The arrival of Rick Neuheisel in 2008 brought a crap-load hype and excitement from UCLA alum, students and fans. That obviously fizzled and Neuheisel was fired this past November and the once-hopeful hiring wound up in disappointment.
Jim L. Mora is, so far, a bit of a reversed story. His hiring brought a shit-load of vitriol from the UCLA fan-base but, all of a sudden, he has the UCLA universe hopeful once more after a wildly successful recruiting season.
And those two men, for the first time in the public’s eye, spoke to one another over the phone while CBS Sports interviewed Jim Mora on his successful 2012 recruiting class. Watch:
Yes, I think that pretty much sums up UCLA. Despite the fact that Mora was met with a ton of opposition during his hiring, and despite Neuheisel’s rough firing this past fall, the two men were amicable and joking around. You can tell Rick felt everything was a little surreal by the way he spoke to Mora. When you talk to your successor at your beloved university, which you would gladly spill blood, sweat and tears for, things are bound to get a little emotional.
But Rick did not cry and Mora said the right things. No awkward TV moment, no hard feelings. While we all desperately wanted Rick Neuheisel to succeed when he was hired, and while we all begged for anyone else but Jim Mora to replace Rick, we can see the level of professionalism oozing through the YouTubez.
And that, ladies and gents, is what it means to be a Bruin.