Courtesy of BRO, (not behind the firewall as of the posting of this story) UCLA Football Coach Jim Mora has named Tom Bradley the leading candidate for the open Defensive Coordinator position that opened up when Jeff Ulbrich left for the Atlanta Falcons.
On the surface, Tom Bradley may tick the boxes for a defensive coordinator hire - experienced and college experienced, both things Ulbrich didn't have. The stats on his defenses as DC at PSU were great. The chances of him leaving for an NFL position are next to none. There's only one job he'd probably leave for, and that's the head coaching position at Penn State (and he already had that job for a few games). He is currently the senior associate head coach and defensive assistant at West Virginia.
However, West Virginia's defense last year was slightly worse than UCLA's from a numbers perspective, ranking 66th in total defense, after UCLA's 63rd. To give Bradley credit, WVU's defense improved from the previous season, where they were just terrible.
Can Bradley handle the spread offenses of the Pac-12? The Big-10 isn't exactly known for exotic offenses, but WVU did beat Baylor last year, and they barely lost to TCU.
The main reason why we should not consider Bradley?
He was a part of the Penn State coaching staff during the time of Jerry Sandusky. He took over as defensive coordinator for Sandusky in 2000, and while they had some great defenses during his reign as d-coordinator, the association of Sandusky will follow him for life.
Take a look at this comment from Black Shoe Diaries, when they were putting forward names for their coaching search:
The elephant in the room, however, is what he may or may not have known about the Sandusky Scandal. Bradley roomed with Mike McQueary for a while, and was obviously in a close working relationship to Sandusky himself. Sure it's possibly Bradley just kept his blinders on and didn't know anything about the unspeakable acts going on; but..................(my point exactly).
My official stance on Bradley is 1,000 percent positive if he's clean, but not worth the risk if he's not.
Should we consider this risk as UCLA fans? Especially after who we hired as the basketball coach, who didn't even have the same quality resume but is an alleged rape apologist who didn't even own up to the situation upon arrival at UCLA until after intense pressure?
Can we legitimately look a mother in the eye and say we will take care of their sons, knowing who is leading the defense? We recruit on more than just winning games. This is not a hire that emphasizes that value.
According to BRO, Mora submitted Bradley's name for vetting, so there is a chance Bradley may not get the position. One glance at Bradley's tenure at PSU during the Sandusky era should be enough to say no. Can we depend on the Chancellor to actually glance over at his crumbling athletics program, accurately review a resume, or do we, as fans, need to raise the alarm about what we value at UCLA?