View from the Hot Seats
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There are a lot of references to UCLA being a "basketball school."
Hey, I'm proud that we have the best basketball program. I'm proud
that we have the best athletic program in the country, according
to Sports Illustrated. But you know what? We have a pretty darn
good football program too. People might look at us as a basketball
school, but I think more people are starting to realize we've got
a great athletic program. The fact that the basketball team has
a great reputation helps us to recruit football players. When we
take recruits into Pauley and they see all those national championship
banners and experience how exciting it all is, it's a happening,
they want to be a part of that, it's very appealing to kids. I want
Lav to win every single game. I'm sure he feels the same way. So
we're all in this thing together.
important is it to have good relations with the media?
As a coach I think you're setting an example and trying to model
for your players, just like a good parent or a good teacher. So
you want to treat people with respect, whether it's a member of
the media, an alumnus, booster, fan on the street or a waiter serving
your team a pregame meal. From that standpoint you want to be cordial
and represent UCLA in the right fashion, you don't want to treat
anyone disrespectfully. And then again, in Los Angeles one of the
things that's unique with our position is that there are unbelievable
media demands that are both good and bad. It helps our recruiting
and gives guys like Cade publicity for the Heisman. It gives our
guys a chance to be All-Americans. Some people will always bash
UCLA, but for the most part they'll be fair if you treat them with
respect over the years and put a good product on the field.
My thing is it's important to be consistent. And you've got to be
honest. I realize that the media have a job to do. So I'm going
to be honest, tell them what I think. I may not tell them everything
I know, but I'll tell them what I think. And win or lose, I'm going
to face the music.
you baffled by how many fans think the program belongs to them?
Are the programs isolated, like it's you and your team against the