Sports Medley: UCLA’s Guerrero must go 25 Sep 17
by Tony Medley
The death of UCLA’s major sports program:
If UCLA really cares about its football and basketball programs, it will
replace Athletic Director Dan Guerrero tomorrow. He knows absolutely
nothing about picking coaches for these two sports. In fact my
information is that he had never hired a coach for either sport in his
career before coming to UCLA. His present football coach, Jim Mora (the
third unsuccessful coach he’s chosen), has not only not improved one
iota during his six seasons as coach, his teams have gotten
His team’s performance against Stanford continued all the problems
Mora’s teams have suffered throughout his tenure. This team has as
little discipline as his other teams, averaging 92.5 yards in penalties
per game so far this year, placing them 124 out of 130 NCAA teams.
Against Stanford their penalties included two personal fouls that were
foolish, costing them good yardage and field position, and an illegal
substitution indicating that it’s not just the players who lack
discipline and knowledge of the game.
Despite all the yards he gains passing, quarterback Josh “Chosen” Rosen
still panics and makes horrific decisions when he’s rushed. Mora’s teams
are epitomized by little or no talent on either the offensive or
defensive lines. Stanford ran against them at will. Rosen was chased all
over the place. It’s not just choosing players where Mora is
deficient. His choices as assistant coaches are no better.
Worse, Guerrero apparently gave Mora an extension along with a $11
million buyout. That’s taxpayer’s money that Guerrero is throwing away,
along with Bruins fans’ hopes and dreams.
But even though Mora is the most inept coach I have seen since Billy
Barnes was coaching the team when I was Sports Editor of the UCLA Daily
Bruin more than a half century ago, firing Mora isn’t the only answer
because Guerrero will still be there to make another ignorant choice.
The answer is to start at the top. Get an AD who has experience in
hiring football and basketball coaches and has a record that indicates
that he knows what he’s doing. Make the choice on quality rather than
ethnicity, which is apparently how former UCLA Vice Chancellor Pete
Blackman bypassed more qualified candidates, like his former UCLA
basketball teammate Gary Cunningham, and chose Guerrero.
Final tag Stanford:
I don’t know how good Stanford running back Bryce Love really is because
UCLA’s run defense is so poor, but he made some moves I haven’t seen
since Detroit Lions’ star Barry Sanders retired.
I don’t have a lot of good things to say about the NFL (actually
nothing), but last Thursday’s game between the Rams and the 49ers was
one of the most entertaining NFL games I’ve ever seen. With little
defense, both quarterbacks were on target. The spectacular catch that
49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon made near the end of the game reminded
me of the catch that the Chicago Bears’ Harlan Hill made against the New
York Giants in Yankee Stadium in 1956 to break a 17-17 tie, still one of
the greatest in NFL history. Good as Thursday’s game was, it was decided
by a missed conversion by one of the best kickers in the league.
NFL Joins MLB in misrepresenting attendance:
Who are the 49ers and the NFL trying to kid? They reported the
attendance for the Rams game on Thursday night at 70,000, but there were
far more empty seats than there were occupied seats. The true attendance
couldn't have been much more than 35,000, if that. Apparently the NFL is
reporting tickets sold, and announcing that as the attendance when it is
not the attendance. At least MLB reports “tickets sold” in its box
scores; but not the NFL. “Attendance” means the number of people who are
actually in the stands attending the game, not the number of tickets
Turn off the sound:
I am a big Neil diamond fan and one of his best songs is “Sweet
Caroline.” However, the Hyundai car commercial showing a red bearded guy
in a freeway jam singing along to “Sweet Caroline,” that is shown time
and again on telecasts of sporting events is one of the most annoying
commercials of the year, if not the decade. I can’t imagine how it could
help Hyundai sell cars.
Hackneyed phrases that belong in the dustbin:
ESPN’s Adnan Burke in reporting a partial score of a football game,
said, “There is a buck 40 left in this game.” This is supposed to mean
that there is one minute and 40 seconds left in the game. But where do
these guys get “a buck” to equate with one minute? “Buck” has several
definitions, not one of which is related to time. More and more
sportscasters are using this ridiculous slang and it’s more annoying
than the “Sweet Caroline” commercial.