If it wasn’t the wacky college football story of the off-season, it was at least on the medal stand. On June 22, hip hop mogul and UCLA football dad P. Diddy came at Bruins strength coach Sal Alosi and his staff with a kettle bell after Alosi kicked Justin Combs out of a workout for poor effort.
Mora released a statement the day of the incident, and on July 3 it was revealed the Bruins were not pressing charges. And that was that. Nothing had been said in the month since, until Mora appeared on Dan Patrick’s show Monday.
“Everything’s fine,” Mora said. “It was an unfortunate situation, but Justin’s a good kid, Sean’s a passionate dad, and my strength coach is an amazing guy. You know, those things happen.”
Patrick, one of the great interviewers of our time, especially on the rare occasion when he gets a guest in person, can not formulate a follow-up question. “But you have…’cause,” is all he manages to say.
“There’s going to be distractions in LA. There’s gonna be stuff that happens in LA,” Mora interjected. He then launched into a sentence he couldn’t have imagined uttering when he got into coaching at Washington more than 30 years ago. “I’ve got P. Diddy’s son, I’ve got Snoop’s son. On campus there’s always celebrities all over. There’s cameras, sometimes you walk out of our practice, TMZ’s there. It’s just the way that it is when you’re at UCLA.”
He then turned it into a coaching point – and recruiting pitch – about the resiliency that UCLA players must have in order to focus on football.
“I think it’s good for our kids because it teaches them to deal with distractions. We’re playing at the Rose Bowl in front of 85,000 people against a great team like USC, you better be able to assume focus,” he said. “So I think all these things teach them how to eliminate the noise and focus in on what they have to focus in on.”
Mora declined to say definitively whether Justin Combs or Cordell Broadus would play more this fall. He did say Snoop asked great questions during Mora’s in-home visit with the Broadus clan, though he said he would not partake if Snoop passed him some of the devil’s lettuce during a game.