UCLA coach Jim Mora was in the middle of giving his thoughts on walk-on receiver Nick Pasquale when a phone rang.
Pasquale was killed after being hit by a car early Sunday morning and Mora was telling media about what the young man meant to the team. That's when a television “technician” answered his phone.
Mora immediately lost it (check out the 1:20 mark).
“Hey, shut up,” Mora yelled to the reporter while giving him a death stare. “The disrespect of some people is just unbelievable, man. Just unbelievable.”
The offending media member then told Mora to “go on,” which worsened the situation, caused Mora to say a couple more choice words to the guy and ultimately leave the news conference a little more than two minutes after it started.
The guy did apologize, but it was already too late.
Whatever your thoughts on Mora as a person or as a coach, he was totally justified in his actions here. For the past 24 hours, he’s had to deal with not only his own grief, but the grief of his players and staff over the loss of one of their own. And some guy is going to answer his phone while Mora is trying to publicly express his sorrow after losing one of his players?
First, the media member should have never answered his phone. That's a basic rule of etiquette while in news conferences. Second, he should have never told Mora to “go on.” And third, he should have just apologized on the spot and perhaps Mora would have given him the look, but continued with his comments and the rest of the presser.
It was a bad move, and the offending television station should go out of its way to make things right with UCLA or else this might be its last press conference.
*UPDATED: Mora did finish his press conference later and gave some gut-wrenching details on how the team is handling the situation.