UCLA Football – The Other Shoe Finally Falls, Bonks Adrian Klemm on the Head

More than a year after the initial investigation and self-imposed sanctions, UCLA Football learned today that the NCAA has handed down additional punishment for Associate Head Coach – Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm.

UCLA had self-imposed two suspensions for Adrian Klemm (one during the spring recruiting period and spring camp, the other for the first two games of the 2015 season), and a reduction in football evaluation days and official visits during the spring 2015 recruiting period.

The NCAA has added a $5,000 fine and given a two-year show-cause order for Klemm, through September 15, 2018.

It’s this last one that’s the real kicker. Designed to prevent a coach from leaving a school to suffer the punishment for his violations while he takes another college job, punishment free, a show-cause order calls for any penalties to be transferred to a school that hires the violating coach.

Any school that chooses to employ a coach under a show-cause order must appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions (COI) and make the case that hiring the coach is necessary and that the school should be exempt from the penalties. In reality, hiring a coach under a show-cause order is prohibitively difficult, and it usually results in effectively excluding that coach from employment in college sports for the duration of the penalty.

If UCLA were to retain Klemm’s services, it would have 30 days to appear before the COI to justify his continued emploment. They would then be required to report to the NCAA every six months for the duration of the show-cause order.

Klemm paid for two recruits to attend private training, but he claims he did not know he was in violation because he thought the prospects had signed their letters of intent.

Najee Toran has come off the bench to help the Bruins all year. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Najee Toran has come off the bench to help the Bruins all year. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The details of the offense are academic at this point, though, because UCLA and Jim Mora have a choice in front of them. Do they release Klemm immediately? Do they make the case that firing him mid-season would be an undue burden on the team and then make a move after the season? Or do they ride out this show-cause order and stick with Klemm?

Jim Mora has near-total control over the football program these days, and he’s (to a fault) loyal to his staff, so it’s hard to see him cutting ties with Klemm immediately. However, NCAA compliance is one of AD Dan Guerrero‘s top priorities, and I’d be surprised if Mora didn’t feel some pressure from above to respond in some way.

If I had to guess, I’d split the difference and say Mora releases Klemm after the season – hopefully while having laid some groundwork in the interim to hire a quality replacement — no Bob Connelly, please! The Bruins would take a hit in recruiting, as Klemm is one of the best in the country, but it might be a better-than-even trade-off if he can be replaced by an offensive line coach that actually, you know, improves the quality of the offensive line.

Go Bruins!

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