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Jim Mora flips out on reporter who interrupts Nick Pasquale reflection (Video)

Jim-Mora-Jr-flips-on-reporterThe UCLA football team and community are in the middle of dealing with a tragedy. On Sunday, redshirt freshman walk-on wide receiver Nick Pasquale died after he was hit by a car in his hometown of San Clemente, Calif. He was only 20 years old.

At his press conference on Monday, UCLA head coach Jim Mora took some time to extend his support for Pasquale’s family and discuss how his team has been dealing with the loss. After Mora spoke for about a minute, a reporter appeared to take a phone call and distract him with the volume of his voice. The coach became furious.

“Hey, shut up,” a steaming Mora snapped at the reporter. “The disrespect of some people is unbelievable. It’s just unbelievable to me.”

The reporter then apparently made a second mistake when he told Mora to continue with what he was saying.

“Don’t tell me to go on!” Mora yelled. “I’ll go on when I’m ready to go on. Why don’t you take your butt out of here if you’re gonna be disrespectful?”

You could then hear the reporter apologizing and saying he didn’t mean to be disrespectful, which Mora was in no mood to hear. After that, he muttered “I’ve got nothing to say” and stormed out of the room.

Who can blame him? A press conference is typically a very business-oriented environment with writers and reporters who are on the clock, but there are certainly exceptions. The person who interrupted Mora as he was sharing thoughts about someone who lost their life only a day ago should have known better. Mora had every right to lace into him.

H/T Deadspin

Jim Mora paying for bus to take UCLA students to spring game

Jim Mora has already successfully turned around the UCLA football program in only one year on the job. Now he’s looking to improve the fan support for the team. He’s even willing to pay out of his own pocket to improve fan support.

Mora tweeted on Wednesday to promote the team’s Saturday spring football game at the Rose Bowl:

He did a darn good job making it seem like a fun event. One thing you’ll notice is that he said the buses from UCLA to the Rose Bowl were free for students. Athletic department staff member Josh Rebholz said Mora was paying for the buses on his own.

One thing many people do not realize when they knock UCLA for the sometimes poor attendance at football games is that it’s inconvenient for students to attend the games. UCLA plays home games at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, which is over 25 miles and at least 35 minutes away from campus. On a game day, that’s at least an hour drive. Many students do not have cars on campus, so it just isn’t that easy to get to games and events at the Rose Bowl.

Every action that can get fans to the Rose Bowl helps, even if it means Mora paying out of his pocket.

Helmet smack to Bruins Nation

Jim Mora goes off on Twitter impostor for talking trash to Robert Woods

UCLA already has enough to worry about when it comes to their football opponents, so the last thing they need is fake Twitter accounts stirring things up with rival players. Bruins head coach Jim Mora recognizes that, and he went off on a Twitter impostor for posing as freshman safety Randall Goforth and initiating trash talk with opponents.

The impostor Twitter account @RandallG300 that was posing as Goforth has been suspended since Mora complained. Here were some of the trash-talking tweets sent from the account to USC wide receiver Robert Woods (via Bruins Nation):

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Jim Mora kicks media out of practice for day, blames incompetent staff

Jim Mora joined crosstown rival Lane Kiffin as the latest LA college football coach to have an issue with the media. Only this situation was slightly different.

Mora kicked the media, and UCLA’s sports information department staff, out of practice Wednesday — just for the day — because of a security breach that he felt jeopardized the team’s privacy. He blamed the issues on the “incompetence” of his staff.

“We had some issues with our SID department,” Mora said after practice.

He was sure to clarify that the ban was just for the day and not permanent.

“Our practices are open. Our practices will be open tomorrow,” Mora said. “Today’s practice was closed because we didn’t have proper security. I’m not going to jeopardize what we’re doing as a football team because of the incompetence of some people.”

Bruins Nation explains that Mora was upset that “two camera crews set up in a restricted area next to [the practice field], and Mora subsequently told the camera crews to leave, told the reporters attending practice in the media shed to leave, and also kicked out the SID.”

Uh oh, looks like we’ve got some shady spies on our hands! They could be feeding info to lowly 1-3 Colorado for Saturday’s game! Watch out now!

Even though I’m making a joke of this, I think it’s pretty unprofessional of Mora to blast the SID publicly when he could have made his point privately. This is the type of behavior that has gotten Mora in trouble in the past, but he gets a pass now because the team has done well. If they start losing, you’ll start seeing complaints.

Video via UCLA Rivals

Jim Mora apologizes for campus murders comment, denies it was about USC

Jim Mora apologized after UCLA practice on Thursday for making what appeared to be a negative comment about campus safety at USC.

During an interview with Roger Lodge on AM-830 Wednesday morning, Mora took what seemed to be a shot at USC.

“When you’re talking about UCLA, it’s one of the great schools in the world — not just America, but in the world,” Mora said. “It’s a safe, beautiful safe campus in a great area of town. I mean, we don’t have murders one block off of our campus. We’ve got a cocoon of safetiness (sic) yet, there are opportunities to go out and explore the world there. It’s an amazing place. There’s champions all over the place, and parents love that.”

Two USC students were killed near campus in April. The campus also is in the South Central LA area, which is considered to be a high-crime neighborhood. Despite the evidence that would suggest Mora was referring to USC with that comment, he denied that was the case.

“I just said our campus is safe,” Mora told the Los Angeles Times. “I didn’t say anything about anyone else’s campus. I just said it about our campus. I didn’t mention another campus. We don’t have anybody getting murdered a block off of our campus.

“If anybody, whether USC or Cal State San Bernardino, is offended by the statement, then that’s their insecurity, not mine.”

That was a poor clarification by Mora especially since it’s so obvious he was using negative recruiting toward USC. At least he finally apologized later in the day:

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Jim Mora claims he didn’t know Cordell Broadus was Snoop Dogg’s son

UCLA received plenty of attention over the past few days after we published a story about them offering a football scholarship to rapper Snoop Dogg’s son. We and many others joked that UCLA was becoming the football school for famous rappers’ sons given that they also have P. Diddy’s son enrolled for the fall. But now we’re learning that Head Coach Jim Mora didn’t even know Cordell Broadus was Snoop’s son when he was offered a scholarship.

“Jim Mora called me on Sunday to tell me why he offered him and he said he didn’t find out until after that he was Snoop’s son,” Diamond Bar coach Ryan Maine told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “He said he liked his competitive nature, his size and his frame, especially for him only being a sophomore.”

Broadus is a 6’2″ 185 lb wide receiver/defensive back who will be a sophomore in the fall. Maine says he expected Broadus, who played on the frosh team last year, to begin receiving offers after he accomplished more.

“I was surprised he got an offer this early,” Maine said. “I thought it might come after he started playing this season. He was real humble about it and didn’t even want anybody to know because he didn’t want anything to get blown out of proportion. He knows a lot can change in three years with coaching staffs and things like that.”

The big question is whether you believe Mora. Although it’s possible that he’s telling the truth, it’s hard to imagine that he didn’t know Broadus was Snoop’s son.

My guess is he was trying to illustrate the point that he offered Broadus a scholarship based on how he plays, not who his father is. If you believe that is the case, it’s important to keep in mind that Mora was not the coach when P. Diddy’s son was offered and accepted his scholarship; that was all Rick Neuheisel’s doing.

Helmet knock to Eye on College Football Recruiting via Bruins Nation

Jim Mora Will Call USC ‘Southern Cal’ Whenever He Damn Well Pleases

People from So Cal know quite well that USC likes to be referred to as USC or SC, not “Southern Cal,” which is a name that’s caught on across the country. I’m really not sure how or why it’s caught on, but I know lots of people have been calling it Southern Cal for many years. You would figure that Jim Mora, the new football coach at UCLA, would know that, but he other doesn’t, or is playing stupid.

From the OC Register’s USC Blog:

Mora referred to his new crosstown rival as “Southern Cal” several times while meeting with reporters before the Bruins’ game with Illinois at AT&T Park Saturday.

At one point the new kid in town was reminded that the Trojans don’t like the old school reference.

They don’t want to be called Southern Cal, a media member said.

“Well that’s what I call them, Southern Cal, so, uh, yeah,” Mora replied.

Ugh, just what we need. We go from one coach who declared the football monopoly in the city to be over, to another who’s goading the rival by refusing to call them by their name of preference. Just a reminder to the brash Mora — the defiant strategy didn’t work too well for Neuheisel; he went 0-4 against SC and lost by a combined 132-28 margin.

A word to the wise, Jim: there’s no reason to antagonize the Trojans any more than you have to. They don’t need any extra motivation to pound us after last season’s 50-0 debacle.