Jim Mora, left, has made what UCLA calls the largest donation by a sitting head coach in school history. (Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Staff)
Jim Mora and his family have made a personal donation to UCLA’s new football facility, which is good news for the Bruins in the way that additional money usually is.
But that this is a head coach putting in his own money — rather than a major booster — is a tremendous PR boost for the Bruins, who have endured offseason after offseason of speculation that their head coach could bolt for the NFL.
Mora and his wife Shannon made what the school called on Thursday “the largest donation by a sitting head coach in UCLA history.” Even if it doesn’t come close to matching some of the other figures poured into the project, it’s an easier sell for those unconvinced of the 53-year-old’s future in Los Angeles. Continue reading →
UCLA finished second in the latest Directors’ Cup standings, its highest placement in seven years.
The Bruins were behind only Stanford, which has won the award 21 straight times — missing out only when the inaugural trophy went to North Carolina in 1994. UCLA edged out USC for second place with 1,236 points to the Trojans’ 1,209.
Athletic director Dan Guerrero will receive a $30,000 bonus as a result — half for finishing in the top 10 percent of Division I schools, and half for finishing in the top 10. Through Guerrero’s 13-year tenure in Westwood, UCLA has missed the top 10 only twice (2008-09 and 2010-11).
This marks the first time the Bruins have finished second since 2007-08, the third of three straight years as the nation’s No. 2. They have placed top-three in three of the past four years.
Next year, college basketball players could have more leeway in their NBA draft decisions.
According to ESPN, the NCAA men’s basketball committee sponsored a proposal on Wednesday that will allow early entrants to return to school even after declaring their intentions to go pro.
The new system would allow underclassmen who are exploring their options to attend the pre-draft combine in Chicago without losing their college eligibility, though they will not be allowed to sign with an agent. The proposal, which could be approved in January, was a coordinated effort with the NBA. Continue reading →
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 →