Keeping Up With the Standard (That They Created)
Yes, there is a little bit of elitism in this argument, but it is one that any blue blood program would make. Once a program tastes success, they want to continue gorging on its fruits. Can you imagine what the Cameron Crazies, Wildcat Nation or the Tar Heel faithful would have to say about a coach (or coaches) that has not led their program to a title in 23 years? It would not be pretty.
UCLA basketball set the standard for success, not just in college hoops, but in the wonderful world of sports. Their feats in the 60s and early 70s will never be matched (UCONN’s Geno Auriemma notwithstanding). No Bruin fan expects a UCLA coach to repeat what Wooden did (okay, maybe one or two), they just want their team, that has become the epitome of college basketball success, to continue to be just that.
With that being said, the UCLA athletic department and head basketball coach have not done what it takes to keep UCLA relevant, and if the AD wants to keep Alford, this shows that they will momentarily continue to not do what it takes to keep the blue and gold elite. Alford has weaknesses (like teaching defense) and stated that he would make changes so that they do not occur again, but unfortunately, they have occurred again. And it looks like they will continue to occur.
In the words of Sports Illustrated writer George Dohrmann, the author of the expose on Ben Howland, “this is Not The UCLA Way.” The spirit of Wooden has truly gone and we are left with a leader of the program that claims that a 21-12 season is in fact “good”. Maybe at New Mexico, but this is UCLA.