After watching the complete and total destruction of the UCLA Bruins last night at the LA Memorial Coliseum and now hearing the UCLA media people talk about UCLA as "the PAC-12 SOUTHERN CHAMPION". I have a few thoughts to share with the UCLA alumni.
Over the past 25 years I have enjoyed my friendships with alumni of UCLA. In fact I have neighbors who are UCLA alumni. I have life long friends from high school who chose to go to UCLA. I also have appreciated the positive impact of UCLA's academics and science programs on our area and world.
But, claiming that you are "PAC-12 Southern Conference champions"?
No sports writer in this nation could seriously pen that title to UCLA after last night.
And, no serious analyst can possibly believe that UCLA deserves to be in the PAC-12 conference game on Friday. Do you seriously believe that UCLA is prepared to compete with Oregon on Friday?
Now, today, I read Bruin Nation. The alumni of UCLA are calling for more money to be spent on a better coach, better stadium, and better training facilities. Do we really believe that more government spending is the answer?
No amount of government spending will correct the systemic issues in the State of California. Forgive me if I digress into public policy and social spending for a bit. But, I truly believe that collegiate athletics reflects the intersection of public spending and private financing of the programs. When I look at the SEC conference, I see a lot of state sponsored schools in the SEC. Those programs are spectacular football programs, but what of the academics at LSU, Georgia, or Alabama compared to Stanford, USC, and UCLA?
The spending of government dollars on the program will not bring about spectacular success. If it were, Dan Guerrero's (UCLA AD) supposed salary of $700,000 from the UC Regents should have resulted in spectacular results. Unfortunately, UCLA is currently playing basketball at the LA Sports Arena within walking distance of the USC campus. Had some California politicians had their way, USC would be owning the Sports Arena and Coliseum now. So, UCLA is essentially playing their basketball home games on the USC campus.
Then, there is the whole issue of the LA Coliseum. That facility is nearly 90 years old. It has tremendous facility issues compared to other modern sports venues. The Rose Bowl is undergoing expensive renovations now. Do we really believe that the renovation of the sports field changes the game play of the team?
I raise these issues to point to the differences between UCLA and USC alumni. For nearly 15 years I tolerated UCLA alumni giving me their high and mighty claims of supremacy over me and my school. I tolerated their insults about how I paid my way through school for good grades. I tolerated their nonsense about how my school cheats and how my school buys its fortunes.
Now, on the day after they lose 0-50 to USC, we read Bruin Alumni hurling insults at their AD, Head coaching staff, and players. It is one thing to insult the cross town rival. It is quite another thing to call into KLAC 570 and insult your starting QB and the players themselves. These are not paid athletes Bruin alumni.
Then I read the BN alumni asking for the UC Chancellors to fire DG and RN. They claim that new AD and new Head Coaches should be hired. Oh really? So, essentially, the Bruin alumni are saying that they need to buy a new facility, buy a new athletic director, and buy a new head coach.
I guess if the Bruins need something new, the Bruins go to the UC Board of Regents and ask for other people to pay for that "new" thing. I guess using other people's money (California tax payers) to pay for what UCLA alumni need is acceptable, but when USC alumni donate to scholarships, it is not?
I thought you were supposed to live within your means and buy only that which you can afford? Oh gee, I must have forgotten that "Michael Milken" approach to finance? Or, is it more the Madoff form of collegiate athletics?
I would really like to be a good winner this morning. But, since when has the UCLA alumni been a good winner towards USC? UCLA Alumni this morning claim "PAC-12 Southern CHAMPIONS"??? Not on your life will I permit that to stand.
And, to you Mark May on ESPN, sit down. We should and had every reason to clarify the idiocy of the ban on USC by continuing to compete on the athletic field. It is UCLA's responsibility to play on the field. The last time UCLA came to the LA Coliseum, they taunted USC on USC's home field and came nearly over to the half way point on the field while Pete Carroll held his guys back on the side line. Now, for no apparent reason other than "allegations" by NCAA COI, USC is held out of post season play. You can not seriously call yourself a football analyst by ignoring the utterly ridiculous PAC-12 position.