Monday, November 24, 2003
Karl Dorrell is No Jackie Robinson
Forgive me Saturday was a tough usc/UCLA game... I, as a UCLA fan was serenaded out of the stadium, humiliated. The 'sc fans wondered if UCLA was a Jr. All American team... there was no rebuttal...
Well... Back to history...
If rumor and stories about Karl Dorrell are true, Karl used UCLA legends like Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, and their pioneering stories to justify his hiring. If this is true we need to evaluate more closely whether Dorrell deserves more than 1 year to prove himself…
Branch Rickey was a great man for making history, but not because he was a big risk taker...Rickey did not go out on a limb for Jackie Robinson... Rickey was as much interested in making his own mark as he was in seeing Jackie become a success.
Of course Jackie and Rickey's success were ultimately tied together. Rickey knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jackie had the physical tools to be a great baseball player, but more importantly, Rickey also knew that Jackie had the tools and intelligence to handle the press and taunts that would come with being the 1st African American baseball player in the 20th century. The issue for Rickey wasn't whether Jackie could play baseball effectively, but whether he had the temperament to handle the additional pressures associated with being the 1st black baseball player in the 20th century... Branch Rickey chose Jackie Robinson not only because he was 100% positive that he could perform on the field, but he was also confident that Jackie was by far the most qualified African American at the time to handle the pressure and the taunts he would receive.
Rickey chose Jackie to be the 1st 20th century African American baseball player, and made sure neither of them would be embarrassed by the decision. Unlike Rickey, UCLA AD Dan Guerrero was very uncertain about Karl Dorrell’s abilities. Because of the potential great story, Guerrero, fell for Dorrell’s pitch that it would be great for UCLA to go out on a limb and hire an unproven black coach. How many non African Americans with Dorrell’s credentials would be hired at a high profile job like UCLA? For this Guerrero deserves blame for Dorrell's failure, just as he would take credit for his success. Is it fair to be so critical in Dorrell’s 1st year? Unlike Jackie Robinson, Dorrell was not a proven commodity in his field. Dorrell hasn’t proven that he is the most qualified football coach deserving of a Division I job. Jackie proved that he was the most qualified 2nd baseman that deserved a major league opportunity. Dorrell has only shown that he is black, a UCLA alumnus, and a football coach. In this day and age at UCLA it isn’t difficult to be a black football coach, a coach doesn’t need to prove that he can handle racist taunts, because there won’t be any. Instead of showing that he was black and a football coach, Dorrell needed to prove that he is the MOST qualified football coach that is the most deserving to succeed and coach better than Bob Toledo at UCLA. Dorrell's last job was WR coach for the Denver Broncos. There's nothing to indicate that Dorrell had a high probability to succeed as a Division I football coach. Heck, Nick Alliotti was the St. Louis Rams' LB coach, prior to coaching at UCLA and he couldn't even succeed as UCLA's defensive coordinator.
This Saturday's game as well as the last few weeks, have shown that Dorrell is in WAY above his head. This is the worst UCLA team I've seen recent memory... There has been no improvement in player development or performance based on last season or through this season. Dorrell wanted the opportunity to show that he was capable of coaching UCLA effectively. He has failed, and shown no indication that he can improve. He’s even shown that he is obstinate by saying that he will stick with an unsuccessful offensive scheme.. Giving Dorrell another year will only pad Dorrell's bank account and result in increasing the gap between UCLA's program and USC's. It's a sad day that UCLA's football coach has proven to be a fraud and relied on the history of a great Bruin, Jackie Robinson, to get a job that he is not qualified for. We, that support the program with donations and attendance will have to bear the brunt of the embarrassment of Guerrero's poor decision. Too bad Dorrell overestimated his abilities and chose to interview at UCLA and was able to con Guerrero into giving him a job he was not qualified for. Unfortunately, we fans will have to live with the usc bandwagonners and the taunts for a few more years.