For the third time in ten days, New York-based “Basketball Insider” Adam Zagoria has shown that he knows very little about UCLA Bruins men’s basketball.
First, Zagoria claimed on Sunday, December 30th, that a source told him UCLA wanted to wait to fire Alford “until Alford’s buyout dropped” to fire him when, in fact, UCLA would have ended up paying Alford the same amount of money moving forward whether it fired him now or kept him employed until May.
Then, later last week, Zagoria claimed that a source told him that influential UCLA alum and donor Casey Wasserman was supporting Rick Pitino to be UCLA’s next head basketball coach. Again, Bruins Nation was there to prove him wrong with a source close to Wasserman who said that Casey was not backing Pitino and said, “Any reporting to the contrary is preposterous.”
In today’s piece, Zagoria writes:
The University of California Board of Regents would not approve Rick Pitino to become the next UCLA coach despite the school’s top boosters having interest in the Hall of Fame coach, industry sources said.
”[The boosters] did their due diligence and found out that Pitino wasn’t going to get the necessary approval,” said one source. “So they’re just saving face, saying, ‘Oh yeah, we never wanted Pitino.’”
That same source previously said that UCLA boosters Casey Wasserman and John Branca wanted Pitino, now coaching EuroLeague power of Greece, to replace the fired Steve Alford.
There’s only one big, giant problem with his latest claim. It’s called “DA2203.”
DA2203 is the University of California policy which delegates the authority “to negotiate and finalize compensation contracts for all men’s and/or women’s coaches and football offensive/defensive coordinators“ from the Regents to the UC President and the UC President has delegated the authority to the Chancellors.
According to a UCLA Athletic Department spokesperson, “The Regents designate authority to university chancellors and presidents to approve the hiring of positions, including head coaches, within certain parameters. It would only need Regents approval if any of those parameters were exceeded.”
So, in other words, it isn’t very likely that the contract of Steve Alford’s replacement would need to go to the UC Regents for approval.
To be fair, the parameters of DA2203 which would require trigger a review by the Regents l are primarily financial, but it’s still unlikely that Alford’s replacement will need to be approved by the UC Regents because a review of the UC Regents’ minutes since Chip Kelly was hired indicates that Kelly’s contract did not require approval by the Regents.
If the UC Regents probably won’t have to approve UCLA’s basketball coach, then Adam Zagoria’s source claiming that Pitino wasn’t going to get the necessary approval is ridiculous as is the subsequent quote about boosters, like Casey Wasserman, trying to save face by saying they never wanted Pitino.
It’s time for the Rick Pitino rumors to die the death they deserve. Casey Wasserman wasn’t backing Pitino and no self-respecting Bruin fan should want Pitino in Westwood either.