Tuesday, January 01, 2008

On Rick Neuheisel

At the start of the coaching search, he probably wasn't my first choice. But whether it's rationalization, or the acquisition of new information, I've gotten to like the idea, and I'm glad that UCLA made that hire. Nothing he's said since has dissuaded me from that view.

I'm not worried about the past trangressions. Despite their volume, they were very minor, and I think he's probably learned his lesson.

I'm not worried about the gambling thing. And any of you who want to bitch about that, well, if you've never participated in an NCAA basketball pool, have at it.

I'm not worried about him lying about interviewing for other jobs. He's not leaving UCLA unless he's asked to leave. This has always been the job that he wanted.

I'm not worried about Walker leaving. Dissolution of the recruiting class would be unfortunate, but I don't think recruiting will be a problem long term. And at this point, I'm not sure Walker would be comfortable working under Neuheisel. And let's be honest, the DC will have to work under Neuheisel. He's not an equal, he's an assistant. And if this class is loyal to Walker, and Walker isn't loyal to the head coach, that could mean big problems down the road. But if Walker is willing to maintain that position, and agree to work under RN, then all the better.

But ulimately, he's not Karl Dorrell. He's not wedded to the West Coast Offense, which does not work in college football, nor is it philosophically the right offense to play in college. He's been successful during his two stops as a head coach. He's got pro experience as a coordinator. He knows what he has to do to keep his nose clean. I like the hire, and I think UCLA is a better program because of it.

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