The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Steve Lavin Fired, Drugged, Straightjacketed, Locked in Trunk, Thrown Into Pacific Ocean
Originally posted 3/24/2003

The Pacific ocean (inset: Steve Lavin)
LOS ANGELES - UCLA men's basketball coach Steve Lavin was fired on Monday after a disappointing 10-19 regular season, the Bruins' first losing campaign in 55 years. He was then drugged, placed in a straightjacket, locked into a large trunk and thrown off the Santa Monica Pier into the Pacific Ocean.

"We just couldn't take any chances," said UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero. "Pete [Dalis, Guerrero's predecessor] thought he was rid of Steve a few times, but then they'd go to the NCAA tournament, get a couple of good wins, make the Sweet 16, and you can't fire a guy after a run like that. After this season it seemed like a done deal, of course, but then they went and beat Arizona."

The Bruins, seeded 8th in the Pac-10 tournament after finishing the season with a 6-12 conference record, defeated Arizona, then the top-ranked team in the country, in the opening round before losing 75-74 to Oregon in the semifinals. Two more wins would have earned UCLA a Pac-10 post-season title and an automatic bid in the NCAA championship tournament, giving Lavin an outside chance to save his job yet again.

"I couldn't believe they beat Arizona," said UCLA alum and longtime basketball fan Lynne Nakata. "I was looking forward to Lavin getting fired, then they go and shock the best team in the country. That was too close to comfort. Thank God they lost to Oregon."

Guerrero, the man ultimately responsible for Lavin's ouster, had pleasant things to say about his former coach. "I'm sure Steve understands that this is just business," Guerrero said. "This team needed to go in a different direction, and the drugging, the straightjacket, the trunk, being chucked into the ocean; we felt that was necessary for the program to grow and flourish. Steve's a fantastic guy, though, and I wish him and his family well."

Lavin could not be reached for comment.

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