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Shame of a Nation
View From the Hot Seats
The Man Who Knows Too Much
The Culprit is Cancer

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Fall 1998
View from the Hot Seats
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Bob Toledo: Yep. He was a legend. He's more famous than the kid here.

Are we interviewing the wrong Lavin?

BT: No, this one makes more money.

Steve Lavin: Yeah, Dad was an English teacher. He wants my money now. (To BT) I was born in 1964, so what were you doing in '64?

BT: I was a senior quarterback in high school.

SL: I graduated from high school in '82, what were you doing in '82?

BT: I was head coach at University of Pacific.

We're not All-Americans, nor are many of our readers, but will you guys give us your recruiting pitch?

BT: The bottom line is we're selling a good product. And that's what we are, salesmen. We've got to sell the school, the surroundings and the future. We go out and make sure we convince those student athletes that this is a great place to be and that the future is bright.

SL: I agree. Mainly, we're selling a great institution. It's the best package of academics and athletics in the country. UCLA attracts super achievers and that's part of what makes it an exciting place to go to school and compete. We don't talk much about basketball in their homes. What we're really trying to do is paint a picture for the family to see this as a place they can imagine their son growing up and thriving in. The biggest thing we talk about is the long term, the big picture - that they should look at this decision as a 50-year game plan. The average pro career is three years. That puts you at age 25. In that 50-year span, from 25 to 75, UCLA is going to build a foundation for you, if you take advantage of the resources, the connections, etc. Now you're building a foundation for life. Sure it's great to beat Duke or USC on a Saturday afternoon, or to have a great college or even pro career. But those are all just short-term plans. Here, you're building a life.

BT: Look, two years ago we did not have a guy drafted. Ohio St. did not have a guy drafted last year. You can get your degree and go on to play pro football if you're good enough. But the ultimate thing is, you can't play forever, you've got to get the piece of paper.

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