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UCLA Players Take Up For Coach Alosi

With the Diddy PR machine running full speed to save itself by discrediting UCLA, a former Bruin linebacker gives his full support to Sal Alosi's professionalism and character.

Jim Mora has a football program to protect, and it would be nice if Morgan Center would help.
Jim Mora has a football program to protect, and it would be nice if Morgan Center would help.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Alosi is the foundation of success to UCLA's football program. I hope people can one day realize how much of an impact he has had on everyone who trains with him, who has worked alongside him, and has had the pleasure of being in his presence. He is a blue-collar, no nonsense man that is exactly what UCLA needs and will always need. It is a shame to see a helicopter parent attempt to discredit this man's reputation, someone who has worked so hard to have the success he wants everyone around him to have.

I hope the UCLA community stands firm behind him because I will forever.

Those are the words of Todd Golper,  a backup linebacker and special teams player for the Bruins from 2009 to 2012, who played his final season at U.C.L.A. during Coach Alosi's first. Golper's account appeared on Bruin Report Online today.

It's good to hear someone speaking out in Alosi's defense.

He's not the only one.

Music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs understands how to play the media. Even beyond the content of the music itself, defining an image and then shaping public opinion around that image is probably the most important part of his business, and his career thus far demonstrates how successful he has been.

U.C.L.A., not so much. Bruins Nation has criticized the U.C.L.A. Administration once or twice or a hundred times for its failure to take advantage of its unique branding or capitalizing on marketing opportunities or making the U.C.L.A. name the icon it could be. In this instance, the Bruins are carrying a sandwich board to a 21st Century worldwide marketing fight.

So in the current media firestorm, it is not surprising that the headlines popping up on Google news searches all slant the news to make Diddy look like the caring nurturing father protecting his young son from a mean and spiteful Bruin football program. The headlines read "Diddy defending himself…" or, "Combs bullied by coach…" or, "UCLA Conducts Psychological Warfare" or, "U.C.L.A. wants to avoid legal battle…".  The last of which is probably (always?) wise, but for now, scanning through the headlines without understanding the details makes U.C.L.A. look bad, and U.C.L.A. is never very good at making itself look good in the first place.

It shouldn't be that way.

Golper begins his story

For those you of who have any questions or concerns in regards to Coach Sal Alosi's integrity, honesty, and ethics -- quell them now. Being a former player who worked with him for unfortunately only one season (I wish we had four years), he is the type of man I hope my sons grow up to be. Coach Alosi is quiet, humble, intense and absolutely one of the hardest working men I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside and being mentored by in my life. There is no mediocrity with him, neither in his personal life nor in his professional life. I think people generally misunderstand him because he isn't raucous or rambunctious from a personality standpoint. It is incredibly disheartening to me to see outsiders like ESPN and others rain on his integrity because it is one of the things he has worked so hard to redeem and continue to purvey to others.

Later in the article, Golper retells the story when Coach Mora introduced Alosi introduced to the team for the first time. The absolute first thing Alosi did was revisit his sideline incident when he was with the NY Jets, own it and say that he is doing all he can to make up for that mistake.

It's a must read from someone who worked under Coach Alosi but unfortunately had to leave the program due to injuries. It is a strong show of support from someone who could easily have been targeted by a malicious coach preying on the weak, but Golper shows that Alosi was exactly the opposite of that, and the opposite of what some of the current headlines are suggesting.

I understand on one hand how taking the high road and not making public comments has some benefit, so for U.C.L.A. to get in to a tit-for-tat war of words makes some sense. There is no question that resolving this issue privately and out of the courts seems the best deal for everyone except the lawyers. But at the same time, U.C.L.A. also needs to say enough and protect its own image and its football staff and set the record straight. All of those headlines claiming that Diddy was simply defending his son from a bullying coach are preying on hits from ignorant readers that know nothing about the in and outs of a high level football program. A strength & conditioning coach yelling at players? Umm, not shocking.

But those headlines are driving the narrative right now, and it's not wholly accurate. Now that U.C.L.A. has helicopter parents who do actually own helicopters, it's going to have to learn how to handle itself with big time media personalities. The coaching staff should be able to count on more public support from Morgan Center. In the meantime, kudos to Golper for writing his view of Alosi.