UCLA basketball thieves

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

16 November 2017

UCLA basketball brand as it stands now

UCLA BasketballThe UCLA basketball brand suffers a major wound. It has been many years since NCAA basketball fans talked about the BRAND of UCLA basketball. The heyday (but sullied days) of John Wooden, Kareem, Walton and Wicks reigns supreme. But this recent thievery steals more than BRAND.

No one seems to really care

If you are from Mars or just don’t care about athletics, you should read this story. Three young UCLA basketball players were arrested in China for shoplifting. It took a personal intervention by President Trump for them to be released. A plea to get the Chinese to allow the three guys to board a plane and head home. They were facing severe punishment in China. Ten years of jail time.

“Winning is ALL that matters. We have ZERO standards when it comes to sports. If these three young men played at the Army, Naval or Air Force academies they would not play again. As a matter of fact, they would be thrown out of the Academy.”

Is it a learning experience?

UCLA BasketballNo. Not at all. This is not Jean Valjean. He was stealing bread to feed his sister’s starving children. This is thieving kids stealing sunglasses.

Not from the China’s version of CVS (as if that matters). No, they swiped high-end designer sunglasses from the elite Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou.

UCLA responded

UCLA BasketballUCLA suspends the players indefinitely. But don’t worry about any permanent damage to the basketball team’s performance.

The AD made it very clear that these hoodlums can EARN their way back into the rotation. “They will have to earn their way back,” Coach Steve Alford said of LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill.

What you should know about Steve Alford


UCLA Basketball

Bobby Knight was his college coach at Indiana. Coach Knight had many critics. But none over his squeaky-clean team policies or his basketball IQ (ask Coach K).

Bobby Knight never put up with these cracks in character. None of them could play for him. EVER.

Winning is ALL that matters to UCLA basketball

John Wooden. All he did was win. But these three would be toast. Wooden threw Bill Walton off the team for growing a beard. (Don’t worry, Walton shaved it off as fast as he could).

It seems to me there is nothing to learn here.

The message

UCLA BasketballHow old were you when you learned that stealing was wrong? 18? 19? 20?

Nope. I’ll bet it was the first or second lesson mom and dad taught you. So, these guys learned that stealing was wrong at 3 or 4 years old. They simply choose to ignore it.

The UCLA basketball brand needs to own up. The NCAA brand needs to speak up too. The way to teach the lesson is to kick these thieves out of basketball and the university.

The lesson should be— steal and you can’t play. Put all the recruits on notice. Ignore the normal lessons in life and your opportunity is over. They were representing UCLA basketball, college basketball and, yes, the United States of America to a foreign country.

I think kids often need a second chance

But not in this case. Kids do foolish things. They might drink. Get a DUI. You know… make mistakes in judgment.

However, this represents a character flaw. It’s not what they did it is who they are.

I read “at least they weren’t stealing diamonds.” Holy shit. Is stealing sunglasses any less of a theft than grand theft larceny? Is the crime dependent on the value stolen? Wasn’t the action the same?

The problem in UCLA basketball is fans

UCLA Basketball Rick PitinoWe don’t care. UCLA does not care. The NCAA does not care.

We want to win. It seems anything to make the program win is fair game.

Want proof? Ask Rick Pitino.


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