WESTWOOD (CBSLA) — The UCLA community reacted Sunday to the announcement that Bruins football head coach Jim Mora had been fired.
Raul Moreno graduated UCLA in 1994 and he returned to campus with his daughter Sunday night to watch the UCLA women’s soccer team.
During the walk through campus they talked about football coach Mora – who was fired on his 56th birthday.
“It’s disappointing to see they kind of pulled the trigger pretty quick,” said Moreno.
That trigger was pulled one day after the Bruins lost to crosstown rival USC for the third year in a row.
Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said: “While his first four seasons at UCLA were very successful, the past two seasons have not met expectations.”
The loss to USC dropped the Bruins’ record this season to 5 and 6.
“I was a little surprised at first but then I thought about it and I think it’s time for a change,” said Craig Scott of Huntington Beach.
The university says it will honor its contract with Mora, which includes a buy-out reportedly worth about $12 million.
The money will come from lucrative TV deals and a recent contract with apparel company Under Armour.
Economics professor Dr. John Riley says college football is big business and falling to the bottom half of the Pac-12 Conference doesn’t fly.
“The sooner we start looking for the replacement the better,” said Riley.
A search for Mora’s replacement has begun.
Former UCLA quarterback and three-time Super Bowl Champ Troy Aikman has been brought in to help.
For parents who bring their kids to sporting events at UCLA, they often pass the Athletics Building which honors Bruins who were Olympians or national champions.
Even though this campus is a renowned academic institution, the success of the sports programs go hand-in-hand with an international brand.
“It’s important. It attracts the alumni,” said Moreno. “It attracts a lot of the fan base.”