UCLA: Rick Neuheisel Fired, Will Coach Friday

Multiple sources have confirmed to SbB that UCLA will announce today that Rick Neuheisel has been fired but will coach the team Friday against Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Rick Neuheisel

The plan, as it currently stands, is for UCLA to announce the firing at 11am PT with a followup press conference at 2:30pm PT.

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Ex-Agent: Compliance Just a Game, Not a Practice

The longest-running story in the modern history of sports is the reformation of college football.

That is, how to combat the century-old amateurism sham employed by power football schools as cover to obtain a tax-exemption - despite those esteemed academic institutions operating what are essentially professional sports franchises fueled by unpaid labor.

In some ways, I can understand the aforementioned, eternal refrain and find it hard to blame the incestuous buraucrats operating their exploitive, BCS school-based shell game. Safe to say the majority of the population, if not accountable to any manner of legitimate oversight, wouldn’t deplane that gravy train either.

But what if I told you there’s an idea now percolating that could change all that - without ruining the game we all love?

Enter Josh Luchs.

On August 18, 2011, ex-NFL agent Luchs proposed the only realistic way to reign in outlaw BCS school administrators while preserving at least a semblance of the business of college athletics as we know it today:

Want a real solution — real change — instead of the next expose? Don’t blame the compliance departments, change the system. Make them like Eliot Ness’ “Untouchables” who busted the bootleggers — not local cops on the take but G-men. Take Compliance Departments off the school payroll and put them on an autonomous payroll of the NCAA. It just might produce more vigilant compliance staffs and an atmosphere more conducive to rules enforcement as opposed to self-preservation.

The concept of unimpeachable, third party oversight is as foreign to BCS member schools as the NCAA rulebook.

It’s no coincidence that Luchs was first to produce the closest thing to a silver bullet defense of NCAA rules since, as we found out October 12, 2010, no one better understands the architecture of that empty storefront than Maurice Clarett’s former agent.

One year later - minus a day - since he first exposed BCS Gone Wild, Luchs will once again present all-talk college football administrators as a study in status quo.

In a Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary about sports agents to air Tuesday on ESPN, Luchs steals the show by diagramming and executing an unchecked, on-campus play into the personal space of UCLA football players:

As part of the short scene in Spurlock’s The Dotted Line, Luchs easily exposes an unsupervised way - which exists to this day - for any sports agent to make personal contact with current UCLA players right in the middle of the school’s football facilities.If UCLA - or any BCS member school - knew its football program would be officially screwed if a third party enforcement group detected such a breach, what’s the odds Luchs would have such undue access?

So what are the chances the BCS school lobby would ever allow the NCAA to install meaningful third party oversight - eliminating the laughable in-house compliance model?

It’ll definitely take someone with significant sway to get behind the idea in a very public way.

Now, if you could only somehow find someone ..

1) .. with an established public profile who has and will continue to travel the country - most recently on his own dime - to espouse the idea.

2) .. with experience playing a direct role in a political process that recently enacted state legislation pertaining to NCAA rules compliance.

3) .. with intimate knowledge of the intersection between NCAA true believers, college football bean counters and agenda-driven media companies.

4) .. with enough street smarts to prevail upon and facilitate other NCAA rules breakers to go on the record.

5) .. with a book due out soon - from a major publisher - that expounds on the idea and is likely to get traction in the media.


That’s Luchs.

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Photos: USC Football Team Wears UCLA Jerseys

During the USC football team’s practice on Thursday, the Trojan scout team wore jerseys designed to resemble arch rival UCLA.

USC scout team wearing UCLA jerseys during practice

(Photos Credit: USC)

The powder blues were used during a scrimmage in which the scout team impersonated the offense and defense of USC’s opponent this Saturday.

USC scout team wearing UCLA jerseys during practice

That opponent? Minnesota.

Though USC doesn’t play UCLA until November 26, USC coach Lane Kiffin used the blue & gold ensemble to motivate players to escape scout team duties - while lightening the mood at practice.

Rick Neuheisel UCLA Monopoly Photoshop

So what’s Skippy’s excuse?

Brooks can be reached on Twitter, Facebook and directly at sportsbybrooks@gmail.com

UCLA Fan Sites Killed Defensive Coordinator Hire

Exactly one week ago, the USC DAILY TROJAN student newspaper reported that former USC assistant football coach Rocky Seto had accepted an offer to become UCLA’s Defensive Coordinator.

Rick Neuheisel UCLA Monopoly Photoshop

Originally included in that report was a text message attributed to Seto that read: “[I] accepted the position tonight to coordinate at UCLA. Praise the Lord!

The same day, on Seto’s Facebook page, he received messages from friends who congratulated him on landing the job.

The next day, Feb. 2,  Chris Foster of the LOS ANGELES TIMES reported a source saying the Seto hire was a “done deal.

Rocky Seto is expected to be hired as UCLA defensive coordinator.

A UCLA official said Tuesday that no one had been hired, but people close to Seto who were not authorized to speak on the subject said it was a “done deal.”

Interestingly though, Foster Tweeted that when he tried to contact Seto about the UCLA job opportunity …

After a text message was fired off to Seto by LA Times, Seto’s text quote was mysteriously removed from the Daily Trojan story.

Two days later, on Feb. 4, Foster Tweeted that Seto had been offered the job.

Rocky Seto has been offered, but nothing is finalized. Randy Shannon is still in the background.

Then, on Feb. 5, Foster reported the offer from UCLA to Seto had been pulled:

Seto, an assistant coach with the Seattle Seahawks, was offered and accepted the job Tuesday night, but the offer was rescinded the following day, according to the person close to the negotiations. The person said that no reason was given other than UCLA officials decided to go “in another direction.” UCLA officials claimed Saturday that no “official” offer had been made.

This morning, Seto confirmed to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he’d been offered the job by UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, accepted it, then had the offer rescinded. Seto:

“He called, and he was really gracious about it and very flattering. It just wasn’t the right time. What was flattering about it was I really believe he wanted to do it, but the circumstances just wouldn’t allow for it.”

Now let me translate exactly what Seto meant by that quote - and why things happened the way they did. Read more…

AD Was First, Now Last To Know About Neuheisel

Before the season, UCLA football Coach Rick Neuheisel told the media over the summer that he thought the Bruins were going to surprise some “people” this season.

Rick Neuheisel UCLA Monopoly Photoshop

(Not exactly breaking news here)

At Pac-10 media day on July 29, Neuheisel said, “I believe we’re going to be better than people believe and I don’t mind saying it. … our expectations are higher and they should be. We’re in Year 3, we’ve done a lot of research, we’ve done a lot of development, the kids have all bought in. It’s time to play.

Neuheisel was right about one thing, plenty of “people” are surprised about the performance of his football team this year.

I don’t know many people (outside of Heritage Hall) who thought UCLA would be 4-7 going into its final game of the season against USC Saturday.

Or that none of the teams UCLA has beaten this season has a winning record.
Or that deep into season three, Neuheisel is 15-21 overall and 8-18 in the Pac-10.

Karl Dorrell, who was fired to make way for Neuheisel, was 10-2 in his third season coaching the Bruins. Following that year, Dorrell’s coaching record stood at 22-15 overall and 14-10 in-conference.

Guerrero jettisoned Dorrell after his fifth season, a 35-27 overall record, and 24-18 Pac-10 result notwithstanding.

After UCLA surrendered 55 consecutive points to Arizona State in a 55-24 loss last Friday, the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER’s Scott Reid asked UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero is “if Neuheisel would definitely be back in 2010.
Read more…

Slick 60: Rick Neuheisel “‘Preciates” Oregon Fan

After UCLA’s 60-13 loss at Oregon Thursday, Bruins football coach Rick Neuheisel made the fortuitous decision to hold his postgame press conference in view of where Oregon fans were seated at Autzen Stadium.

Rick Neuheisel Heckled By Oregon Fan After 60-13 Loss To Ducks

In an incredibly unpredictable yet delightful development, Neuheisel ended up bonding with one of the locals.

No, really.
Read more…

Coach Neuheisel, Don’t You Ever Change On Us!

So what did Rick Neuheisel do after his UCLA Bruins were throttled at home by Stanford 35-0 last Saturday night?

Rick Neuheisel talks to crowd after 35-0 loss

(”We can’t get any wor … [whoops]”)

He did what any self-respecting coach who doesn’t have Bill McCartney, Jim Lambright and Don James to recruit for him anymore would do, give a speech to the Rose Bowl crowd.
Read more…

Classless Neuheisel Down To His Final Season?

Rick Neuheisel embarrassed himself, his team and his university last night here in Los Angeles as he took a senseless timeout late in the game against USC that lead to an embarrassing 48-yard touchdown pass by the Trojans’ to cap a 28-7 win over UCLA.

Rick Neuheisel calls timeout, leads his team to embarrassment

(Slick Rick gave us something to remember him by last night)

With under a minute to go and UCLA trailing 21-7, USC quarterback Matt Barkley took a knee to run out the clock, but Neuheisel inexplicably called timeout. Barkley responded on the next play with the long touchdown strike.

Barkley after the game said, “They can’t disrespect us like that.

Rick Neuheisel

The move by the Neuheisel was another clue that UCLA blew it when hiring him, and I’m guessing last night’s game may shave a year off the coach’s tenure in Westwood.

In other words, Neuheisel could be facing a make or break season in 2010. Read more…

Media Blows Off Neuheisel to Watch Trojans Game

Another nice find by Jay Christensen at WIZ OF ODDS, as the DAILY BRUIN has this delightful moment involving UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel as he sat in front of the media following Cal’s 45-26 throttling of the Bruins last Saturday:

Rick Neuheisel USC Notre Dame GAme

At that moment UCLA football coach Rick Neuheisel walked into the room, sunburned and exasperated after his team’s 45-26 defeat to rival Cal.

Almost no one moved. Necks remained craned toward the USC game until a frustrated Neuheisel spoke sharply.

“Would everyone like to watch the end of that ball game?” Neuheisel asked. “I am more than willing to wait.”

There was a hint of bitterness in Neuheisel’s voice, a slight sign of the wounded pride of UCLA football.

Get used to it Coach. Read more…

Furlough, Schmerlough — I’m A College FB Coach

So the economy has been a barrel of laughs lately, am I right folks? If you’re unlucky enough to be familiar with the term “mandatory furlough days,” then chances are you work at a newspaper, or for the government. Heck, I guess these are turning up in just about every type of business, come to think of it. Yes, it sucks.

Rick Neuheisal

(Too important to be furloughed)

But if you’re a California State University football coach, the government is willing to work with you. Other state employees are currently required to take two unpaid furlough days a month. But football coaches, who presumably put in long hours in the fall and sleep on their office sofas (your team may vary), simply can’t get away! Read more…