Ever since being relieved form his duties as head UCLA football coach, Rick Neuheisel has done a great job of not attacking his alma mater and handling his dismissal with incredible poise.
Except, DUH, this wasn’t going on forever. Now, Rick is saying that UCLA didn’t give him the commitment he needed to succeed in the Pac-12. From the Daily News:
“It’s disappointing this time of year not to be in a training camp, especially when you’re given what I thought was not the requisite amount of support at UCLA.
“I take full responsibility for not moving the needle as far as getting more wins, but you need a partnership at this level, and there has to be a commitment, and that wasn’t the case.”
Well that’s a telling tale and, quite honestly, pretty cheap.
Look, the UCLA fan-base is crazy for Rick Neuheisel as a representative of the school. His act got tiring as a UCLA football coach, but the prognosis is that he’s a great dude and loves UCLA so much.
But this is petty. Rick was probably given a little too much love from the UCLA fan-base early in his career and has probably heard fans convincing themselves that UCLA was not supportive of him during his tenure, so this statement is probably a derivative of all those discussions.
At the same time, why put your foot in your mouth (again), Rick? You’ve done such a damn good job of taking the higher road and refusing to comment on things like this, so why bring it up now?
At best, Rick is looking like he’s bitter over his dismissal from UCLA. At worst, he’s refusing to take responsibility for the piss-poor decisions he made while he was coach.
Last time I checked, a “partnership” wasn’t required for a coach to under-utilize the transcendent talent he recruited by implementing a defense like the oft-maligned pistol, nor did it have anything to do with keeping your team constantly unprepared and undisciplined.
Rick’s tenure at UCLA was disastrous to say the least. Although the lack of commitment from the university likely resulted in Neuheisel having a small amount of capital to spend on a legitimate coaching staff, that’s not an excuse you can use for consistently inconsistent (we know, we know) play during his four-year tenure.
Rick, we ask you, please, just continue to be classy the way you have been. No need to deflect.