Letters to Sports: Mick Cronin shouldn't blame players for UCLA's woes

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin talks with players during a timeout in the second half.
UCLA coach Mick Cronin instructs his players during a loss to Maryland on Dec. 22. (Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Mick Cronin states, "The most important thing for a teacher is for his students to have aptitude or they can't learn." Sorry Mick, the most important thing for a teacher is to figure out how to motivate and develop each student/player. If your players are dumb, it's your job to make them smart. A bad carpenter blames his tools; a bad coach blames his players.

David Waldowski

Laguna Woods


I’ve always admired Coach Cronin for his accomplishments in his long career. This admiration is starting to diminish — not due to the team’s struggles, but his handling of it. Cronin belittles players for making mistakes, but lacks personal accountability. He says players have a confidence problem, then proceeds to shatter their confidence in a public forum, day after day. He publicly demeans the team’s intelligence. I encourage Coach Cronin to keep his criticism of the players to the locker room, take more accountability in public, and uphold the values that would make John Wooden proud.

Benjamin Bachrach

Culver City


Mr. Mick Cronin, screaming at your players, especially on TV, is not a good look. Watch the film and see their body language. You are beating them down when you need to prop them up by emphasizing the positive.

Steven Lee



Dear Bill Plaschke,

We can't take this anymore! You jump on us, and then jump off. Jump on, jump off, over and over again. We're tired and broken, and can't last much longer.

Sincerely, Bandwagons of America

Jack Wolf



I enjoyed Plaschke's column "Rams ignored his advice to tank." Plaschke will never have writer's block. All he has to do is dig up an old column of when he was wrong and provide additional commentary.

Vaughn Hardenberg



I like it when Bill Plaschke berates himself. It saves us the trouble.

Jim Fredrick

Manhattan Beach

What about the Lakers?

Now that Bill Plaschke has admitted he didn’t know what he was talking about when he told the Rams to “tank” this season, he needs to extend his mea culpa to the Lakers and basketball.

The Lakers’ front office was widely praised for revamping the roster last season, which enabled the team to reach the conference finals. Now, Plaschke proclaims the “players, particularly the supporting cast are the ones to blame. They were great last spring. They mostly stink now.”

Sorry Bill, players who excelled last year didn’t all suddenly lose their ability and turn into losers. To anyone with a modicum of insight, it’s very clear the problem is coach Darvin Ham and his inability to handle a talented roster.

It is time to fire Ham and find a coach who knows the basics of the game.

Ray McKown



Let's get realistic. There is not one player in the NBA who could reasonably be obtained by trade that would change the destiny of this season for the Lakers. It is time for the Lakers to accept as fact that there are no more Lakers championships in LeBron James' future.

No pie-in-the-sky trades involving any future first-round draft picks or Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura or Max Christie should be made. The Lakers should build a future championship team by wise draft choices and developing young players with smart trades and free-agent signings down the road. The Lakers should thank LeBron for the 2020 championship, but it's time to focus on the future.

Richard Raffalow

Valley Glen


The Lakers are improving the team’s issues. How, you may ask? Read the article. They’re leading the league in creating excuses for losing games. How about throwing in the towel for this season and prepare for next season with trades and draft picks? It worked for the Clippers.

Patrick Kelley

Los Angeles

Show some love

Greg Zuerlein was the Rams kicker from 2012 to 2019, was nearly perfect on extra points during that time and has been 83% successful during his career on field goals. He won many a game for the Rams. So, the Rams dumped him in 2019 over a “few bucks.” For some reason, even good kickers don’t get the love other less productive players do. But, I can recall at least seven games that the Rams have since lost because of a missed extra point or field goal.

Sherwyn Drucker


Give Pete Carroll a chance

Now that the Seahawks and Pete Carroll have parted ways, maybe the Chargers will consider offering USC's former coach the top job. After years of living in the rainy Pacific Northwest, I'm guessing Carroll would enjoy Southern California's warm days again.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

Angels need to take notes

Angels management makes it very difficult to remain a fan: after the billion dollars the Dodgers already spent, now they sign Teoscar Hernández for one year at $23.5 million and the Angels sign Zach Plesac, a third-tier player, for one year at $1 million. Somehow I don’t think Plesac will make the slightest difference in the Angels' success.

Bob Sands

La Habra

System coach?

For many years, the question was, "Brady or Belichick"? Now we know the answer.

Wayne Kamiya

El Segundo


The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.


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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.