The NCAA sent a letter of inquiry to UCLA in connection with Coach Wooden's involvement in the recruitment of freshman sensation Kevin Love. Apparently Love met with Coach on his recruiting trip. Spending time with Coach is an amazing experience, something I've been fortunate to do on several occasions. I would liken an audience with Coach Wooden to the Pope (but in English and far more entertaining). If invited, you don't consult with the NCAA rule-book, you go -- and if you have to beg forgiveness later, so be it. If this sounds "Onion-esque" read on.
Bill Dwyre, another LA institution, who writes about the episode in the Los Angeles Times, wonders why NCAA protocol was so closely followed. Coach Wooden has been involved in college athletics since 1928, making the NCAA barely old enough to be his father. If you had to name an "All-NCAA" team of those who most embody the values of the NCAA, certainly Coach would be a first teamer, if not Player of the Century. I would like to think the NCAA is becoming more student-athlete friendly as they like to say they are, but there are still some ole Javert-types who view a rule as a rule. Certainly a phone call to UCLA's compliance guy Rich Herczog would have provided a satisfactory response: "Wooden, as a paid consultant to the school, is permitted to meet with recruits."
Dwrye wonders: "Even though we know better every time we read about big bowl money and the latest zillion-dollar TV network basketball tournament contract, does not the NCAA purport to exist for the betterment of the educational experience? What better educational opportunity anywhere than to meet and talk to John Wooden?"