NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave Sterling a lifetime ban Tuesday, and fined the Clippers owner $2.5 million. Silver said he hopes that NBA owners will vote to force Sterling to sell the team. After Silver’s press conference, UCLA released a statement regarding Sterling’s gift. Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters diversity, inclusion and respect. For those reasons, UCLA has decided to return Mr. Sterling’s initial payment of $425,000 and reject the remainder of a $3 million pledge he recently made to support basic kidney research by the UCLA Division of Nephrology.
Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters diversity, inclusion and respect. For those reasons, UCLA has decided to return Mr. Sterling’s initial payment of $425,000 and reject the remainder of a $3 million pledge he recently made to support basic kidney research by the UCLA Division of Nephrology. UCLA has received numerous inquiries about an advertisement in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times falsely suggesting that it was UCLA publicly thanking him for the gift. The ad was placed by Mr. Sterling, not the university.
Howland alerted UCLA administrators of their conversation. That same day, UCLA administrators notified the NCAA, who launched an investigation into the matter in 2011. UCLA and the NCAA made multiple attempts to contact Honeycutt and Stazel at the time to discuss the allegations. Neither Stazel nor Honeycutt would talk to investigators. Still representing athletes and wanting to keep his behind-the-scenes dealings private, Lookofsky also declined to comment to the NCAA. The investigation was closed after four months. UCLA ultimately sent a letter of disassociation to Honeycutt and Stazel due to their lack of cooperation in the investigation. That letter withdrew any benefits Honeycutt may have received for his role as a former UCLA player. For example, he is not allowed to use any on-campus athletic facilities or attend sporting events as anything other than a member of the general public. The university also stated in the letter they would not accept any donations from Honeycutt or his family.
The way I heard it, UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero called Musburger’s office, and talked to his son, Brian, about Jackson helping UCLA find a replacement for Ben Howland. Musburger put out a news release after I wrote about it and said I was wrong. I think everyone understands I am never wrong. I asked Guerrero on Tuesday if he had talked to Jackson’s agent. “A third party who is close to our program heard Phil was interested in helping us out on the search and would I call,” Guerrero said. “So I did. He indicated he might be willing to help as a consultant if we were willing to hire him.”
I just know that Guerrero said he told Jackson’s agent he was busy hiring a coach. And he didn’t know when he could get back to Jackson, if ever. The weekend passed without contact, and Jackson should be used to that by now after dealing with the Lakers. Very funny, but a serious Musburger said it was inaccurate to write that a financial deal had been discussed and Jackson might help with UCLA recruits.
Musburger failed to mention in his release his son had talked to Guerrero about Jackson. It sounds deceptive now, but then he’s an agent. And an attorney as well. He’s also Brent Musburger’s brother — you know, the TV broadcaster who almost swooned when he spotted the girlfriend of Alabama’s quarterback sitting in the stands. Maybe it’s a family trait, the Musburgers sometimes going overboard. I don’t know.
Kevin Ding: Phil Jackson’s agents issue statement: “Contrary to published reports” Phil was never asked to lead search for a new UCLA basketball coach.
Jimmy Kimmel also asked Kareem about the UCLA opening for head coach, and if he would have any interest. Kareem responded that he “certainly would be interested in coaching the team.” Not to get wins, mind you, but to help get players their degrees and teach them basketball. Kareem’s coaching experience is limited to serving as a special assistant to Phil Jackson, and coaching the Oklahoma Storm of the USBL. He does, however, know what it is like to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.
Former UCLA basketball player Reeves Nelson filed a $10-million defamation lawsuit against Sports Illustrated on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit stems from an article (“Special Report: Not the UCLA Way”) published in March in which Nelson was portrayed as a bully who mistreated former Bruins teammates.