Jim Mora decided to implement an NFL-style fall camp by taking his UCLA football squad to San Bernardino.
His intentions were reasonable and fair. The locker room in 2011 was broken and team morale was at an all-time low last season. Distractions need to be eliminated.
Accountability is a buzz word in Westwood because, last season, the UCLA football team had none. Responsibility has to be taken.
And the team will have to travel to humid, hot Houston, TX for their season opener against Rice. The squad needs to be prepared for everything.
Of course, San Bernardino is hot. Very hot. In fact, for a bunch of California boys, it’s almost intolerable. Here’s the forecast from Google:
Essentially, the team will be playing in 110 degree weather, and the last two days have seen temperatures get that high.
We’re five days through fall camp and we’re already seeing the results. Player after player, from safety Tevin McDonald to Jeff Baca to Patrick Larimore, the UCLA coaching staff has had to force its squad to run thin because of extreme heat. Moreover, the coaching staff — which is out to instill discipline and true resilience — has to rely heavily on players to admit that they’re feeling the effects of the heat. And when you’re part of a regime that wants to eliminate needless complacency, this might be hard to do, even if the coaching staff is doing a great job of taking care of its players.
It’s fair to note, though, that this is a fair price to pay for having to play Rice in Houston next season. If you were curious, here’s the forecast for Houston this week:
Sure, the weather is “cooler,” but the fact of the matter is, a “hot” day in Westwood wouldn’t even touch 90 degrees. So not only will the weather be at least ten degrees hotter, but it’ll be humid as hell, too, making things even more difficult.
So UCLA needs to adjust so the players aren’t pushing themselves in serious competition. (Yes, we know, Rice, but still.) Being unprepared was something that the last UCLA coaching staff continuously made a habit, and Mora is doing all he can.
So the answer to the question posed here — was taking the UCLA football team to San Bernardino a bad idea? — is no, it isn’t a bad idea, so long as the staff keeps doing what its doing, being incredibly careful and communicating with the guys that they need to be upfront about any symptoms.
We like what’s going on so far, and we hope that the precautions the staff has taken will continue.