The firing of Karl Dorrell could have repercussions on next years team as they start their search for a new head coach. Brian Dohn of the DN had written a number of weeks ago that Dorrell being fired could result in the loss of 10-15 recruits from the 2008 class. I didn't buy it then and I don't buy it now, but the flip side of that coin is how will the current players react?
Freshman defensive end Brian Price has been quoted in today's OC Register that he is considering transferring after the firing of Dorrell. (at the end of the article)UCLA freshman defensive lineman Brian Price, the top prize in the Bruins' 2007 recruiting class and a second-team freshman All-American, said he was considering a transfer after learning about Dorrell's firing.
"If they got rid of the defensive staff, yeah, I'd probably leave. I'm not sure yet, though. I'm still weighing my options," Price said.
Dohn has the same story on his blog this evening.
Now, I'm not foolish enough to believe that Price will transfer. He is an 18 y/o kid who may be letting his emotions get the better of him. Plenty of coaches are fired and I can't remember a single story of a high profile player transferring after a coach is fired. Heck, I can't even remember a player even threatening to transfer. My opinion is that the volatility of this past season under Dorrell coupled with he internet campaign to get rid of him could quite possibly take a bigger toll than some might realize. Again that is my opinion but this situation in a lot of people's eyes has brought more embarrassment to ucla on top of the embarrassment that some feel that Dorrell brought to the program.
Like it or not, right or wrong, players are loyal to the coaching staff. Some are more vocal than others about it but it cannot be discounted. My opinion is that he stays, but one can never tell and if he were to leave that would send a huge signal to those in the Morgan Center. It will be interesting to see how some of the bruin faithful react if Price does transfer, the way they treated Basketball recruit Kyle Singler when he decommitted to attend Duke is a prime example. The bruins recently had another football commit open up his recruitment because Dorrell was going to be fired. Some kids want stability and with only 7 or so returning starters next season it is hard to say how this team will look in 2008, ucla football is anything but stable right now.
Loyalty matters, but loyalty to ones self is more important than any loyalty to a program or a coach.