We all remember when Pete Carroll publicly lost it when Mark Sanchez decided to leave USC for the NFL.
Whether or not it was appropriate and whether or not he was right...Pete Carroll took a beating.
That was the beginning of the end...
Over the past few weeks we have seen Rick Neuheisel publicly berate his players for poor play on the field. If you watched UCLA's game yesterday against Arizona St. you might have seen it as well when UCLA RB Jonathan Franklin was stuffed on 4th-and-goal from the 1-Yard line. I am not as bothered by it as some are. I understand that coaches try to use that heat of the moment as a teachable moment to get players to understand and correct their mistakes. Neuheisel isn't the only head coach to do it...Pete Carroll did it at times and I saw Jim Tressel do it today.
For the most part I see it as an acceptable part of the ebb and flow of the game.
Once the game is over throwing a player under the bus is poor form.
On fourth down, they smartly decided to go for the touchdown. But instead of lining up under center, quarterback Richard Brehaut remained in the pistol position, from where he handed the ball to Johnathan Franklin, who was stuffed, and why no quarterback sneak again?
"We thought we saw something there that would work," Neuheisel said.
It was as if the vaunted Bruins' coaching staff was again too smart for its own good. But then it got worse, when Neuheisel strangely publicly called out Franklin for not getting the job done.
"We were hoping Jet Ski would jump, we were talking about it on the sideline, I don't know why he didn't do it," said Neuheisel, referring to Franklin by his nickname.
Cornered in the locker room with the criticism, Franklin humbly shook his head and said, "I know I should have jumped."
I would have simply not answered the question or taken the blame for not communicating better with the player but I would not blame the player.
That Franklin even has to answer that question within the context that it was asked is terrible.
Once again, Neuheisel is all flash and no cash and it wouldn't surprise me if he loses/lost this team. All the talk, all the antics and all of the blaming of past regimes that we have read from UCLA's apologists about alleged past shortfalls doesn't change the fact that Rick Neuheisel is still an average coach who happens to be a decent recruiter.
Then I read T.J. Simers piece this morning...
I am not the biggest fan of Simers, his schtick isn't my cup of tea. He is an equal opportunity hitter but today's piece was different. There was no humor in the piece like in past articles, there was no poking fun at his target or using Placshke as a prop...this one was dead serious and devoid of any emotion.
That to me is an ominous sign.
When a guy like Simers, who makes a living poking fun at others, keeps it serious and sticks to the facts you know there is trouble. People are starting to take note.
For UCLA AD Dan Guerrerro it would a bitter pill to swallow to have to fire another football coach. He won't because the school is on the hook for some serious cash and that won't fly in the current climate of belt tightening in the UC system.
Right or wrong, whether they like it or not UCLA is in it for the long haul with Rick Neuheisel...
When Neuheisel was hired, many of the UCLA faithful loved what they thought they were getting, the question is are they now happy with they got?