If you’re interested, my take on this brutal day for UCLA sports…
What must feel like the day that would never end is finally coming to a close, and looking back at the wreckage, I only see few big scratches.
The UCLA football team isn’t broken or anything.
To get this out of the way: No, I don’t think the two academic situations are indicative of Rick Neuheisel losing control of this team. This is youth, plain and simple. With the help that the UCLA athletic department provides, I have to believe this is a matter of mixed priorities over anything else.
We’re talking about an 18 year old and a 20 year old, two kids clearly with a lot of talent, but without a lot of maturity. It takes much discipline to be a college student. Adding in football just compounds the issue. Some can’t handle it at times. In speaking to both Maiava and Presley multiple times, I don’t believe this will be more than an awful wake-up call. These are two bright young men. They’ll get back on their feet.
The Hasiak situation, now, is a mixed bag. He interacted with the media well, was thoughtful in interviews and, frankly, appeared to handle his business well. However, there was a nasty underbelly at times – fights during practice, rumors of dirty play – and it seems to have boiled over for Neuheisel and the staff.
I know it’s easy to feel like the sky is falling, but these issues happen all the time at major college programs. Young people simply do stupid things. They often don’t think of consequences days away, much less months or years.
Tomorrow’s another day.