
Of course, Alford’s interest in these other jobs may be nothing but an attempt by Alford’s agent to extract another contract extension out of UCLA. There are, after all, rumors that Alford’s agent Michael Barnett is talking about the fact that Alford is “not feeling the love” in Westwood.
Well, here’s a novel idea for Mr. Barnett: Your client made a promise to the greater UCLA Community. It was a promise it turns out he could not keep. Instead of trying to extract another contract extension out of UCLA, maybe you should be convincing him to do the honorable thing and resign as UCLA Men’s Basketball coach. Then, get yourself to work negotiating with Dan Guerrero and get him to waive a buyout.
Alford would save face by stepping down and maintain some semblance of a claim to being an honorable guy.
Of course, we would know the truth. No one at UCLA wants him around any more because he’s a terrible basketball coach. In fact, he is the worst UCLA Men’s Basketball coach since John Wooden retired. That’s why he isn’t “feeling the love” in Westwood.
But, that’s probably a pipe dream because Steve Alford is not an honorable man.
Go Bruins. Fire Alford.