Monday, December 9, 2013

Sarkisian hire benefited UCLA

It is now apparent that USC's hiring of Steve Sarkisian last week was not only a plus for the Trojans football team but it also benefited their crosstown rivals, the UCLA Bruins.
Before the USC-UCLA game on Nov. 30, it was speculated that if USC won, Ed Orgeron would be hired as the permanent head coach. If UCLA won, Coach Jim Mora would move on back to the NFL or up to a higher-ranking program than the one in Westwood.
But the events following UCLA's 35-14 victory set the wheels in motion for Mora to stay.
Here's a what happened: Two days after UCLA's win, USC hired Sarkisian to replace Lane Kiffin, who was fired in September. Orgeron, the interim coach, was told he was not going to get the head coaching job. Speculation was high that Mora would be offered Sarkisian's old position at Washington, where Mora once said that coaching the Huskies would be his dream job. Mora grew up Bellevue, Wash.,  and played linebacker for Don James in the 1980s.
Three days after UCLA's win, Mora talked by phone with Washington officials. UCLA moved quickly  and made its coach an offer to stay in Los Angeles. Athletic Director Dan Guerrero extended Mora's contract, promised to pay his assistant coaches higher salaries, and  made a commitment to see that the campus' football training facilities would be upgraded.
So, the end result of USC's hiring  Sarkisian paid off for UCLA and its fans in a way that in the beginning few could foresee.

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