Blog Entry

Mora blasts Bruins and "over the wall" tradition

Posted on: December 21, 2011 6:57 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 7:00 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College football has many ... unusual traditions that have endured for decades despite being, you know ... unusual, and since that's part of what makes the sport such a vital part of so many communities and the American sporting landscape as a whole, we want to be sensitive to those traditions. That even goes for one as ... unusual as UCLA's annual "over the wall" tradition, in which the senior Bruins skip practice en masse by leaping over the facility's south wall after pre-practice stretching.

New Bruins head coach Jim Mora, however, doesn't have to be sensitive at all. And following the latest edition of "over the wall" at Tuesday's UCLA practice, he most certainly wasn't:
“It’s completely unacceptable ... I can just tell you in no uncertain terms that that tradition will not be a part of tradition going forward. [Athletic director] Dan Guerrero and I have spoken about it and we both agreed that the culture of UCLA football needs to change. That was part of the interview process and so we’re going to do all we can to make sure we change it.”

“I can tell you this, my general feeling is if they feel that they want to skip out on practice and jump over a wall then they might as well just keep going because they’re not a part of what I want to be a part of ...

You know Dan Guerrero gave these kids an opportunity to compete one last time for UCLA and it really bothers me personally knowing Dan how I do that they disrespected that gesture if you will that he presented them in going to this bowl game ... It’s a tradition that these guys have grown up with and it’s just a tradition needs to end. And so I hope they had fun going over the wall or whatever you call it yesterday because it’s the last time they’re going over the wall.” 
To their credit, not every Bruin glad to see another revival of "over the wall." "A lot of the guys unfortunately are OK with it," quarterback Kevin Prince said. "It's in the past and we're just going to forget about it for now and in the future make sure it doesn't happen anymore." 

Mora naturally appreciated that reponse, saying that "the kind of players that are going to fill this roster from now on are guys that would be pissed off about it." But of course, those are apparently not the kinds of players that are on the UCLA roster right now; the seniors leading the charge "over the wall," at least, are the kind of players that would walk out on a critical day of preparation for their final college game and deprive the rest of the roster of a chance to work towards better things in 2012. 

Sorry if that's insensitive; we're not condemning the "over the wall" tradition itself, or at least we're trying not to. But we also don't blame Mora one bit for every ounce of condemnation he's steered the tradition's way or -- it has to be said -- in the direction of the "leadership" of his 6-7 football team.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:13 pm

Mora blasts Bruins and "over the wall" tradition

It was a tradition that had value back in the day. It does reflect the laid-back SoCal lifestyle and it had some player bonding utility. The problem these days is that the NCAA limits on practice time are so restrictive, requiring strict scheduling to maximize today's vastly more complicated scheming. It's a pity that one or more of the seniors didn't seize the initiative and take the opportunity to establish an altered tradition, in which everybody quickly returns afterblowing off some steam by yelling and screaming like maniacs. Or, failing that, that the juniors didn't gather the underclassmen up and head back without the departing dead weight.

Since: Dec 27, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 10:02 am

Mora blasts Bruins and "over the wall" tradition

A reminder to all-- its college athletics with 90% of the players playing their last game ever.. give it a rest. College athletics is about  quirky, interesting, unique traditions that make the sport what it is. Mr Mora will be the latest in a long line of failed pro coaches coming in to college football trying to "change the culture".  Mr Mora may we never hear your name again. I give you two years and done.

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:39 am

Over the Wall

The UCLA players are not going to like mora coming in and putting a bunch of rules and stopping their traditions.

Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:06 am

Mora blasts Bruins and "over the wall" tradition

Way to go's an idea Bruin football players, dump the "over the wall" tradition, and start a tradition of winning instead.  College football players are not grown men, they are over grown children that require constant adult supervision, guidance, mentoring and coaching.  Jim Mora Jr, is setting a new expectation, one of accountabiliy and pride.  I hope the young men that are lucky enough to be given the opportunity to play for the Bruin program, truly appreciate the gift being presented to them and treat it with respect and dedication.  It will take a few years to turn the recruiting around, but I will hold out hope that things change sooner rather than later
Now if UCLA would just get Dan Guerroro out the way we could speed up the culture change. 

Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:49 am

Mora blasts Bruins and "over the wall" tradition are in LA now BIAAATCHHHH!

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:07 am

Mora blasts Bruins and "over the wall" tradition

What you get when you hire a professional coach. Amateur coaches may condone antics like this. Jim Mora is a professional coach, hired to coach professional - er.....amateur athletes earning millions of dollars for their colleges and their coaches. Even Forrest Gump understood this one: "stupid is what stupid does'. The Bruins have had some great coaches in the past. They have also done a better job of recruiting the second richest area in high school football talent in the nation in California than in recent years.

Mora probably has more alligators awaiting him in the Bruin community. The challenge is - can a coach relate to 18 year-old players after coaching grown men? The answer will become evident after about three years. In the meantime the UCLA nation must hold their collective breath in hopes that this one restores the school to national football prominence. After all, the Rose Bowl is their home field.

Since: Apr 25, 2010
Posted on: December 21, 2011 11:01 pm

Mora blasts Bruins and "over the wall" tradition

Mora naturally appreciated that reponse, saying that "the kind of players that are going to fill this roster from now on are guys that would be pissed off about it."

I'd have a hard time being pissed off living in Westwood.  Nice place.

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