"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
Coach Wooden understood that life sometimes presents unexpected challenges, and how one reacts is often more important than the event itself. This was never more true than during the past 24 hours at UCLA, as the incredible response from so many staff, students, alumni and fans to the unprecedented flooding makes me prouder than ever to be a Bruin.
As a UCLA fan, alumni, donor or season ticket holder, I know you share my concern for our collective home and for the people and places which have made UCLA Athletics the premier intercollegiate athletics department in the country. Thank you for the many calls and emails expressing that concern and for offering assistance in a variety of ways.
Please let me tell you what we know as of late this morning:
- The water main break on Sunset Boulevard yesterday impacted the following structures relating to Athletics: Drake Stadium, John Wooden Center, J.D. Morgan Center, UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame, Acosta Center, Gifford Golf Practice Facility, and Pauley Pavilion.
- UCLA campus workers, emergency crews and outside experts were immediately brought in to mitigate the damage, to begin the clean-up process and to assist in the assessment of the outstanding issues.
- As of this morning, the standing water in all athletic indoor facilities has been eliminated.
- While the water has subsided, silt remains on the new Mondo track surface of Drake Stadium. Volunteers and work crews are in the process of removing it, and we are simply in clean-up mode.
- Due to the quick actions of many of our own staff and student-athletes, our cherished Hall of Fame and the irreplaceable items within its walls, including the Wooden Den and all 111 of our NCAA National Championship trophies, remain safe and intact.
- There was minimal water damage to Bud Knapp Football Complex and Acosta Athletic Complex. After clean-up, the building will be fully operational for the return of football.
- Collins Court and the John Wooden Center were also affected by flooding. Clean-up was immediate, and the playing surface at Collins is currently being evaluated by flooring experts.
- Inside Pauley Pavilion, the north side of the building was the most impacted by the flooding. The water reached the lower level of Pauley and affected the playing surface, locker rooms and other ancillary areas, as well as the Pavilion Club.
- While assessments are ongoing in regard to the damage and how to proceed, the building itself has not been structurally compromised. The largest issue we currently face within Pauley is in regard to the playing surface. We have numerous options, and based on the information our experts and consultants have provided thus far, I am confident that the facility will be ready for our men’s and women’s basketball teams this upcoming season.
- This morning, I met with our senior staff and planning team to make the necessary alternate plans for ongoing summer camps, UCLA student-athlete training and the upcoming fall sport seasons, should any of our facilities be unavailable for training and/or competition in the short term.
Along with Chancellor Block and the University, we will continue to provide you with updates as we receive new information. Please continue to check ucla.edu, newsroom.ucla.edu and uclabruins.com for additional information as it becomes available.
In conclusion I am reminded of an additional quote from Coach Wooden: "Today is the only day, yesterday is gone."
Today, we are looking ahead and grateful for your support and caring.