From Cooper, Mike to Cooper-Dyke: Classless to Clueless — u$c replaces foul-mouthed loser Michael Cooper with ex-trojan Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who had previously been busted by the NCAA for PAYING HER PLAYERS. Where could she have possibly learned THAT?
U$c Athletic Director Pat Haden was supposed to clean up the cesspool known as SCum Athletics. Following the sleazy Mike Garrett/Pete Carroll/Tim Floyd Era, it should have been easy for the renowned Rhodes Scholar. Just jettison all the disgraced liars and cheats, and bring in some people with integrity.
It’s been a few years now, but nothing has changed. Lane Kiffin is still calling the shots for u$c Football, despite all his NCAA violations in the past, and despite all his scuzzy actions last season, including lying about his vote in the Coaches’ Poll, throwing an authorized, professional Journalist out of practice for truthfully and accurately reporting an injury, illegally changing jersey numbers to deceive Colorado, and deflating footballs against Oregon. Considering Kiffin led the trojans to the most disappointing season in the history of the Sport (a Preseason #1 losing an unprecedented 6 games), it seems like Haden had all the ammo he needed to unload his walking violation of a Coach, as the big-money supporters have been clamoring for Lane’s dismissal. But Kiffin inexplicably remains. Could it be that Haden secretly loves cheaters?
But it’s not like Tim Floyd is still the Coach of the Basketball team, after getting unceremoniously dumped after the SCandal concerning the bags full of cash that he or one of his cronies allegedly gave to O.J. Mayo. Wait a minute — Haden DID actually speak to Floyd about RETURNING as Coach. Looks like Haden can’t resist “smarmy.”
Which brings us to his latest hire: Former trojan Basketball star Cynthia Cooper-Dyke. Replacing Michael Cooper was a no-brainer, as that no-brainer had an 11-20 record last year, and showed his total lack of class a couple of years ago when he announced to the Press “F*ck UCLA!” So does Haden go find someone with a clean record and a history of COMPLIANCE to further u$c’s purported mission of straightening out their Athletics? NOT EVEN CLOSE. Cooper-Dyke has already been sanctioned by the NCAA, for nothing less than PAYING CASH TO HER PLAYERS, while coaching at Prairie View A&M.
Is this the most predictable thing ever? A star u$c player becomes a coach, and just starts doling out cash to her players? Well, why wouldn’t she? I’m sure she thought to herself: “Isn’t that the way it works?” So why would Haden hire someone with such a blatant black mark on her record? Wouldn’t a pay-for-play SCandal be the first disqualifier in the job interview? After all, when trojan Running Back Marc Tyler made a “joke” about getting paid to play at sc, Haden suspended him. In light of that harsh overreaction to what was SUPPOSEDLY just a drunken, joking utterance, because it supposedly embarrassed the University, how can Haden possibly justify the hiring of someone “convicted” of that same morally heinous offense? Well, he rationalizes it by saying that it wasn’t Cooper-Dyke’s fault. He blames it on the SCHOOL, for not educating her about the rules. REALLY? She didn’t know that paying players was verboten?? REALLY? Is Haden really saying that since she and all her trojan cohorts got paid back in the day, that she couldn’t have been expected to know that it is against the rules??? Oh, puh-lease!!!!
I know that trojans who read this are going to throw UCLA’s hiring of Steve Alford — despite his baggage — in my face. And I am prepared for that. What Alford did was blindly defend his own player against (at the time) unproven allegations. Doing that was not prudent, and not considerate of the parties involved. But it was based on loyalty to his man. Sure, that loyalty was proven to be seriously misplaced, but Alford did not break NCAA rules. He showed bad judgment, but, UNLIKE Cooper-Dyke, Alford violated no NCAA rule. Also, Alford feels bad about what transpired, apologized to the victim, and yesterday apologized to everyone for his statements, explaining that he has learned and grown since then.
Did Cooper-Dyke learn and grow since then? Sure… she probably learned how to make her payments in a more clandestine fashion. Put the cash in a paper bag before handing it out. That’s how it’s done this side of the Prairie. Unfortunately, it looks like Pat Haden has learned nothing from Garrett flaming out after he thumbed his nose at the NCAA. Now Haden is doing the same thing, by eschewing the appearance of propriety, and hiring another blatant violator.
Some things will never change. Why even pretend? I guess Haden is done pretending. Watch for Pete Carroll to be back on the trojan sideline in 2014, with Reggie Bush as Running Backs Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. Trojan fans would love it. Lucky for them Joe Paterno isn’t available.