Field of Dreams
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even in an environment in which academic excellence is as vital
as athletic prowess, Guerrero asserts that Bruin teams have a realistic
shot at glory on the field as well as in the classroom.
believe that we can have a program that can be consistently among
the best in the country,” he says. “Our programs should,
on a continuous basis, be able to vie for Pac-10 and national championships.”
tackle Bryce Bohlander also believes that setting high academic
standards for athletes doesn’t mean diminishing the quality
of UCLA’s teams on the field. In his view, academically deficient
athletes aren’t the ones you would want as teammates.
you’re not a good student coming into college, that kind of
says something about your character,” says Bohlander, who
vowed when he was recruited to complete his degree in four years.
He did, graduating this spring with a degree in political science
and a nice fellowship package for graduate school.
than asking fans to lower expectations, perhaps more should be made
of the high expectations that exist in the invisible areas —
at practice, in class, in social conduct. When those kinds of expectations
are at the forefront, coaches say, the championship banners will
go up for everyone to see.
who hire you as a coach are wanting winning teams,” says Wooden.
“They’re thinking of scores. But I believe those scores
can be a by-product of these other things.”
maybe more of an effort should be made to educate fans that building
a winning team — or rebuilding one from a team that has had
a disappointing season or two — doesn’t happen overnight.