By Allen Kellogg
Los Angeles, California
UCLA head football coach, Jim Mora Jr. announced that UCLA will undergo three years of hibernation where the team will focus on conditioning, team building, practice, and the development of an all new playbook. Mora said UCLA and their fans are tied of getting killed by their fellow Pac-12 schools and he believes that three years of hibernation will result in a new and vigorous program when the school decides to emerge from their slumber.
“A lot of thought went into this new three year plan,” Mora said. “Bruins are bears and as a result they need to hibernate to preserve their strength. Our players will get faster and stronger and because we aren’t playing any games. We won’t have to follow the NCAA’s rules limiting practice. I thought long and hard about this and after consulting my dad and my guru, I know I made the right decision.”
Mora said their players will still have the opportunity to play in the NFL. He said his new practice techniques have been developed with his father, former NFL head coach Jim Mora, and are specifically designed to prep UCLA’s players for the NFL. Jim Mora said Miles Jack’s serious knee injury and his departure from UCLA helped to inspire him to focus his program more on prepping players for the NFL rather than winning a Pac 12 championship. “The NFL is the goal for serious football players,” Mora said. “Here at UCLA, we are all about serious football players.”
Reaction from UCLA’s current players was mixed. Some players expressed disappointment, but most are optimistic about how this new hibernation program is going to improve their NFL stock.
“I came to college to prepare for my future in the NFL,” UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen said. “UCLA isn’t paying me to win games so I am kinda glad I don’t have to risk a serious injury playing in games behind an offensive line that can’t protect me. I also like that scouts won’t be able to criticize my game tape anymore. First round status, here I come.”
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said he was disappointed UCLA’s football program is going to undergo three years of hibernation, but he understood that it was the school’s decision to pursue a new direction for the football team. UCLA football with be replaced in the Pac-12 by UC Davis for the three seasons. UC Davis president, Janet Napolitano, announced that UC Davis will receive 5 percent of the revenue generated by the Pac-12’s media deals. The remaining 95 percent will still go to UCLA.
Questions remain about whether or not three years of hibernation will help the Bruins football program. Some have argued that UCLA football will collapse and that no ‘croots will sign with a football program that doesn’t play any games. Others say that UCLA’s emphasis on NFL preparations will attract better players into the program and that without eligibility requirements, UCLA can attracted future NFL stars who aren’t concerned with playing school.