Last Call for Alcohol(ic) and No Call for Rush Call — U$c fires Basketball Coach Kevin “Drunken Altercation” O’Neill right after their best win of the season, and shadily pulls the scholarship offer of a 4-Star Football Recruit 3 days before he’s due for early enrollment
Another trojan Coach bites the dust. That’s the end of The Legend of Drunken Master at u$c. One day after ex-trojan Coach Pete Carroll coached the Seahawks right out of the Playoffs, sc AD Pat Haden canned his Head Basketball Coach Kevin O’Neill. The timing is odd not because of Carroll’s choke 24 hours earlier, but because of the result of sc’s last game. The trojans just won their first away game in 15 tries, by beating the Utes in Utah. The trojans actually killed Utah, right after the Utes took first place UCLA al the way down to the wire two nights earlier.
Why would Haden pull the plug on O’Neill at this juncture, when his team is playing so well? Especially since O’Neill has carried the team through sanctions, defections, major injuries, and zero fan support? O’Neill had incorporated four transfers into his lineup this year, and was just getting them used to each other, building chemistry until they finally meshed just right on Saturday. And then Haden dropped the guillotine on O’Neill’s unsuspecting neck. So, could there be ANOTHER reason?
Is it possible that O’Neill had another alcohol-related incident? A few years ago, O’Neill got into a “drunken altercation” with an Arizona fan at the Pac-12 Tournament. It was ugly, but O’Neill had some success with his team, so he survived with his job security intact. But since then the team has not fared very well, so any further whiskey-soaked moments might have been fatal. Maybe the often red-in-the-face trojan Coach almost got a DUI, but the trojan machine was able to cover it up, get it dismeissed, and keep it out of the papers. Who knows? All we do know is that the results ON THE COURT did NOT warrant this firing. O’Neill was a pretty good Coach, especially on Defense, and he was getting the most out of his generally overmatched roster.
Speaking of rosters, embattled trojan Football Coach Lane Kiffin is in hot water again, this time for “betraying” one of his star recruits. Four-star Defensvie End Kylie Fitts just decommitted from u$c, after Kiffin PULLED his ride. Actually, Kiffin still wanted Fitts, but he wanted to add him to the roster in the FALL, even though Fitts had graduated early, in order to enroll in the Spring. But 3 days before Fitts was to enroll, Kiffin refused to let him come.
Fitts says he has been betrayed by Kiffin, and is now considering attending Notre Dame or UCLA — sc’s biggest rivals — instead. Fitts has always wanted to go to sc, and he thinks that Kiffin USED that loyalty against him. Fitts thinks that Kiffin figured that Fitts would willingly blow off the six-month head start and STILL attend sc in the Fall instead of now. But Kiffin was dead wrong and will now pay for that hubris. Not only does Kiffin lose a top-flight recruit, but the negative publicity in the recruiting world will also come back to bite him in the ass. Fitts’ High School Coach said that everyone sees Kiffin’s move as SHADY, and then he Tweeted this: “When people are desperate, their true colors show. Take the USC coach, captain of an underachieving ship. His true color: SHADY!”
Fitts’ Coach runs a big-time High School Football Program, and a lot of players will read that, and think twice before signing on the dotted line with Shady Lane. Hey Pat Haden — Are you sure you axed the right Coach??
In honor of the dearly-departed O’Neill, and to entice Fitts to choose UCLA, here are 10 photos of the UCLA Spirit Squad, today all featuring the undeniably beautiful Erica.
[Disclaimer: I am NOT saying that Kevin O'Neill is a certified alcoholic. He is only an ALLEGED alcoholic! For all I know, his drunken altercation came after the only sip of alcohol he has ever consumed.]