The UCLA football program could be charitably characterized as "tumultuous" of late, but the search for a new defensive coordinator has been an unusually dramatic one even by those standards. Any relief Bruins partisans may have felt at the December ousting of the abysmal Chuck Bullough had largely ebbed by the time National Signing Day came and went with no replacement candidate signed or even announced. Randy Shannon was floated as a possible replacement candidate, but ultimately passed over for a familiar face: Rocky Seto, a Pete Caroll assistant at Seattle who's been on his staff since the 2004 season back at USC, was announced last week as the next Bruins DC.
This went over in our UCLA community about as well as you'd expect:
Some of the lines we are hearing as "justification" for this mangled mess is that this guy is a Pete Carroll Jr. Think about that for a minute. Think how many key strokes have been spent on this blog and all over UCLA boards in last few years exposing his program. Think about all the moral righteousness from the UCLA community about not ever wanting to be like USC. Now folks are being asked to swallow the line that this Seto guy would be a mini-Carroll? Sorry. No can do.
And so it was that the #VetoSeto campaign was born. I spoke to a concerned alum this morning who detailed a remarkably widespread and concerted grassroots effort that revved into place with alarming speed over the past week:
BN unleashed a "#VetoSeto" campaign using its Twitter, Facebook accounts, just overwhelming UCLA's athletic department, which very well could have played a key role in offline organizing leading to reservations conveyed to Rick Neheisel and the athletic director during the week of national signing day.
UCLA fans took to social media platforms to publicize the rhyming slam, boosters cornered athletic department staffers at Signing Day press events, and lo! Over the weekend, the L.A. Times reported the offer (if there ever was one) mysteriously vaporized:
Seto, as assistant coach with the Seattle Seahawks, was offered and accepted the job Tuesday night, but the offer was rescinded the following day, according to the person close to the negotiations. The person said that no reason was given other than UCLA officials decided to go "in another direction." UCLA officials claimed Saturday that no "official" offer had been made.
Was our own Bruins Nation community responsible for this sea change? Certain four-letter major media outlets are speculating as such, and to hear the details of the community effort that went into the Seto Veto, it's not that farfetched. The power of the internet as a scattergun scream machine is never to be underestimated, and Neuheisel doesn't have much cred he can afford to fritter away on such a widely loathed hire.
All of this by way of saying: It's February and UCLA doesn't have a defensive coordinator. Clock's ticking in Westwood.
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