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Dave's Thoughts on Bellotti/UCLA

Please see jtlight's thoughts below.

Whoa, didn't see this one coming.

So, I miss a few days due to basketball, look up, and see that is flirting with UCLA about their head coaching position.  While this is out of the blue, its not completely surprising:

  • Bellotti has not been paid at the level of marquee coaches (he makes about 1.56 mil)
  • He's been facing criticism from the Oregon fan base over the last couple of seasons
  • A big reason that Bellotti stayed in the early part of the decade was family.  His son is currently a UO senior.

That said, you have to ask yourself whether Bellotti really wants to leave Eugene.  By all objective standards, Oregon is a better program than UCLA.  Better facilities, more big time donors willing to step up for the football program, and UO isn't little brother in its own area.  UCLA should have a bit of a recruiting advantage based on area, but that's becoming more and more irrelevant in today's college football.  At best, its a lateral move, and more likely a step down.  So, you have to ask, why is Bellotti flirting with UCLA?

Its always possible that he wants a change of scenery.  But you don't just leave almost assured job security just to see if its greener on the other side.  I have to believe that the answer is money.

Bellotti isn't being mentioned for the Ohio States and USCs like he once was.  He has never been paid 2-3 mil per year like the big boys.  UCLA bungled its search and missed out on its top targets.  Since nobody thought Bellotti was going anywhere, you have to figure that UCLA was throwing calls out and seeing what sticks.  And, if UCLA is at best lateral, you have to figure that they started talking the big bucks.  Bellotti probably figures that he can throw this around and leverage Oregon into a new deal.

This is the assumption that I'm going on, because MB has given no indication that he doesn't want to be here.  If he doesn't let him go.  If he does, than we have issues that we need to discuss.  Because if he wants 2-3 million, that money has to come from somewhere.  Which basically means that Uncle Phil has to decide if he wants to foot that bill.  Or, Bellotti needs to decide that his legacy at Oregon is worth taking a little less (especially because 1.5 million in Eugene is worth more than 2 million in LA).

Ultimately, this is all speculation.  The bottom line is that I'm sure we're all pretty shocked by this development.  I'm not going to sweat it right now, but if he does go, things get really interesting:

What becomes of the recruiting class?
What becomes of Chip Kelly?
Who becomes the new head coach?

MB has been here since 1995.  Ernie Kent since 1997.  These are questions we don't face often at Oregon.  Hopefully, MB makes the right choice and we don't have to face them.  But what if is starting to come up on the radar.

But I'm 99% sure that this is a ploy for more $