Guerrero says Neuheisel’s job is safe

I caught up with UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero briefly in the locker room. Had a quick conversation:

Will there be a press conference in the next week…
“No. No, not at all. I don’t know why anyone would think that we would pull the trigger like that. My philosophy on early terminations may be different then some. That’s not to say I disrespect anyone else that makes a decision they have to make. Every situation is a little bit different. In our case, we have a coach who is working hard, assistant coaches who are working hard, kids are doing their best. Obviously we didn’t have the outcome we wanted to day. We got thumped pretty good. We knew we were coming into a stadium that was intense, knew their team was gong to be motivated. We needed to come in and match that and we didn’t do it today. We get a shot next week. I want to see us come out this week and practice hard and have a great game against Cal. I have a lot of respect for the coaching profession, and obviously Rick is a great Bruin. I brought him in here to turn this program around, and obviously we’re still very much a work in progress. But we get another shot next week, and I want to see how we do.”

After seven games, has this team played one game you consider to be at UCLA’s level?
“If we’re talking about the standard I want set, I want us to be a national contender, I want us to be Top-25 every year and to play for something. From that perspective, we’re clearly not there. Proir to this game, we lost three games to teams that are nationally ranked, and we’re not at that level right now. We’ve played well in spurts this year, had some very bright moments. But we’ve also played inconsistently and tonight was a good example of that. We couldn’t stop anyone in that first half. Good programs, great programs get to the point where they know what they’re going to be game in game out. They can have expectation of how they’re going to perform. We’re just not they’re yet.”

Do you need to talk to Rick about his future?
“Rick and I talk a lot. We talk obviously every week. Right now were going to get in a plane and go home and we’ll talk about the game. We’ve already talked a little bit tonight to this point. Different games give you a different conversation. Obviously, this one was one where we never got it rolling. We’ll talk about that. We could not stop them. Could not contain them. We need to figure out why that happened and how we can stop it from happening again.”

Sorry I didn’t have time for more on deadline.

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  • Anonymous

    UCLA is a poorly coached team. The players are not prepared or motivated. Things have gotten worse over four years. Nothing in this coach’s past shows that he has the ability to make a program better. Sadly, UCLA will have to start from scratch, and the sooner we wait to make the change we all know is coming, the worse things will get.

  • SacWolf

    Fire DG first. He has no effin clue. Absolutely impotent and will likely screw up Pauley opening on time too. I know I will no longer be donating Anything until we have a FB program that isn’t a total embarrassment. CRN is what he is, a great talker, poor leader, and absolute joke of an x and o guy.

  • Reformed Droog

    You really don’t care at all, do you, Dan?

    I have no problem with you sticking by Rick if you are willing to put your neck out there, but you really don’t seem to get it at all…


  • diehardbruin

    Great scoop Jon! As an alum, I would dearly love to see CRN succeed. He was and is a great Bruin.

    But as an alum, I’m really getting tired of being embarrassed by my school on a regular basis on national TV, year in year out. Being a fan is like getting a double root canal every week.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Don’t apologize, Jon. Great reporting here, as it shows the soft under-belly of the real problem with UCLA football, anyways.
    Yes, CRN is utterly responsible, but that blame should be shared with those above him, as well.
    DG not even mentioning the embarrasment that was that all-out brawl underscores alot. Compare that with what the AZ A.D. did on Natl TV at halftime.
    I have never seen us called out like this before.
    DG seems to have no idea how far the cheese has slid off the cracker in terms of football.
    Nice job exposing him for who he really is: He doesn’t know football, is lying when he says he wants to contend for a natl title and simply will not admit that he has made horrible hire after horrible hire in terms of football.

  • captainqtp

    Block better take care of this or fire Guerrero. Tonight was way too much of an embarrassment in Neu’s 4th year.

  • Anonymous

    I have been a huge contributor to the UCLA sports programs, I will not send a penny if Rick continues to coach this team. I was fully supportive of Rick and truly hoped he would turn things around, but it is blatantly obvious that he has lost the respect of his players and fans. DG should do whats best for these young kids, who have committed to a school, that up to this point has failed them. Rick please look at the big picture and do whats best for UCLA football and resign…….

  • Bob

    Guerrero, if you aren’t going to make football a priority, then go to the WAC or drop football altogether!

  • Anonymous

    Wow those comments are worse than the game performance. DG should be fired, then Rick right after.

  • new coach

    Dan’s comments are to be expected. He would never fire him mid-season. I do think his comments indicate that at season end he will fire RN unless there’s a miracle.

    I think he’s already getting a list together of potential coaches and if the program continues on its path he will pull the trigger and bring in someone very quickly.

    If I were a recruit that wanted to play in the NFL I couldn’t see coming to UCLA. With the Pac 12 South lead on the line, RN’s job on the line, National TV, playing a 1-5 Arizona team – this was the worst loss I can remember.

  • AshamedBruin

    There is not one single football related reason for a recruit to choose UCLA. Neuweisel is an embarrassment to UCLA and the game of football Tressey is the worst defensive coordinator i have ever seen. I am so close to not even caring any more. Guerrero should be fired tomorrow, scratch that, tonight! Are we on a quest to find rock bottom or what? where are the big time donors? DO NOT GIVE UCLA A PENNY UNTIL GUERRERO AND WEISEL ARE GONE IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR UNIVERSITY!
    Seriously, i threw out every UCLA shirt i have tonight I HATE YOU GUERRERO AND NEUWEISEL I EFFING HATE YOU

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Only OUR football on Natl TV can make you feel as sick as that sixth slice of cold pizza the night after …
    I mean, it seems like we have been on a downhill slide since the U of Miami rallied to rip our hearts out a decade ago.
    The entire football culture needs to be re-directed, and quick.
    I’m even more sick thinking about what a big recruit must have thought watching this debacle. How many times would he hear a commentator say: “You know, I don’t think this pistol shit really works at UCLA … maybe Nevada, but not in the Pac-12.”
    CRN, resign now because your buddy DG doesn’t have the set to do the dirty deed.
    Do it for your alma mater, as THIS IS THE TIME to finally get the one-up on USC while the sanctions take effect over the next few years.
    This current brand will never get it done.

  • SC for LIFE

    I think RN should get a 10 year extension. So he’s had a couple of down years… Give the man a chance!

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    If tonight’s game left a bad taste in your mouth, just recall how you felt after the bitter loss to Miami in ’98 and you might feel a little better. Not much, but a little.


  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Lifelong: Yeah, that one was horrid.
    An opposite end of the spectrum for sure, with that one knocking us out of the Natl title race and this one plunging us to the bottom of I don’t know what.

  • Coach Thom

    Did anyone from our admin take the time to watch this TOTAL debasement of UCLA tradition and football history?! There is no doubt in my mind that the admin wants to make UCLA a half-assed impersonation of an Ivy League school where football is treated as vulgar rubbish. The best thing for all of us FANS to do is to refuse to attend any more games, refuse to buy any UCLA paraphernalia, and refuse to donate one penny to the school. Unfortunately, that may be exactly what the admin wants. And, Dan must be living in a negatively energised twin universe. How can he continue to support Coach Rick and this tragicomedy called our Football Program?! It’s all just too insane to contemplate. Alpha males making HUGE bucks are still ruling so many aspects of our lives and totally F**KING them. I can’t wait for baseball season to start.

  • Anonymous

    Coach Thom.

    We just saw ucla’s tradition on the field last night. An occassional winning season and 3rd tier bowl game is not really a proud football tradition like USC, notre dame, tOSU, Michigan, Texas and Alabama, etc. Ucla is a third tier football program. The WAC is a more appropriate conference if you want consistently winning seasons.

  • Mike

    I’m sorry, guys. I’m a Trojan for life and sick of seeing bruin fans poison the Scott Wolfe’s SC blog. Just wanted to say hello and please give Slick Rick a new contract.

  • bruin91

    Neu,is horrible! That said, we know we don’t fire a coach in the middle of the season and especially with 1 year left on his contract. In addition, what do you want Guerrero to say? he’s horrible he’s done? Look at it objectively,Guerrero is doing well with the other coaches in the program. I know it’s no consolation but to want him fired is laughable. Wasn’t everybody saying the same about DG two seasons ago b/c he didn’t fire Howlund?

    In closing with my comments I would just like to say…our football program is in big trouble worst than the Dumbrel years. Oh, and Rick you are absolutely not the guy for the job.

  • UCLA Dynasty

    If Rick’s job is safe, then Guerrero’s shouldn’t be.

  • Keptycho

    It is time for all Bruin football fans to occupy Guererro’s office building until he and Neu are escorted off campus. Enough is enough. I have suffered through mediocre football long enough. I am over seventy years old, but if I see the student body and alums take action, I will be there with my ninja boots on.

  • While I knew this game was a turning point, I had no idea it would turn so bad. All we can hope for now is that RN does not attract any more NCAA sanctions on his way out the door. The RN experiment is over!

  • chunk_e_bruin

    I dont get it. how is he safe? We got torched on national TV a couple years ago when we layed a goose egg against byu and max hall, then we get thumped by oregon and now by 1-5 zona? RN has single handedly reduced the fan base and attendance at the rosebowl. i’m pretty sure not even homeless people would go to the rosebowl to huddle together and stay warm at this point! I’m not to sure if hundley went in but i thought that would have been great garbage time for him. get him exposed and the feel for a nationaly televised game. wow, a bye week to prepare for zona and this is the best we can do? still playing 8-12 yards off the wr’s running stunts that dont work and no tackling. UGLY, just plain UGLY.

  • Marc

    Dan Guerrero needs to be fired. It is unbelievable that he is this out of touch. UCLA was completely embarrassed on national t.v. yet again under Rick’s watch. Outclassed in every aspect of the game on national t.v. It is no secret how bad the Bruins are, no freaking secret. Yet, the loser at the top, Mr. Dan Guerreo, is completely missing it.

    Did henot just witness what a team can do after the fire their head coach? Was he even watching the game? Does he understand football? I seriously question these things. Two buddies and I were two feet away from Dan Guerrero at the Bruin Bash up at Stanford. One thing I remiss is that I bit my tounge when I felt like telling him how sorry things are under his watch, it’s that whole respect thing that my dad drilled into me. The second thing, and perhaps more important, was what I saw out of Dan Guerrero during those moments. Politician comes to mind, glad handing, always positive about the platform, clueless and out of touch with reality.

    UCLA isn’t recovering from this loss this year, and recruiting is going to take a huge hit, when it should be on the upswing. UCLA will likely go 1-4 the remaining games, with the Colorado game being a squeaker of a victory. This team’s morale is real bad, the coaches have no answers (read Tressey’s post game comments), and the fans are apathetic.

    I am sick and tired of this show, will somebody please change the channel already?

  • Anonymous

    I was more embarrassed by the fight. As a former football through college I know that emotions can get the best of you. But I was taught to win with class and lose with class and the fight demonstrated classlessness. Say what you want about Dorrell. But I don’t remember his teams getting into fights because they got their asses handed to them.

    I see a team that has tons of potential and they are being coached down. Simply it is ridiculous that the defensive coaches cannot adjust after 7 fricken games the holes their defense leaves open underneath.

    Either Neu has to step down and announce it before the season is over. Or let it be known that he is gone after the season.

    That way top tier coaches do not get picked up before we can get them.

  • Ugly Boy

    I was merely going to suggest tar and feathers for DG and RN, but clearly I’m in the Mild Minority.

    Occupy Morgan Center!

  • Locoweed

    I thought Coach Neuheisal coached a brilliant game. He cannot go out there and tackle anyone. Your players are lazy and unmotivated. End of story.

  • JB

    There is no more excuse. When Dorrell was here he had almost no support from donors or alums. Everyone was calling for CRN.
    Everyone got their wish and the dream team was formed – CRN, Chow and Walker. CRN has had the fanbase, donor, alum support, he has had the best Coordinators and has had some of the best recruiting and hasn’t done anything with it. In fact he has singlehandedly marred Chow and Walker, ruined the fanbase and has destroyed any promising talent. So why should he stay?
    We need Dan and Rick to work together on this: Dan fire him! or else Rick quit!

  • timmah

    now just take dan’s comments and repeat them 3 or 4 times a year for the past ten years, and you have a reasonable explanation?

  • Sleepy LaBeef

    A couple of points on this:
    First, I was amazed that Jon was able to chase down Guerrero so soon and get such expansive quotes out of him. Kudos to Gold for the interview. All you idiot anon posters who like to climb up Gold’s ass really have no clue.

    Second: what do you expect Guerrero to say? YEAH, GODDAMNIT, THIS SUCKS! NEUHEISEL’S OUTTA HERE! I’M FIRIN’ HIS ASS RIGHT NOW, AND HE CAN TAKE A FRICKIN’ BUS HOME! The essence of what DG said was that he’s not going to can him mid-season, which is at least subject to reasonable debate.

    The game was horrible. The team was totally unprepared. Neuheisel’s a lightweight, in way over his head, and he needs to be gone, but I don’t blame Guerrero for not acting on emotion and firing him on the spot.

    However, if Neuheisel is still around after the season is over, DG should be looking for new employment.

  • NJ Trojan

    I’m sorry guys, but statistically (in terms of net scoring, winning percentage & opponents’ winning percentage) UCLA looks like the worst team in the conference. But AZ looks like the second worst team in the conference & they just fired their HC. This was a very bad loss.

    I’m a USC guy but I root for UCLA too, and the Pac-12 really needs both programs to do well to generate national respect. I thought Neuheisal was the right guy for UCLA but apparently, he’s not. Kiffin needs to turn it around too.

    Good luck against Cal.

  • Rich

    I woke up at 2:30 am this morning. Couldn’t get back to sleep for about two hours. And, surprisingly, my thoughts were not about the state of the world…the killing of a Libyan dictator…the bad economy…my recent awesome vacation to Australia…my family. Nope, it was about the humiliation I felt as a UCLA alumnus; couldn’t fight it. How a great university’s historically-good football team had been allowed to deteriorate over the years, and was utterly embarrassed on a national ESPN football telecast by a 1-5 team that they should’ve handily beat. For this loss and the current state of the team, I blame the administration, the Athletic Director (AD), the coaching staff, and, yes, even the alumni, who can be an apathetic lot and not support the team unless it’s a big winner.

    But firing Rick Neuheisel, while now necessary after 4 miserable seasons (and a miserable decade and a half), won’t take care of the problem, unfortunately. Neuheisel is merely a symptom of the widespread fundamental systemic problem that starts with an administration and AD who puts an emphasis on basketball (no fault there, really, considering our history) when it’s football that can make the most bucks and consistently put the athletic department in the black, especially with new Pac-12 money, and lift all aspects of this great university. Sad to say that it’s athletics that can help out an academic institution, but it’s true in modern day America.

    At least Neuheisel bleeds Bruin blue and gold; gotta give him that. We alumni desperately wanted him to succeed (and Dorrell too.) The problem is he sells the sizzle more than the steak. He obviously can’t coach-up the athletes — and he hires bad coaches who are worse at coaching than he is. AD Guerrero, you should not get another shot at hiring another head coach — because you’ve had that chance. In fact, you should be fired too. There’s seemingly no money in the coffers to hire a top caliber coach that UCLA needs to raise this program up to greatness. So the administration and AD will do what they lways do — hire cheap (from Donahue onward too). Do we have a shot at Chris Peterson or Mike Leach? No way under this administration and in this dire UC economic climate. But now we have Pac-12 money, right? Use this money to hire top flight talent. A rising UCLA tide raises all UCLA boats!

    The indignity of having to sit through 4th quarter banter among ESPN commentators killing junk time — where the likes of Jesse Palmer and crooked- SMU windbag Craig James did nothing but dog on UCLA’s inability to field top 10 teams was absolutely humiliating. The mentioned the subpar facilities. They mentioned the alleged non-top athletes. And still they said UCLA should still be able to field a great team year after year — in a pro-style offence, no less. So what’s the problem? (He asked rhetorically.) Was anybody in the UCLA administration listening?

    Freaking embarrassing. UCLA’s absolutely lowest point in my lifetime.

  • Perhaps the best comment I’ve read in three years, Rich. Nice post.

  • I mean, Droog, I still love you. Just the Rich post was good and all. Don’t worry. You’re still aces.

  • Reformed Droog

    Thanks, Jon. That’s about the only thing I have to smile about in the last day. But like any good bromance, I need to learn to let you fly and see if you return…

    And I agree that Rich hit it right on the head. Very eloquently written and spot on for what I’m feeling and thinking.

  • Pyperkub

    I think there are just two reasons Neu is still around:

    1. Who would you replace him with? Johnson and Tresey are new to the program and haven’t shown much of anything. I almost think that Neu offered his resignation and DG said ‘No – there’s no one else on the staff who could do the job for the rest of the season.’

    2. Neu is still a Bruin, and a Rose-Bowl winning QB and we’d rather let him finish the season.

  • I’ve been a defender of RN through and through, but it’s time for RN to step up to the plate and do what is right, and respectfully resign for the good of the program, the players and the fans….it’s time for DG to grow some huevos and do what is right for once, and stop being a cheap-a$$ and pay big money for a big-time coach with the 20-million UCLA is about to receive from the the TV contracts.

  • Weasel of Westwood

    AD Guerrero says my job is safe. Next year contract extension with that $20M in TV money. Whoo- hoo

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Pyper: I may be half off the wagon at this wedding rehearsal right now, but good take. I had same thinking on next post (“UCLA pummeled”) … so, since we think alike, let’s toast another round!

    We are sinking to the fucking bottom. The wheel can’t be given to either the OC or DC cause they are retards. I liked yer thought of CRN offering to resign, then DG has to stop him …

    “You can’t, Ricky … yer all we’ve got! Don’t do it until just before the USC game. It’s our only hope to get all fired up and shit. I promise to make it worth yer while!”

    It’s like remembering the Alamo right now.

  • Reformed Droog


    Nah, those guys fought to the end at the Alamo…

  • Are_U_Serious?

    I think blaming Guerrero is totally moronic and short-sighted. With that being said, he has some balls defending “Coach” Rick. Rick has done absolutely nothing to keep his job and Guerrero is setting back the football program another 4 years by keeping him as coach.

  • Marc


    I don’t think anyone is blaming Dan Guerrero. He’s being chided because of his politician-like comments re Rick’s tenure and future. I’ve seen some comments regarding the fact that he shouldn’t come out and fire Rick and act emotional. I agree with you, but where is the comments like “this is not UCLA football” or “that was an embarrassment”. Every fan, ulumnus and current student is saying that, and Dan Guerrero’s inability to articulate anything denoting disappointment makes him appear completely out of touch with reality.

    I think that Rick is starting to loose the team. Some very talented players, like Joe Fauria and Cassius Marsh are already making comments that sound like discontent. He may not have lost the team yet, but get outclassed next week and it will be further aling that route. Every team has factions, to believe otherwise is niave, and this team is as getting more and more fractured. Believe me on that one.

  • Anonymous

    Hey “AshamedBruin”… How old are you? “I EFFING HATE YOU?!” That sounds like something one of my kids would hear at the playground. Grow up and get a life buddy! I think we all agree that the job is not getting done and something needs to change. But c’mon man… get a grip!