This just landed in my inbox from UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero. It basically sums up the events of the day -- the firing of coach Rick Neuheisel -- and Guerrero's thoughts about going forward, including asking Bruins fans to not "get caught up in rumors, conjecture, or media reports that claim to have 'inside' information."
Here it is:
Members of the Bruin Family:
As many of you have surely heard by now, earlier today, I notified Rick Neuheisel and our football team that he had been relieved of his duties as UCLA head football coach.
Given that this is an unusually short week and the coaches have already begun the game plan and other preparations for Oregon, I have decided to let Rick coach us in the Pac-12 Championship Game this coming Friday night.
I subsequently named offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Mike Johnson our interim head coach, and he will coach us in whichever bowl we play in.
I am fully aware that a great number of you had been clamoring for this decision for quite some time, while just as many were fervent supporters of Rick. I want you to know that this was a difficult decision for me, primarily because Rick is an alumnus and bleeds Bruin Blue.
However, it became evident that a move had to be made in the best interest and in the short-term and long-term health of our program. Despite Rick’s efforts, the team’s performance was inconsistent throughout the year.
As we embark on a national coaching search, I want to be clear about a few things:
First and foremost, this will not be a public search; the only way to truly attract the best possible candidates is to keep the process out of the public eye as much as possible.
Second, because we are going to be very guarded in this process, we ask that you please exercise a measure of patience with us and that you don’t get caught up in rumors, conjecture, or media reports that claim to have “inside” information.
Finally, the process will be an extensive one and will result in a coach that the entire Bruin family will be proud to call their own.
Know in advance that we have begun the process of looking at candidates across the country and will leave no stone unturned in finding the best person for the job.
Thank you for your continued support of UCLA Athletics.