USC (McCollough) and UCLA (Bolch)

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Every week. We brainstorm for the next episode of the arrive Levy podcast, throw, different ideas. Who do you wanna talk to you? What's hot what's trendy? We can easily do a podcast about the professional teams ever Sigui heck ever debate. But the college sports also heavy huge fan base in Los Angeles about the whole city arrive early legally podcast for me. I have friends that went to USC went to UCLA. I never really shows one school. I've covered both schools. But I never was that all man at all USC, all UCLA. I love going to the tailgates at the roles bowl. I love going to the tailgates on campus at USC. I love seeing the energy and the by an enthusiasm that people have for the schools and a lot of times. It's a minute. We didn't even apply to these schools, but we have a devotion to the powder. Bloop the cartilage goal. You know, you have his energy this connection with these schools when you cover a team, it's one thing for when you cover a school. It's different because you hear from the rabid fans. You hear from the alumni heck, you'll even here from the administration. Now, not the SEC where that's where they live and die with their teams. But the fan base and some California four USC and UCLA, you know, it should be commended they go up they show up. They get there. And they take a lot of pride and we've all seen it. Right. Those house divided banners USC UCLA USC UCLA week. You get better pick aside. And today, we'll be talking with the beat writers that cover the schools Brady McCulloch coverage USC, he's nude LA be interesting to see and hear his perspective. And Ben Butch who's been with the LA times for a while used to be on the USC basketball beep covered the NBA now, he's in Westwood entrenched with the Bruins. And we'll start this college. Addition of the arrive early legally podcast with Brady McCulloch be on the one ten at USC where he covers the Trojans. Now you cover USC, but what is your name? My name is Brady McCulloch. Okay. I look at it. And there's a j in front of your name. Sometimes right. That's right. You have a J dot Brady. Yeah. J Brady McCulloch James is my first name never went by James. Parents only call me Brady, I feel like this was like a thing in the eighties. A couple of my buddies growing up had the same thing. And one was a James Robert, I actually didn't go by Robert. But I think it was a thing to to go by middle name. And then the first time I wrote a story for the Michigan daily student paper at the ovum mono Jaber, eighty Senate cool. I well. This looks cool when you got hired on j Brady McCulloch that just sounds. I wanna buy his book. Have you know, it's it's on my life agenda crime series. Maybe. Right, right. I sound like a detective almost right James McCulloch. James McCulloch university of Michigan. Yeah. I went to them. So the big house and the big house quietest hundred ten thousand people in the country in any given moment. But this year getting pretty loud some like in that, you know, how did you end up at university of Michigan while I finished high school in Buffalo, New York. And I was a big college football fan growing up. If you looked at my bio at a college football website when I was thirteen years old and real. Yeah. So you had a website when you're thirteen. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, totally exactly what was on. Not that young. It was my dad was a website designer beginning in the mid nineties and built me say, and I'd go on there and rank the top twenty five teams in the country every Sunday after all the games have been played. And by the time, I was a freshman at Michigan. I was getting like thirty five thousand hits Philly people didn't even know I was just some kid, but I'd get emails from people on my teams not ranked high enough. People out totally people were all over me better than the coaches poll. I'm sure I was put a lot more effort into it than the coaches put him put it that way. This is your first year in LA, correct? That's correct. Yeah. I wanna know who you are. Jay Brady McCulloch who had a website where you thirteen people. Didn't know they were arguing with the kid. No. I don't think. So awesome. No. So so I that's where I like, you know, kinda got into everything. And at that point. My college decision wasn't. You know, sure I wanted to be a good school. But mainly I wanted a big college football experience. And so I was like, okay. What's within, you know, five six hours of other buffalo or when my dad was in Dallas and Michigan was within a five hour drive and great academic program. And and had that big college football experience that was my priority who was at Michigan. When you went any teams any good teams great. It was a couple years after they won the title on ninety seven. Lloyd, Carr was the coach Tom Brady was the quarterback. The first time. I went to a game on campus of senior in high school went over to watch the Michigan game. I was taking official visits. I was like I need to go to game at university of Texas in a game at university. Michigan see like where should end up and don't tell angel, but I to the university of Michigan. They'll hook 'em horn for you know, ho- Comorans. Yeah. The friends that went to Michigan. I'm born and raised in LA in there. Oh, we're going to I'm going to go to Michigan. Do you know it's cold up there a winter jacket? So you're you're. Yeah. Michigan reference. Cool paper. Did you cover Tom Brady? I was I was a year after Tom. Okay. He was five years older than me. So you just knew you wanted to be a sportswriter. No. I didn't grow up partly because I grew up in town called Shreveport, Louisiana where the Shreveport times was a great paper. I'm sure, but it wasn't like I was a kid who's growing up reading the paper every morning with his parents at the breakfast table, or whatever. But I knew I wanted to be Lee Corso I wanted to be on college game day. I wanted to be that point Craig James. I don't think Kirk herbstreit was on the show yet. I want to be college football analysts. That's why this website and everything. And then once in Michigan I wanted to cover the football team. 'cause I saw the students covering the team in the paper. And I'm like, oh, that's cool. It's like never connected with me even until probably like a year in like, wait sports writing is like an actual career. I could actually do this for a living. But it was not a thing where I was thinking about that. Aspect of it until actually started writing for the student paper. And now, you're covering USC another historical what the light come in and covering USC as a person with no L A roots. Or no connection to anybody in the town. It's actually exactly what you want. I think I think you can bring fresh eyes to something that people think they know extremely well and do know streaming well, but I think people enjoy getting a new perspective and a fresh perspective on something that you know, if someone was covering the team that had a bunch of preconceived notions or devoted their life to it. I feel like they wouldn't maybe get the same outlook on something that I would bring and I think one of the cool things journalistically. I'm always interested in putting myself in situations where I'm covering something. New so many think that's for me. It was a cool opportunity for that reason. If you're talking about USC, you'd better know what you're talking about because these people live and die with their carnal and gold much like they do it probably Michigan. And they do at Texas. And I'm thinking LA, they get the nocco. They have the beat. There's not many things. Going on. But they packed the call Siham and they get set when they're not winning. And right now is not a good time. If you're clay hill in the football coach, no, I it's not the seat is at minimum warm. And and I think a lot of the the people that are the live in dyin types. They're already done with it. They've checked out. It's fascinating to me as an observer of college football and college football kind of junkie just how these things happen. You know Helton in two years finishes one year with a Rose Bowl victory and the next year with a Pac twelve title. This is the first Pac twelve championship. They've had in basically a decade. You would think this guy would be getting statues ready, but even going into the season there's a lot of unease still about him. And I think it's way he carries himself. He's a nice guy people. I think when you're a nice guy Ali g Barry, very, yeah. Yeah. Very golly. Jeeves just kind of of Texas Texas, kind of drawl every day you show up to practice addresses. The media is happy. Tuesday, everybody, you know, everything is extra positive extra gooey. And I think that the hardcore USC enthusiasts doubt, his pedigree is a guy who wasn't head coach before the guy got pretty good results. You can't argue with that is I two years but going into the season, I think he was going to have to that didn't buy him a lot of time, which is interesting is it unfair the criticism. I'm I'll be I'm not watching you right now. 'cause I was worried about the dodgers in the World Series or LeBron every single day. It's you know, it's LeBron Emily, right? Yeah. But now it's kind of settled down you pay attention to college football. Wait a minute. Essex should be better. Like is this guy over his head? It's tough as a beat guy because I it's my job to be objective. And I do think there are signs that he could be in over his head their signs that the program at minimum. This off season has to think about how to toughen up these players, mentally physically. The does rang a little soft where able to watch practice. They're actually one of the only big programs in the country that allows that so, you know, we have the ability to watch most programs are closing you'll see anything certainly of US's caliber. But most power five programs are not opening many UCLA UCLA exactly if you talked to ban, you know, that. Yeah. Basically, every workout every practice was open. We got month of August. I was out there every day. And you're watching you know, the quarterback competition that was won by the true freshman JT Daniels. That's the most important story. But you're there every day. You're watching the way they practice. Your watch them the way they do. We go about things. There's no way there's a power five program in the country that gives the media access like USC does. And so you don't wanna take that for granted. But what it also does? It does give you a real ability to say, you know, they're only practicing with full pads once a week zero point these things out, and I think that's part of the problem, honestly with Helton with the die hards who actually follow this stuff every day, and where they in full pads non-full pads, the internet fan sites are given that stuff every single day and all they're all out there talking about oh, you SC's non pads on pads on twin on a Wednesday of a game week. You know, you're open yourself up to more criticism by being open. What at least they're being transparent. It's interesting on that level. And also this is a time for football where there's a lot of questions about Claire health player brain health long-term. Is it a bad thing that Hilton and the Trojans aren't doing a ton of tackling a practice and art putting their players that that kind of risk at practice. I don't think it's a bad thing. But I do think that what I see on the field on Saturday in. There are signs of. Practice. There's not a hard edge. And you need a hard edge to win in college football. Now, do you need to do that by being their brains together practice three or four times a week? I don't think that's the case. But they've got to find a way to develop an edge to this program, and that's up to Helton. And he's got the end of the season to show something to give short of beating Notre Dame in the season closer, I don't think these going to be able to convince the fan base, but he can for number of reasons. Convinces boss Lynn Swann to keep him on for another year. Lynn Swann on his side that let Kirker here's the thing. The dreaded pota- confidence. Okay. And there's a reason that it's called that. While swan comes out last week. I think feeling a number of things after Helton makes the change to take over play calling from t- Martin two fires offense of line. Coach the first true admission from Helton that things aren't going to be going this season. So swan I think felt like he needed to come out and say, maybe just for recruiting purposes just to come out and say, hey, clay, Hilton as my guy believe in clay. Elden? I stand solidly behind Cleal. Those were the stand solidly was in quotes IMB really went on about ten minutes about why he thinks the clay Helton can be the guy to get this done. So it wasn't a casual vote of confidence. He really did go in on it. But by going on it you've put it out there that his job security is something to be talked about get that vote of confidence. Usually a few weeks later we've seen this movie. So many times sports. Hey, that's my guy. That's my guy sees it over. Yeah. We're gonna find the different way. I I hate speculating on somebody's job. It's it's what we do. And it just more of the casual observer because I don't cover the team any more. But you get that sense from the fans that they are so involved invested in this university as somebody who's from the outside you mentioned with Michigan cover, Kansas. Now, you hear the criticism of Helton from the fans he changes offense of line demotes t Martin. But then you wrote a. Story where you talked to t Martin most programs, you even know who this are because they're off limits to you here. How did you get the Tim tesla s I d get to you? How did you guys talk with t Martin? So this is an interesting development. The fact that USC again, they're so open, and they open themselves up to things through that as journalists. What I'm gonna complain that. There's good access. No. But if I wasn't thinking of it as a journalist, I would say, why are you letting so many people in it so open, I respect leave it open like totally SAD parm. They would always who do you need today. It was only above and beyond comedy and beyond. And it's an amazing thing. It is they treat themselves like professional game where it's like how we're gonna do this. How can we help it? We know the media's here you have a job. Let's help you. And it started with Pete Carolina. I talked to him about it. When I got the job. I was just like, well, how did this development? I think Pete Carroll was was all in on that. We've gotta act like at that point. They were the pro football team in town. They wanted to handle themselves, and, but as an example in doing the t Martin feature that I. Been reporting for number of of months off and on. I just kind of been sitting on it. Because I thought I found him an interesting guy period whether any of this was happening, and I called university, Alabama or emailed their sports information director and because their offense coordinator, Mike Loxley was the first coach to hire t Martin and New Mexico just looking for someone to give perspective on T in his rise to in coaching and whatnot. And Alabama writing back and says Nick Sabin doesn't allow our assistance to talk to media ever. And I said I just saw well this has nothing to do with Alabama says doesn't matter it's LSU week. Like, you know. So I thought that that was telling meanwhile, t Martin is in the midst is the news of USC last week, and because I had been working on this piece about him. Suddenly, he's in the news. And this is happening. I've got a reframe the story, and I was able to get t just by talking to I didn't need to go through USC to do it because at developed that number and he was in a mood. I think where he wanted his story told even more I think than he did two weeks before when I'd sit down with him for a longer interview. So t I think was feeling vulnerable. As you saw the story. I think was happy to kind of talk to me about his emotions new last week is everything was going on. So he was demoted from his job which have so he's offensive coordinator. And he was play caller primary. Play caller. I mean, clay Helton ca jump in with anything in any moment like any head coach, but thi was the play collar and so to be still named offense coordinator, he he is office coordinator and perform many of the same duties but on game day and throughout the week leading up clay Hilton is now call. Plays and coaching the team from that head coach perspective as well. The lineup. Fire him, you know, I don't know how much clay really felt like it was teased fault. I just think it got to a point where helton's was an offensive coordinator before he was a head coach the way he spun it anyway was that he'd been itching to call plays again part of who he is a coach had been three years. The offense was obviously struggling I don't think he would ever put all that on t- Martin. But I think you know, he knows how this game is played their foreign four, and you can't be foreign four at USC and just continually week by week not that it's his job to answer directly to fans because if any head coach did that drum selves nuts, and they would be paranoid all the time. And they would never give their program what they need. But you have to understand. I think that this is USC in at four and four you have to start showing people maybe not just the fans, but your boss and the people around the department the people who are in charge of filling these million dollar sweets next season at the renovated. Call see? And that's the other thing hanging over this is they've got all this invested in the new Coliseum. The renovations starts next year. I mean, they had the lowest attendance in Arizona state game that they've had since the I I think it was the first year p Carol but early two thousand so I mean, you're under fifty thousand on a -tendance, and you've got all this common next year. If you could tell when it's under fifty thousand eight you can definitely tell and, you know, you always wonder about the numbers, they tell you. But there's a lot at play will never know how much pressure. He had from swan to make a move of some kind to show people. I'm doing something. The spin was the clay did it himself and told swan I'm doing these things swan said, oh, yeah. I agree. Yeah. Yeah. Because it's all and then this thing it's all about spin. You know, you don't really know. You said you were sitting on that story, you're working on T reading your story it sounded like he was going to be more about T Martin who he is in college sports world. Yeah. That's the impression. I got the news happen and t- Martin is a year or two older than me. But I remember watching him win the national championship with the Tennessee volunteers and used to be always joke that you can't spell. Citrus Bowl without the UT because Peyton Manning was going there. And he won't be Florida Florida, and they would always go Citrus Bowl t Martin shows up and in the nineties. You didn't see many African American quarterbacks and the store you wrote how he wasn't recruited as a quarterback. He goes at Tennessee with the opportunity. He's now coach see many African American office coordinators and his son Kayden who's a fourteen year old quarterback Redondo high the meat after a game. And the sun comes up to tea and says, are you okay? Knowing that the data under pressure, and I'm reading as a father my son's a year younger than his in. I can't even imagine the pressure going on that then. No that your dad people saying he should be fired. Then you're playing football on your own. Pretty sure there's somebody that sacked the kid that day was your dad's sucks or this or your dad's than that. Like the story. You wrote one thing that throws four interceptions. Exactly, the kid seems like he's very mature young man t the Cobra here after you've been a black quarterback in the F. E C is really not anything people could say to me that. I haven't heard before what kind of person is t- Martin. And it just seems like he has the tunnel vision of I'm going to get through everything. That's exactly right and their stuff that I wasn't able to get into because you know, we work at a daily newspaper. You'll have so much space to lax, but he grew up in that traditional kind of sports tough background, you know, in mobile, Alabama raised by his great grandmother didn't have much didn't come for much really through some mentors. And in coaches was able to rise and become a really good player. He's basically what I was shocked by every week this year. This is my first year covering him, you know, but he'd come out, and he would talk every single week with grace and humility and take all the questions from those fan websites that want answers, you know, I want answers they really want answers about this offense, and what's going on because their peak into the people that are limited dying with it. And they feel it and t takes the questions every time, and you could just tell this is a guy with immense confidence, and it just sort of radiates from him. He didn't get defensive. He just sat there and took all the questions week after week. And that to me was just really impressive. It says a lot about him as a man, I did get some emails after people reading my story that I think people seeing the big picture of, you know, they're pretty happy guy like t Martin is at USC coaching some of their players because at the end of the day, these kids come to USC, and it's these coaches jobs shirt to win games. But they also have an ability. To really impact these kids at appear where everybody changes when their college. What's their life going to be like, what are they learning about themselves t Martin is the type of guy you trust to do that. Now has he had the coaching pedigree that some people would want to say, oh, this guy's deserving of being the office of coordinator USC, maybe not. But is he pointed out you could argue with the results year ago. Sam darnold thirty four thousand yards. Ronald Jones runs for fifteen hundred. They won the Pac twelve oh. Now, he's not calling plays anymore. A few years ago t mar was that hotshot, oh, he's going to be a head coach tune. He's on the fast track. They say life comes that you fast. Yeah. He's got to start over a little bit. Now in Tennessee job came open last year. He didn't get the kind of interest that he would have thought it all mater when his former head coach Phil Fulmer may the one making that call when they botched the whole thing and former jumps in you think that one of the first calls, it'd be t Martin and it wasn't. So I mean, he's taken some hits here and some some hits the Chen and people leave that story feeling as a this is a guy who can handle it be also got bigger things going on his life. He's got a fourteen year old kid who is one of the top young baseball talents in the country for his age group, the freshman and also a freshman starting quarterback in south bay. He's gotta be on command for that kid throw in randomly has got a son planet. Clemson right now. I mean, this guy touches every aspect of college football. That's why fascinating to begin. With was just this guy's literally lived every part of this whole thing this business of college football, you still I college football. Ta I I'm still so. Obsessed so create soaker US. My wife, I would watch and I try to but cover new ac- made a little tougher, but I would try to watch fourteen hours straight every every Saturday rain McCullough covering USC. Oh, it's a blast. There. It is. It's a blast. I thirteen year old me would would would be diet. So I better than living in Kansas. I live in the greatest place on her. They're never leaving. See I told you is awesome. Welcome. Yep. J Brady McCulloch by his crimefighting series. And what your social media just at Brady McCulloch? No, jay. Good stuff with Brady jump on the ten freeway like we're gonna sit in traffic. Right, matt. If you're going to the west side, you're sitting in traffic on the ten up the four or five two cents said unless you got a fee for background, Ben bulge covered. The UCLA Bruin for the LA times. Before we even start talking about Dede Reese in all the good food in Westwood village. We got talking about the football team. Maybe it's the basketball guy. I've known for a while back when Tim Floyd was chasing us around the Galen center. He was on the US basketball when OJ mail was there. Now, he's covering all things. UCLA Ben, bulge the pride of North Carolina State. How many years this for you now on these Ben, well, it's my second tour of duty with the Bruins? Actually, I did basketball for about a year and a half leading into the last lockout and be lockout. And then moved over to the NBA for five years, and then came back, let's see in two thousand sixteen because I decided I wanted to travel significantly less. So that was a big part of this move. But I also love college sports. I be remiss if I didn't say that. So very happy to be back and he'll be my third season back on UCLA. Now when you say on the UCLA beat reporter, what does that mean, it means that I basically live on campus between going to football. Basketball practices. I going to the Rose Bowl for game. So fortunately, I live right across Wilshire from UCLA. So my commute is down to about five minutes a day, which is unbeatable. But yeah, I pretty much live on campus and follow all UCLA sports doesn't UCLA practice at six in the morning for football. That was more of a gym more thing. Now. It's fortunately ship is moved it up to eight forty five which is much better for the body clock. So I only need about two cups of coffee instead of five what's the deal with chip Kelly. You know, it's interesting. He's pretty much lived up to the reputation that he had kind of a no nonsense straight shooter. He really likes to parse questions and really tear down any kind of language that he thinks is imprecise or questions that he thinks are too obtuse hill, basically shut down the question just based on that. He's very lawyer like which is interesting because his father actually was a trial attorney. So I see that influence coming through. But you know, he's a straight shooter. He's been very fourth. Coming with some things like as far as guys being out for the season with injuries, and he loves really technical football question. So if you come with the good football questions, he'll sit there and talk to you, basically as long as you want, but he doesn't like being questioned. I mean, nobody does. Nobody does in this in this industry is which you do. Yeah. I mean, it is interesting that that's the thing about chip. Right. He just wants to do his thing. And he doesn't care about the perception. Whether it's the boosters or the media, he's going to do chip and and good or bad. We have to live with it. Didn't you write a big feature? And like a background of who chip Kelly is before the season started without talking to chip Kelly. Yes, I did. And I did manage to quote him from something he said a few years ago where he basically said that he was probably a pain in the ass as a kid because he kept asking why? And I thought that was pretty much the perfect, quote, the that encapsulates the chip Kelly experience. But yeah, I wrote a big three part series. Basically kind of looking at how he got to UCLA. A and what made him who he is. And his rise at Oregon and fall in the NFL, and it was a lot of fun because my great bosses in LA times sports -partment, let me go to New Hampshire. They let me go to Oregon which a lot of places can't afford these days. So I was very grateful for that. And they also gave me plenty of time to write it. So I was very happy without turned out. So you go to where ship Kelly grew up where he was coaching. And does he know you're working on the story? Oh, yes. In fact, he actually gave me a dinner recommendation, which I thought was pretty hilarious. It was the puritan back room, which was this kind of little guess a good way to say it would be kind of a low brow. But not in a it's not good way. But just kind of very down home style place in his hometown of Manchester, and basically everything on the menu was breaded, and they had like thirty six flavors of ice cream in the line was like going out in the parking lot. So not really my kind of place. But I did enjoy what I add some fried fish, and I had some in Oreo ice cream. I love this. I called my doctor and said, we need to do another cholesterol. Check asap. Now, why didn't he cooperate with you? Well, let's just kind of the way ship operates. I mean, he's he's got a handful of national media guys. He's real close with Bruce Feldman at the athletes lives in south bay. I know him a real tight, and he actually led Pete Thamel with with yahu said in on a practice in spring, which I was kind of dumbfounded with that. But I was told that was just kind of observe on background. It wasn't really writing anything. But you know, there are some people that chip kind of give some special access to he's built up relationships with over the years, and I got to see a little bit of that. When we went back to Oregon last week in you know, he kind of had some kind of warm moments with some of the the local writers there. So it can be done the chip Kelly or can be penetrated and people can get closer to him. I if you keep trying I guess now on the football field and with the boosters administration. What's their impression of chip Kelly? The first year just we're gonna take our lumps and deal with it or they happy. What's the overall vibe? Yeah. You know, it's it's really interesting because I everybody. I knew that this team was not going to be a great team. But then I think that people just thought that chip Kelly was just gonna come in and use these Magginis formula to just will this team to seven or eight wins. And obviously we we've seen it hasn't come close to happening. And I was thinking about this yesterday. I think there's some pretty good excuses for why it hasn't happened. And maybe that chip Kelly shouldn't get as much blame as as he's getting right now on some of the message boards. I mean, this is like the fourth or fifth youngest team in the country. They've played one of the toughest schedules in the country. I think like their first five opponents at one point where like thirty six and five or something outrageous. They've had a ton of injuries. They're breaking in to new quarterbacks. Then they're learning new schemes along the way. So you add all that stuff up. And it's kind of a ready made recipe for disaster. And we did see some progress there with those winds over airs on back to back, and then some massive backsliding these last two weeks with blowout loss to Utah. Then just complete special teams implosion against Oregon that really had some fans kind of going off the rails and really questioning chip Kelly. But you know, you just have to look long-term right now. And this year is not going to be a good year. And they just have to kind of have that needle and trajectory pointed upward when they have these last couple of games here particularly against as C N Stanford. If you give chip Kelly the time she lives up to his contract. Can he turn around the Bruin program? Well, it's a million dollar question. Right. And I mean, I think it's still too early to say I think there's some people who are kind of questioning their recruiting right now. Because they've only got I think nine or ten guys firmly committed and it looks like they're going heavily after sleepers which was kind of what he did it Oregon. It was a big success air. But people are saying now that you've got this this access to the southern California talent base, which is as good as anywhere in the country. Why aren't you getting a bigger hall of four and five star guy? So that's going to be something that's gonna play out here next couple of months with early recruiting signing day in December. And then. The regular signing day in February and we'll get more answers. But right now, it is a little bit head-scratching as to why they don't have a little bit more of a bigger class ready to come because they got some huge holes at a bunch of positions including offense of line in linebacker. They just need bodies because they're really down to even some walk on got some playing time and some spots. So they really need to restock this roster with with kind of chips guys. And then we'll see what he can do. Chip kelly's. The big name has the big contract has some years guarantee. We can turn things around. Steve Alford on the basketball side is basketball season's around the corner. Is he on a hot seat to have to perform? I mean, there's some people. I think the last couple of years to get rid of offered over there. Right. Yeah. I mean they've phone plane but banners around Westwood twice in the last three years calling for him to get fired was just something that you never wanna see if you're the head coach, I really do think this is kind of a either a maker break year for coach offer just because UCLA basketball, sweet sixteens is great. But that's not. What you want long-term? And if that's as good as he can get you have to question, you know, is he the guy, and I think that's been going on for a couple years now. And as I wrote in my season preview buyout right now is three point six million, and Dan Guerrero, and that like department gave Jim more twelve million dollars to go away. So that's not really even factor that that could save him at this point. It's going to be all about the results on the court. And I think he's never won a Pac twelve regular season title. They've never made it past the second week of the NCAA tournament. So those are kind of benchmarks. I think that we're looking at this year at least get to the elite eight which is a pretty deep run into the tournament. And as we saw Ben Jalan, you know, he actually won the Pac twelve regular season his last year, and then went out in the first round the NCAA tournament, and that was the end of the Ben Jalan era. So it's gonna be interesting to see exactly what Seve offer needs to do. I asked him yesterday. What it Dan Guerrero, say that he needed to do any basically said there was nothing specific. So I'm sure in Dan Guerrero, mine he's got some ideas about what he. To see from UCLA in Steve Alford this year, the legacy at UCLA with basketball, the athlete department. Overall mean I'm not talking about basketball football baseball, track field, volleyball, every sport that you could think of over there. They aim to succeed. And they went championships. They probably themselves on winning titles at UCLA. And you just recently came out with the book one hundred things UCLA fan should know. And do before they die fertile. Congratulations. I didn't speak with an author and second of all what are some of those things that UCLA fashion. No, you know, obviously, I hit all major highlights things like John wooden. Jackie Robinson, all eleven National Basketball championships. The national football championship in nineteen fifty four. And I tried to hit the high notes of all the greatest players and coaches, but for me part of the fun was on earth thing some real under the radar nuggets. Like there was this alumni basketball game between North Carolina and UCLA and in the summer of eighty six at Pauley Potvin. Alien were on the sideline you had not only John wooden, but you Dean Smith and the rosters were so incredibly stacked and this still blows my mind to this day that Michael Jordan had to come off the bench for North Carolina that game he was just getting into his NBA playing days. But still I mean just just to imagine that is really incredible. So that was a really fun one. And then, you know, UCLA had an eight overtime in soccer championship game at the king dome in the mid eighties that they won and that was fun to go back and look at that. And just the exhaustion and the incredible stamina that takes to do something like that. So you know, it was really a learning experience for me. And really enrich. You know, what I do is a beat writer a lot. Do you ever give flack from the university or leg department for some of the things you right? Oh, of course, you know, there's things that aren't always the most positive reflections of the university. But you know, that's part of the job. You know, you have to not only obviously highlight things that are going. Well, but things that are not going. Well, that's kind of my my job, right? As. Report and a beat writer. So if I'm not, you know, irking them every once in a while, I'm probably not doing my job as well as I should recently. You wrote about the concussion protocol at UCLA you spoke with Josh Rosen. Who's now the quarterback for the cardinals the NFL and how it seems like the UCLA medical staff is overly cautious. Where guys are saying. They're being cleared by the private doctors UCLA doctors saying, no, what was it like reading that kind of because now the five players out for the season because of concussions. Yeah. It was. It was interesting because they did have five guys out for the season with concussions and not just out for the season. These guys are out for the season by season. So they were basically shut down at a time. When there was a lot of football after play, and I went around and did some asking around the Pac twelve and it turned out. There was only one other player Pac twelve wide who had been shut down for the season at that point. And that was a defensive back at Washington. So, you know, I tried to get some more clarity from UCLA and got a lot of pushback know, they're very private as far as. Discussing players medical records. So I didn't get much from them. But you know, I got a former NFL doctor to talk about things that might lead to a season ending concussion football after play and the big ones were you know, repeated concussions and just not feeling better. And also not wanting to put yourself at increased risk because you know, we all know that players who suffer concussions are putting themselves at risk things like second impact syndrome, which can basically alter your life and everything about it for the rest of your life. So people don't want to do that. And I I will say UCLA's credit. I think that they really are airing on the side of caution in these situations and even talked to one of the running backs Paulo all around funny. I did a follow up article in which he basically said I'm on board with this because I wanna have a healthy brain at age fifty as opposed to damage brain. So, you know, I'm not gonna say speaks for everybody in that situation. But I do think there is a level of appreciation that UCLA really is kind of safeguarding its players health. Very interesting stuff by Ben boats covers the UCLA. For the following him on Twitter at L A T B bolt LA times Ben bullets his book one hundred things UCLA fan should know. And do before they die available now bookstores or you can go to Trump books dot com and check it out and both always a pleasure. My man. Yeah. Good good talking about. I hope we can talk some Tim Floyd very soon. And that'll do it for another edition of arrive early. Leave late podcasts USC UCLA Tinubu role. We continue to build the momentum. We have here. Please. Let us know. What you like what you don't like off opinions that we listen to you guys because it's a podcast for the fans share rate. Leave us comments. We do appreciate you listening telling everybody about the rivalry le- podcast. I'm host the Duran engineered by Heflin produced by Dave wine Angel Rodriguez is sports editor Ernie late an LA times studios. Production.

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