UCLA Athletic Director Pete Dalis need not scour the country in search of a successor to Terry Donahue. . . .
There is a perfectly fine candidate right under Dalis' nose in Westwood--Bob Field, a Bruin assistant coach for 17 years and defensive coordinator the last 14. . . .
He would make for an easy transition and lend stability to the program. . . .
Field, 47, is smart, well organized, and imaginative. . . .
In the last 20 years, UCLA has had one football coach and six basketball coaches. . . .
My idea of an All-Donahue team--Quarterback: Troy Aikman. Running backs: Karim Abdul-Jabbar, Gaston Green. Wide receivers: J.J. Stokes, Kevin Jordan. Tight end: Tim Wrightman. Tackles: Jonathan Ogden, Luis Sharpe. Guards: Craig Novitsky, Larry Lee. Center: Frank Cornish. . . .
And on defense, linemen: Manu Tuiasosopo, Irv Eatman, Mike Lodish, Terry Tumey. Linebackers: Jerry Robinson, Ken Norton, Carnell Lake. Safeties: Kenny Easley, Eric Turner. Cornerbacks: Carlton Gray, Darryl Henley. . . .
Kicker: John Lee. Punter: Kevin Buenafe. . . .
That is only a sampling of the talent Donahue has coached at UCLA. . . .
Perhaps his won-lost record should be better than 151-73-8. . . .
But he was a frequent and successful participant in bowl games who beat his biggest rival, USC, the last five times, ran a clean program, and conducted himself with a touch of class. . . .
How will Donahue fare in the TV booth? Better than you might think, particularly if he shows what the strain of coaching often didn't allow him to--a keen sense of humor. . . .
They tore down Bill Bertka's old home Sunday morning in Inglewood . . .
Collapsed it or, in the lexicon of the business, imploded it. . . .
"I lived there for 10 years during the basketball season," the Laker assistant coach said after the implosion of the Park Plaza Hotel. "I had a room on the 10th floor. Across the hall were Charlie Whittingham and Jack Van Berg." . . .
It was convenient for all three. Bertka would walk across the street to work at the Forum and Whittingham and Van Berg, the Hall of Fame thoroughbred trainers, across the parking lot to Hollywood Park during the autumn meetings. . . .
The hotel, which went out of business a few years ago, fell because R.D. Hubbard, Hollywood Park's chairman of the board, wants to build a football stadium there. . . .
There was no such collapse by the Lakers on Sunday night, though. . . .
Instead, they came from behind to defeat the Detroit Pistons. . . .
Bertka smiled afterward. . . .
The Lakers' longtime assistant, who drew praise from James Worthy during the ceremonies retiring Big Game James' jersey, was particularly happy about Vlade Divac's performance. . . .
"Vlade gave us a dimension that the Pistons didn't have an answer for," Bertka said after Divac had scored 21 points, including the last three of the game, and got 13 rebounds during the 87-82 victory. "I was glad to see him deliver the goods down the stretch. That is part of his job description." . . .
The 21 points were a season high during what has been a slow start for someone who has increased his scoring average each season since his rookie campaign of 1989-90. . . .
"He was fantastic," Coach Del Harris said. . . .
The Lakers left today on what Harris called a "three-month road trip." Actually, it is 10 days, encompassing six games in New York, Detroit, Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis. . . .
It will seem a lot shorter if Divac, who didn't report to camp in the best of shape and acknowledges that he is 20 pounds heavier than the 250 listed in the media guide, is able to show that he is back in the groove. . . .
North Carolina Coach Dean Smith again showed his class when he attended the Worthy jersey retirement ceremonies at the Forum, even though it meant taking a red-eye flight back to make practice on Monday. . . .
Worthy is one of five former North Carolina players whose jerseys have been retired. . . .
The other former Tarheels, who also qualified by having been named NCAA player-of-the-year, are Michael Jordan, Phil Ford, Lennie Rosenbluth, and George Gamack. . . .
Jerry West's first major decision as Laker general manager in 1982 was picking Worthy first in the draft rather than Dominique Wilkins from Georgia or Terry Cummings from De Paul. . . .
It was criticized, but, as usual, West had the last laugh.