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Desperate for Wins, UCLA Hires Neuweasel

UCLA has decided to hire Rick Neuheisel to coach their football team:

Neuheisel, a quarterback who was the MVP in UCLA’s 1984 Rose Bowl victory and later served as a Bruins assistant under Terry Donahue, was hired Saturday as his alma mater’s 16th coach.

His five-year contract is for $1.25 million annually, plus incentives.

[…]

Colorado was placed on two years’ probation by the NCAA for infractions committed while he was the Buffaloes’ coach. All were deemed secondary violations and most involved improper contact with recruits.

The AP story glosses over Neuheisel’s infractions while at the (first) college football program he destroyed. Here’s what the Gazette of Colorado Springs had to say back in 2002:

The NCAA announced Tuesday it has reduced the number of Colorado football scholarships, restricted coaching visits and placed the school on two years probation after a three-year investigation found more than 50 violations.

[…]

Most of the violations involved improper contact with recruits from 1995 to 1998 under coach Rick Neuheisel, now at Washington.

“In many instances these violations would not be considered very serious, but in the recruiting process, any recruiting violation could impact the decision of a prospective student-athlete,” said Tom Yeager, commissioner of the Colonial Athletic Association and chairman of the Committee on Infractions. “What made this case ‘major’ were not only the calculated attempts to gain a recruiting advantage, but also the number and pattern of the violations.”

So he commits “more than 50 violations” at one school, places bets on college athletics at another school, and is gleefully welcomed (and given $1.25M+/year) by the Bruins.

To put this hire into perspective, Rick Neuheisel was replaced by Gary Barnett because of his ethical lapses. Yes, Gary Barnett.

Congrats, UCLA!