Where does Jim Mora rank among L.A. sports powers?

Jim Mora has led UCLA to 29 wins over the past three seasons. He's pictured here as the Bruins run out of the Rose Bowl tunnel against Stanford last November. (Will Lester/Staff)

Jim Mora has led UCLA to 29 wins over the past three seasons. He’s pictured here as the Bruins run out of the Rose Bowl tunnel against Stanford last November. (Will Lester/Staff)

We at the Los Angeles News Group released our first-ever ranking of the top 50 most powerful sports figures in the city today, and there was definitely a UCLA presence.

At the very top is Bruin alum and booster Casey Wasserman, whose surname will grace the school’s new football facility. Athletic director Dan Guerrero comes in at No. 28, and football coach Jim Mora at No. 33.

The ranking also branched out beyond, well, humans. The Rose Bowl checks in at No. 20.

Here’s the top 10:

1. Casey Wasserman, CEO Wasserman Media Group
2. Philip Anschutz, AEG Chairman
3. Magic Johnson, Dodgers and Sparks owner, Lakers Hall of Famer
4. Kobe Bryant, Lakers guard
5. Mark Walter, Dodgers Chairman
6. Vin Scully, Dodgers broadcaster
7. Jeanie Buss, Lakers owner
8. Stan Kroenke, St. Louis Rams owner
9. Steve Ballmer, Clippers owner
10. Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, WME co-CEOs

Click through to see the rest of the list. Feel free to express your approval/outrage in the comments below.

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UCLA hires Bill Roth as new play-by-play announcer

UCLA has hired Bill Roth as its new play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball, officially replacing the recently retired Chris Roberts.

Roth will come to Los Angeles to become the Bruins’ lead radio broadcaster after serving in the same role at Virginia Tech for the last 27 years, a span that saw him earn spots in both the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the Syracuse University’s WAER Hall of Fame. The 11-time Virginia Sportscaster of the Year will end his tenure in Blacksburg with Saturday’s spring game.

“I have tremendous respect for the UCLA tradition, having grown up sitting in front of the television in awe of national broadcasts featuring UCLA teams playing at historic venues like Pauley Pavilion and the Rose Bowl,” Roth said in a statement. “From hearing ‘Sons of Westwood’ blaring through the speakers to witnessing championship teams led by larger-than-life coaches, I am well aware that this is one of America’s most iconic institutions. Continue reading

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UCLA extends basketball coach Steve Alford through 2020-21

After guiding UCLA to its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008, Steve Alford has signed a one-year extension to his already very lucrative contract.

The Bruins announced today that Alford signed a new agreement keeping as the head coach of the men’s basketball team through the 2020-21 season, adding an extra bit of security to his original seven-year, $18.2 million contract. That contract included an unusually large $10.4 million buyout if he quit the job before April 30, 2016; if UCLA fired him before that date, it would in turn pay him that amount.

The original contract also stipulated that he and athletic director Dan Guerrero would meet each April to discuss the “option to extend the employment agreement, in writing, an additional year.” Continue reading

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After flood, Pauley Pavilion’s new wood floor to be ready by end of October

The wood floors inside Pauley Pavilion being dried out with special ventilation equipment. The newly renovated athletic center was flooded when water rushed in from a pipeline that burst open on Sunset Blvd. (John McCoy/Daily News)

The wood floors inside Pauley Pavilion being dried out with special ventilation equipment. The newly renovated athletic center was flooded when water rushed in from a pipeline that burst open on Sunset Blvd. (John McCoy/Daily News)

Earlier this week, athletic director Dan Guerrero said he was confident that the flooding of Pauley Pavilion would not impact UCLA’s basketball teams.

On Friday, he offered more specifics. In a statement, Guerrero said that the entire hardwood floor at Pauley Pavilion will be replaced with a “new state-of-the-art court” — one that should be ready by the end of October. Men’s basketball plays its a home exhibition game against Azusa Pacific on Oct. 31, while women’s basketball hosts a Nov. 2 exhibition against Westmont.

Collins Court in the John Wooden Center will also receive a new floor, but will not be ready until early November. UCLA women’s volleyball was slated to begin its home schedule there on Sept. 26 against Arizona; Guerrero said the athletic department is “currently evaluating all of our options” to find another venue.

Drake Stadium was fully cleaned by the end of Wednesday, just 24 hours after the water main break released 20 million gallons of water north of campus.

The UCLA Hall of Fame at the J.D. Morgan Center, the Gifford Golf Practice Facility, and the Bud Knapp Football Complex and Acosta Athletic Complex sustained only minor damage.

RELATED: A before-and-after photo gallery of UCLA’s cleanup of the flood.

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Dan Guerrero: Pauley Pavilion will be ready for UCLA basketball season

Cleanup crew mops the floor at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)

Cleanup crew mops the floor at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)

Despite being flooded on Tuesday due to a water-main break north of campus, UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion will be ready when basketball season starts in November.

“When we saw the flood going down onto the court, it certainly was of concern to us,” athletic director Dan Guerrero said Wednesday. “After getting the water off yesterday and bringing the experts in, we’ve been assured today that we’ll be able to play in Pauley this year.”

He added that the building is structurally sound, though it was still too early to assess the costs of repairing the damage. Nearly all of the basketball court hardwood appeared to be warped to some degree; Guerrero said that if it needs to be replaced, the campus will have time to do it by basketball season. However, the Bruins may need to practice in either the Wooden Center or Student Athletic Center.

Guerrero also did not elaborate on any potential contingency plans for playing elsewhere should the repairs be slower than expected. “We don’t see that as an option,” he said.

The men’s basketball team starts its season on Nov. 14, while the women’s team plays its first official home game on Nov. 23. The volleyball teams were slated to play most of their games in the Wooden Center.

Acosta Athletic Complex and Bud Knapp Football Center sustained only “minimal damage.” Continue reading

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