Great stuff here in our Five Questions, Five Answers feature from UCLA beat writer Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times. Many thanks to Chris. You can find him online at latimes.com and on Twitter @cfosterlatimes.
1. UCLA had a nice turnaround under Jim Mora last season. The Bruins are now up to No. 13 now in the AP poll. What impact has Mora had, and is there belief in and around the program that this success can be sustained?
Mora has completely changed the culture around UCLA. Players are being held accountable. Players said that the first day he met with the team, it was clear he was in charge. The “over the wall” days, where players ditched a practice, ended was a result. But that doesn’t just mean he rides rough-shod over them. He has been as much a guidance counselor. He moved practices to 7 a.m., which gets players to bed earlier and gets them out of bed so they get to class. He hired a strength coach to work only with football. UCLA fans, a segment of which has always been quick to turn on the team, are on board. The administration has been supporting him. UCLA, for so long has been a “we can’t do that here,” place. The practice field has been upgraded, and they are raising money for a football house. Assistant coach pay has been boosted. For it to be sustained, those things have to be continue, or else they risk losing Mora.More