Normally, I wouldn’t be all that interested in the usual piece about UCLA center Kevin Love returning to his home state tonight as the Bruins take on the Oregon Ducks in Eugene. It’s full of the usual stuff about the son of an Oregon star who spurned his father’s alma mater, etc. and how the crowd in Eugene’s going to be ranting against him. But this ish between Kevin’s dad Stan regarding the slights made by Ernie Kent seems, well, a bit divo:
Stan Love tells a story of how UCLA Coach Ben Howland and North Carolina Coach Roy Williams helped Kevin carry workout equipment into and out of a practice gym while Oregon Coach Ernie Kent “kept one eye on his BlackBerry and never lifted a finger.”
Dan Cogan, an Oregon sophomore and president of the Pit Crew, the gold-and-green-wearing students who will number about 1,700 and who have weekly meetings to get ready for new opponents, said indignation and resentment toward Love, who played at Lake Oswego High near Portland, is more pointed than it might be toward another in-state player who left Oregon.
“Stan did go to Oregon,” Cogan said. “When Kevin first committed to UCLA, Stan chose to take a shot at the basketball program and the university, so we don’t consider him to be a Duck. He’s a traitor, that’s what he is.
“Kevin, we have mixed feelings. I saw him play in high school and he’s the best high school player I’ve ever seen, but there’s a lot of guys from Lake Oswego who have a lot of negative feeling toward Kevin. There’s a lot of people up there who think Kevin is pretty high and mighty. And his dad is worse.”
It’ll be fascinating to see how much heckling Kevin and his dad actually get, but I’m amazed by what the whims of teenage boys and slighted parents can do. It seems weird that a sort of blood feud has opened right up, with the rabid nature of collegiate fans turning on the father, who betrayed them in a sense.
But really, coaches not picking up weights for your son is a slight in the recruiting of blue-chip athletes? Seriously, pick a better example — that just makes Stan Love look like a complete douchebag — and according to some Oregon faithful and those who followed Kevin through his high school career, he probably is.