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Here's hoping Steve Alford's word to UCLA lasts more than 10 days

March 30, 2013|By Chris Dufresne
  • Steve Alford, with New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs at his right, addresses the media after accepting the UCLA coaching job.
Steve Alford, with New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs at his right,… (Susan Montoya Bryan / Associated…)

What a greasy, slimy business.

Working on an oil rig?

Well, that too, but I was thinking of college athletics.

To quote from an old Broadway tune, "What kind of fool am I?"

Eleven days ago I thought New Mexico Coach Steve Alford was the perfect candidate for the UCLA coaching vacancy.

It was the Wednesday I sat in Salt Lake City typing those words for a story in advance of the subregional that featured several coaching candidates I thought UCLA and USC should consider.

The bracket featured Alford (New Mexico), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State) and Tommy Amaker (Harvard).

Eleven days ago at EnergySolutions Arena, I typed into my keyboard for Thursday's publication that Alford should get the first call from UCLA.

It was only minutes later when news broke that Alford had signed a 10-year extension to stay at New Mexico.

I might have been dubious had Alford not sold me on his professed love for New Mexico. At his news conference in Salt Lake City, Alford said he wasn’t signing just to dispel rumors he might leave.

“It was just coming to terms and knowing that this is where I wanted to be,” Alford said. “This is a commitment that I wanted to make more than anything else, because I found an institution, I found an area of the country that I really, really like.”

Wow, that settled it. I changed the line in my story to Alford “might have been my first phone call.”

It turns out Alford’s commitment to New Mexico fell only nine years and 355 days short.

Eleven days ago I was all aboard for Alford coming to UCLA.

That was before he gave his word to New Mexico through 2023 on a Wednesday and then the Lobos lost the next day to Harvard.

Eleven days ago I was gung-ho on the Hoosier Kid, but my commitment waned as fast as his did for New Mexico's players and fans.

Alford may work out fine in Westwood.

The next time a coach opens his mouth to speak, though, remind me again that oftentimes it’s just someone moving his lips.

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