Weekly Q&A

Fire away with questions for this week’s Q&A. Please don’t post new questions on the answers section, because I don’t always check the comments. Save them for next week.


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  • Anonymous

    What is the outlook for signing additional basketball recruits this spring. Any point guard candidates under consideration?

  • raybru

    How much longer do you think Dan Guerero will last as the Athletic Director at UCLA?

  • Marc


    What’s your take on Kirby Smart? His name is not coming up AT ALL.

    Is this because Dan Guererro is focusing on current head coaches?

    Maybe you can plant a seed for me and ask Dan G. or his office about this guy.


  • Matt

    Jon – what’s the call in your opinion on who gets the FT gig? Call me silly but I think Mike Johnson would bring in more of a pro style systems with some spread, and actually be a decent recruiter as the FT coach if given the opportunity.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Now that my far-fetched multiple choice question from a few weeks ago has come two-thirds true, let’s step it up a notch …
    A). Tebow leads Denver to a playoff win
    B). Prince leads UCLA to a bowl win
    C). ESPN hires “2 Fat Guys” to shoot weekly

  • Alvin Bruin


    Do you think Smith and Nelson will still be on the team Jan 1, 2012?

    Al Bruin

  • rob

    By most accounts, Coach Neuheisel showed remarkable grace under scrutiny, especially in the latter days of his tenure, apparently choosing not to use the media to make excuses for his circumstance. His he an exception to the rule? I assume all college coaches (head coach and assistants) are media savvy. What percentage of coaches try to use the media to spin a particular point of view? What percentage of those who try are good at it?

  • prlandra

    4 questions if I may:

    1. How big of a gaffe do you believe Neuheisel made with his “we’ve closed the gap” comment? You always hear coaches tell the players don’t give them any bulletin board material and here the coach provides it. It was mentioned after the game quite a bit by Sc as a motivating factor.

    2. Are you still planning on doing your piece about the pistol being a viable offense? I think Neu’s downfall began when he went all-in with the Pistol. They were 7-6 with a bowl win and he tries to reinvent the whole offensive scheme.

    3. Related to question 2, do you think we would be ahead, behind, or about the same place if UCLA had stuck with their original offense and only incorporated the pistol as a component, not the base package?

    4. Do you believe the old standard is true that a player’s coach needs to be followed by a discplinarian and if so, is that what you expect UCLA to hire?

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Westlake beats Thousand Oaks 62-0 in the CIF semi-final. How does a semi-final game get that lopsided?

  • Sunset Bruin


    Thanks for a great year of reporting on UCLA football. How do the PAC 12 bowl bids (other than BCS and the Rose Bowl) get allocated? Doesn’t UCLA’s 5-4 conference record give the school a more favorable bowl allocation than the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl? Or does the 6-7 overall record put it in the last place for PAC 12 bowl alignment?

  • Anonymous

    Any idea of what’s happening Rick Neuheisel’s kid, is he leaving the program too?

  • Rod Sabbe

    Any word on Sheller? Will he be able to play in the bowl game?

  • Anonymous

    Why isn’t Dan Guerrero interviewing former NFL coaches Jeff Fisher and Jack Del Rio? Either would be a huge improvement over of the parade of losers UCLA has hired since Terry Donahue.

  • Nathan

    Do you have any insight into the new coaching hire process? Does there seem to be a system or organized approach to vetting/offering candidates, or is it as frantic and chaotic as it seems on the outside?

  • Nathan

    Are there any FB coach names that are being thrown out there that you can confidently debunk based on what you hear from your sources (eg.: Dwayne Walker, June Jones, Tom Cable, etc.)?

  • Randall

    Do you think Reeves’ mental problems stems from a lack of confidence? He gets down on himself so quickly after something goes wrong (gets a shot blocked, etc.), and he doesn’t seem to have developed any sense of resiliency or perseverance to fight through these setbacks – probably because he’s never needed to develop these mental skills. He needs to believe that “it’s hard to beat a person who never gives up” –Babe Ruth

  • Revland

    Why is Sarkisian getting no run as a possible successor to Neuheisel?

  • Vin

    How much of an impact do Bruin blog communities (particularly Bruins Nation, but also BRO, etc.) have on decisions made by the Athletic Dept? Sometimes it seems like they have to be paying some attention (e.g. going after Petersen) but other times not so much (e.g. going after Sumlin). Lots of other examples on both sides. Thanks.

  • Luis

    Why is Steve Sarkisian not near the top of UCLA’s list of head coaching candidates? He grew up in Southern California and recruits the area very well. He is a great quarterbacks coach who would do wonders with Brett Hundley. The few problems he has had at Washington have been directly related to the defense. If he came to UCLA he could fix that by hiring Dewayne Walker. They both worked together at USC and Dewayne was actually the person who recruited Sarkisian when he went to BYU.
    Also, what are your thoughts on Dan Mullen?

  • Trojan Conquest

    What’s your take on Brett Hundley being the starting QB next year? Is he ready to be the guy, and is there confidence that he can be an elite QB in the Pac 12? I’m guessing he could run any style offense that comes in with a new coach.

  • Island Bruin

    Jon, hearing Jim Mora Jr will be our new coach and he will retain Mike Johnson as he was the QB coach for him in ATL. What do you think? He looks really similar to the Pete Carrol hire those other guys made.

  • scottyciotta

    Any chance UCLA could give a look at Jim Mora Jr. or Josh McDaniels? What about Bronco Mendenhall or Charlie Strong?

  • Anonymous

    Do you know if Vic Fangio is being seriously considered by UCLA?

  • Island Bruin

    Jon, secretly UCLA has to be overjoyed to get Illinois in San Francisco and not Boise St in Vegas. Do you agree? Also, getting to play in AT&T park could be a once in a lifetime experience.

  • bibs

    Why wasn’t CRN allowed to coach in the bowl game?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jon,

    Great job covering the football team all year — thanks very much for your efforts. Have you been impressed with Guerrero’s tenure as AD? It seems he has some major accomplishments (non revenue sports), but also some major gaffes (Pauley renovation, FB head coaches, etc.). Should Bruin fans have confidence in him (from what you’ve seen/heard, both over the past couple weeks and his body of work) to find and hire the right coach for the FB program? Thanks!

  • 10 more yes of bad football

    Is it likey that DG told CRN, I better not have any problems? And by stating such, CRN was coaching tight?

    If CRN was really the chosen one by heavy donors, then why wasn’t he given more financial support for coaching staff, and more resources to succeed? The is not only due to new tv deal.

  • bruincheerleader

    Dear Jon, why can’t UCLA find a football coach?…

    thank you,

    depressed Bruin since 1998

  • rejn

    Do you think Guerrero is in over his head considering the following 1) Wash State did their homework before firing their coach and when they did had the guy they wanted in place ready to go, 2) Guerrero foolishly went fishing for Petersen knowing that he turned down UCLA four years ago, and a year ago he turned down a better Standford program for really good money, 3) Guerrero is trying to make up for his failed attempts of four years ago by reaching out to a coach who just signed a four year contract extension (Golden), and who he rejected for Neuheisel (I’d be insulted if I was Golden), and 4) Guerrero struck out again with his top three choices and didn’t really have any plan B in place – he put all his eggs into a basket that had no credibility whatsoever….?????

    Or, do you think Guerrero is trying to get fired???

  • W.E.B. Dupree

    Dear Mr. Gold,

    I asked this question last time, but I believe that it grows more urgent and relevant by the day!

    Now, I’m not crazy, but I had an idea, and I figured you would be the man to talk to. What do you think are the chances that UCLA would agree to select its next football coach via an “open casting call”/reality show approach?

    Now hear me out: I am talking an American Idol-style competition open to know-it-all fans, high school coaches, assistants, unemployed Penn State staff members, WHOEVER, put through various challenges and evaluated by a panel of celebrity judges like Troy Aikman, Dan Patrick, and/or Richard Simmons.

    Too crazy? Maybe so, but check out the alternative playing out right now with UCLA’s A.D. conducting the search!

  • BruinBall

    Was Neuhesial fired before the PAC-12 Championship game in response to the unhappy fans/alumni after the SC lose or was it to get a jump on a coaching search? Seems like the former…

  • MoeBruins

    How come Stover has not been playing more minutes? Is this a coaches decision or is he still being hindered by his injury?

    I get the feeling that there are two groups of players on this years basketball team: 1) a core group of less talented players who buy into Howland and seem determined to work as a team and then 2) the group of players who were suppose to be the stars this years who seem dysfunctional and close to uncoachable. Is this a correct assessment? Related to this how would you handle Josh Smith and Reeves Nelson if you were the basketball coach?

  • john wingett

    Any chance Stan Hasiak transfers back in next year?

  • 74ucla

    Jim Tressel in a blue sweater vest? What are your thoughts? Big name, proven winner and just a little controversy. He definitely understood the Ohio State/ Michigan rivalry and I’d love to see what he could do to the UCLA/USC game!!

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    What is your take on Chris Peterson — his 11-1 Broncos still blindly looking for that shattered glass slipper — turning down a 4-yr, $20mil offer from UCLA yet stomaching a toilet bowl berth vs. 6-6 ASU?

  • Anonymous

    Was there any truth to the rumor that Tressel was on campus interviewing for the job? Your thoughts? And rumor also has it we’re going to offer OU coach. Any truth and ur thoughts on that?

  • Boston Bruin
  • Anonymous

    Can you provide specific reasons why Leach was not pursued seriously? Do you think he would have been a good choice for UCLA? Why or why not?

    Also, what is your opinion of Dan Guerrero’s performance? Do you think he should continue to be the UCLA AD? Why or why not? If you think he should be replaced, who would you suggest as a replacement?

  • Tim

    Does the athletic department seem to only use throwing money at problems as their solutions to things? It seems to me like with the head coaching search (or rather blunder) and all their focus on student giveaways, the Morgan Center seems to see problems and just throw money at it like many public schools do. But this doesn’t seem to work because UCLA doesn’t have as much money and because it reveals how desperate athletics is to have more successful programs. Is this just my perception as a student, or do you observe this too?

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe how unprepared Dan has looked in this search. Was he not a boy scout (“be prepared”)?

    How can you not have a short list of “interesting names” for your revenue sport should the unthinkable happen and you have to hire a new head football coach?

    Contrast this with the WSU AD; Moos. Moos fired Wulff and hired Leach. No vacillating, no apologies, no gun-shy denials to the press.

    My question is this:


  • Anonymous

    Is UCLA TRYING to recruit the worst players in High School? I think at last count, 11 of 19 commits are either unranked or ranked 90 or below.

  • Anonymous

    Any chance on Fresno’s coach. Love his aggressive “We’ll play anyone, anywhere” style. He could do wonders with the resources at a major university like UCLA. And his program stays clean

  • 1987Bruin

    Is the problem with Reeves fixable? It seems that because he is being benched that whenever he comes into play, he does his best to screw things up. His attitude seems to be infectious too, as you can see other players being affected by his negative attitude. Do you see this Reeves situation similar to Drew Gordon’s where he just leaves the program? Or kicked out of the program?

  • Anonymous

    I enjoy your blog and the timely reporting of updated information and even the speculation of what may or may not be happening. I figure you could use a break from all the coaching questions, so I have a journalism question for you (this question is not meant to question your journalistic integrity, but I am curious about the apparent conflict between reporting and blogging):
    There appears to be a conflict between being a reporter and some aspects of being a blogger. I assume you report what you know and can confirm. In the Blog Q&A you to get many questions that are asking you to speculate on an individual’s motivation or knowledge of facts where you have no first-hand or confirming information? Are you concerned that the nature of blogging can have an impact on your reporting credibility? Newspaper blogs run by reporters seem to raise some questions about the ever blurring line between journalism and opinion. I understand that this Blog provides revenue to your employers, but wouldn’t it make more sense for the Daily News (and other news outlets) to use someone without a connection to the journalism side of the house? Are you young enough that this type of issue was addressed in a journalism ethics class?


    Will Hundley be our starting QB next year?

  • Nickos Rovello

    Obviously Were not going to hit a home run on hiring a football coach. At this point who would move the needle as a hire? That being said obviously nobody can predict the future(I.E Pete Carroll everyone thought that hire was a joke when he was hired.) In your opinion is there still somebody out there that can grow into a home run or a sleeper? I was thinking Jim Mora Jr. Your thoughts?


  • Coaching Search

    I asked in your Q&A a month ago whether UCLA had begun its search through anonmyous unnamed sources. Obviously they did not. I wanted to give DG some time to see how the search developed but he is 0 for 3 and is now beginning to become embarassing.

    It would seem that he would have a coach lined up as a back up to take the job that was not already employed i.e. Rich Rod, Leeach, Mora Jr., Bellotti, Tressel as a backup. Instead he goes for the “hot” names which is fine however, since they are all employed all he is doing is making these guys richer and making UCLA look foolish. I would have thought that since this is his 3rd time he would have been prepared. Now he has no backup plan and the search continues. Meanwhile, recruiting goes on and we fall further behind and the Bruin crowd becomes more frustrated.

  • Gumby123

    Any interest by UCLA Football for Manny Diaz? What are your thoughts about him?

  • bibs

    I really enjoy reading the questions posted on your blog.I have a feeling that DG is being pushed by some of the big donors who want to say that they picked the new coach and that this is a major hindrance in his ability to make a decision.I know that some of them have flown out to interview some of the potential coaches.Your thoughts?

  • Anonymous

    Is there any realistic (non-paranoia-filled hogwash) chance people over at BruinsNation are really Trojans masquerading as Bruins for the purpose of inciting and assisting regime change here every so often to keep the UCLA program in constant disarray, rather than allow one more year for any coach to bring stability to the program? Seriously, could one additional year have started the needed FB program improvement or was it only going to guarantee mediocrity?

  • Jon, what are the chances of Guerrero kissing Rick’s behind and bringing him back for 1 more year to finish up his contract? is that unrealistic?

  • MarkLA

    Fact or fiction? Chris Petersen snubs UCLA. Dan Guerrero uses his NCAA connections to banish Boise State to the the Las Vegas Bowl.

  • 40ouncezipper

    Do you think coach Johnson will make any major changes to the offense with 3.5 weeks till the bowl game? Do you think he will open up the offense more to showcase to the AD what he can do if he was running the show?

  • Bruin Donor


    Why isnt anyone mentioning Jim Tressel or Dan Mullen as a coaching possibility?

  • Bruinboomboom

    I think Mike Bellotti is a good pick. He started Oregon on the course they are on now. Jon why so little interest in Bellotti?

  • Ron

    I totally said you rocked at the Cal game above the UCLA entrance gate. Any-who, which coach/coordinator impresses you the most?

  • Rich

    So many coaching-related questions/comments/suggestions in here. Maybe you can run an overarching entry that covers everything coaching-related: what you’ve heard from your sources, how you think the search is going, who you think would be a good fit, and whether or not Guerrero is screwing this up as badly as it is increasingly coming to seem (was that bad English). I, for one, would love something that’s a little more reasoned than all the gloom and doom stuff coming out of Bruins Nation. That shit’s starting to scare me a little, if I’m being honest…thanks, and keep up the good work Jon!

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    BOISE (AP)–Waving the bad karma flag, Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen is begging UCLA to return to the negotiating table once again for the open Bruins coaching job.
    Now administration, fans and players at both schools are trying to figure out just who this Petersen cat is.
    “First, everyone thought I was Scientology,” said the 47-year-old Peterson, sporting a clean-shaved head at Monday’s press conference. “Then, the whole Mormon rumors circled, and that I’ve got four wives.
    “Now, it’s this ‘leader of a white supremacist movement’ card, just because I live up here in bum-fucked Egypt — or Idaho, whatever you want to call it.
    “Well, to that latest claim, I’m saying no comment.”
    Petersen was spitting mad Monday after he learned that his 11-1 Broncos were slated to face 6-6 — and now-coachless — ASU in the Las Vegas Maaco Bowl.
    “Ever since I said no to UCLA, everything has gone to hell,” Petersen said. “I just wish UCLA would have sent Troy Aikman or someone like that to come try to first impress me.
    “Instead, they send Dan Guerrero. I mean, he’s a Mexican … you know where he took me for lunch? Taco Bell. I was just taken back a bit by that.”

  • MoeBruins

    What is it about UCLA that for the last 30 years (Howland being an exception)whenever they hire a basketball or football coach they feel obligated to get turned down by at least 3-4 top (unrealistic) candidates before finally deciding on a coach who is begging for the job? Follow-up who are the begging for the job candidates this time? [This pattern was true for hiring of Dorral, Harrick, and Neuheisal]

  • PUSC 3

    It’s really obvious Peterson and Golden don’t want the job, they turned him down in 2007. Why does DG waste his time going after them? DG is a bigger fool than we realized.

  • PUSC 3

    What’s your take on the talent that RN left? Were they poorly coached?

  • Mike in SJ

    I hope you don’t mind a question that’s not about the coaching search. Can you find out if the UCLA administration intends to get rid of the home vs. home jersey tradition for the USC game, or was the use of away jerseys this year just a one-time promotional thing?

  • Marc

    On to basketball; do you believe that Reeves Nelson has the occasional moment of clarity and realizes that he is flushing his future down the drain? He appears to me to be a mental head case; he appears to be sociopath, lacking remorse and compassion. Or do you think his ego is inflated by his madness to a degree?

    Will removing him permanently from the team likely have an effect on Joshua Smith? Josh Smith doesn’t have that sort of inner madness going on, but he sure seems to be affected by Nelson’s behavior and Ben Howland’s inaction.

    I felt the team was better without the two of them on the court on Saturday. Nelson doesn’t have his head in the game at all, it appears. Smith needs to work real hard to get some weight off and gain additional stamina in the coming weeks.

    Long post, but how do you see things? Similar, or very different? Please clarify. Thank you.

  • NorthCampusBruin

    In between all the ‘this guy or that guy?’ and ‘what have you heard about this candidate?’ nonsense, I ask you: You’re the UCLA AD, what do you do and who do you hire (please answer with the most up to date info you have regarding the coaching search)?

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Considering schedule, if CRN was due back next year w/all that returns:
    A). 8-4
    B). 9-3
    C). 10-2
    D). Other

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    ESPN all over Jim Mora, Jr. last night for UCLA … I know you were handcuffed in commenting on CRN due to your beat, employer, etc. but do we really want a guy that was FIRED AND REPLACED by Pete Carroll?

  • 74ucla

    Dan G’s turn to see the underside of the bus if this job search doesn’t finish STRONG?

  • bigdbruin

    Some other blogs seem to think Herm Edwards is not a viable option to replace CRN. Edwards would be an excellent recruiter, having played and coached in the NFL he has what Blue Chip recruits want: how to prepare them for the NFL. What is your opionion on Edwards?

    Also, with Hundley having a good chance to start next year wouldn’t Mike Johnson be good for him? Most must not know that he was Michael Vicks coach in ATL?

  • BriunFan818

    Why don’t we offer Jim Tressel? Bruinsball.com reported that DG and JT were spotted at Westwood on Monday Night? Was there any truth to that? Do you know anything about that meeting Jon?

  • NorthCampusBruin

    What the hell is Reeves Nelson specificaly doing that’s pissing off Ben Howland so badly?

  • Big Dumz

    Any talk of Jim Tressel being a candidate? It seems like the proven home run hire that could re-energize the UCLA alumni and fan base plus we already have the UCLA sweater vests left over from Neuhiesel.

  • VBruin

    The team of players who tranferred from UCLA (Carlino, Stanback, Moser, Gordon and Morgan) would easily beat Howland’s team by now… don’t you think the problem is Howland?

  • Phil

    What was Reeves Nelson behavior on the bench during the game on Saturday that made CBH upset with him?

  • Thomas Soteros-McNamara

    Why is Randy Shannon not being mentioned for the coaching vacancy?

  • Anonymous

    With the complaints of the facilities, academic standards, etc, being the difficulties for recruiting players and coaches, what has the administration done to address these issues and the possible timeline?

  • Anonymous

    Is it true OL Xavier Su’a-Filo is transferring to BYU?
    Su’a-Filo said, “As long as Coach [Rick] Neuheisel is at UCLA, then I’m a Bruin.”


    Can’t Johnson just be the head coach?