On Wednesday, UCLA head coach Jim Mora unloaded on five-star true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen within earshot of media observing the Bruins’ practice.
“You’re not at … Bellflower St. John Bosco,” Mora shouted at the quarterback, who has earned the nickname “The Rosen One” in his short time on campus, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That’s why you have not been named the starter.”
He later told Rosen, ““You can’t hit an open receiver down field with no defense,” before ordering him to “go back to Bosco and beat some more [bad] teams.” He concluded his session by turning to the assembled media and saying, “Tell your readers that is why has not been named the starter.”
A day later, Mora offered an explanation for his comments. “This is football, and I’m not going to change the way I coach just because there’s fans and media out here. Like I said at the start, you’re trying to put these guys in stressful situations, you’re trying to test them, you’re sometimes setting things up to see how the handle it. To me, this is where you do all of that,” Mora said, gesturing toward UCLA’s practice fields. “On game day what you see me do is support those guys and be there for them. Out here it’s about toughening them physically, mentally and emotionally to be able to go in that Rose Bowl in front of 85,000 fans against a great opponent and perform in a stressful situation.
“If the music was up, no one would even have heard me,” he continued, laughing. “I do that stuff all the time, you can ask them… It’s just part of the deal, you know? Like I told them after practice, ‘Am I an asshole? Yeah, I’m an asshole.’ Out here, I’m an asshole. Sorry for my language, but I’m an asshole because that’s my job to make sure they get the most out of what God gave them and protect all that they’ve worked for and all that they’re working towards. I’m not going to let anyone go through the motions at any time.”