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Mason Tries to Downplay UCLA Talk

December 16, 1995|CHRIS DUFRESNE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

New on the beat, the upstart CBS analyst got right to the point Friday during a media teleconference call with opposing coaches for the Dec. 25 Aloha Bowl.

"Now, Glen," the CBS man asked of Kansas Coach Glen Mason, "are you a candidate for the UCLA job?"

Mason might have recoiled had not that grenade been tossed by UCLA Coach Terry Donahue, who resigned Monday to accept a position at the network.

It is ironic that Donahue's final game as UCLA coach will be against Kansas, whose coach, Mason, has been mentioned by some as a possible successor to Donahue in Westwood.

Donahue, a lame duck, is having no trouble floating rumors.

"I wanted to make sure you guys were as totally disrupted as possible," he told Mason.

For Mason, however, the situation is more prickly.

First off, he said, he has not contacted UCLA or been contacted by UCLA regarding Donahue's job.

But what if he had been?

"You know, that's like Patton--before he goes into a big battle--it's rumored that right after, or right before the battle, he's going to switch over to the German army," Mason said of his position. "It's caused me a lot of headaches and problems. Everyone's looking at me out of the corner of their eye."

Asked if he would be interested in the UCLA job, Mason said, "A guy told me a long time ago, 'Do not give speculative answers to speculative questions and you won't get any problems.' It's ludicrous for me to sit here and talk about it."

UCLA Notes

Terry Donahue said two or three of his UCLA assistants have been contacted about job openings at other schools and that the hardest part of quitting was wondering what would become of his staff. "I'm just hoping, when all the dust settles, everyone has a great place to coach, live and be with their families," he said.

Donahue also said he has had no second thoughts about his decision. "Because I wanted to do it, I don't think I'll have buyer's remorse," he said. "I really don't."

Donahue said tailback Karim Abdul-Jabbar has recovered from his ankle sprain and will be near 100% for the Aloha Bowl.

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