UCLA Interim Coach: Flying Commercial "Overblown"

UCLA's basketball team flew "half commercial, half charter" this season. Elite programs typically fly charter only.

The DA Show
April 05, 2019 - 12:27 pm

UCLA’s basketball program is, in many ways, at a crossroads. Once untouchable under John Wooden – and a national power under Ben Howland – UCLA has finished around .500 for the second time in four seasons. The Bruins went 15-17 in 2015-16 and 17-16 this past season.

Needless to say, there’s a lot that Bruins brass needs to improve or change, including the program’s tendency to…fly commercial?

“We flew about half the time commercially and about half the time via charter,” UCLA interim coach Murray Bartow said on The DA Show. “So that’s been a little overblown, but it was a little commercial, a little charter.”

Elite programs – like Kansas and Kentucky – always fly charter, which benefits players. Flying commercial, on the other hand, presents drawbacks.

“Is it a big deal? Yeah, I think it is,” Bartow said. “It’s important if you can charter. It certainly helps from a playing standpoint and from an academic standpoint. Is it a game-changer? Probably not. But when you look at the elite programs around the country, they’re all chartering now. It helps with rest, it helps with practice time, it helps with guys being ready to play – again, maybe (they’re) a little more rested because you’ve got to leave at a different time. And it certainly helps from an academic standpoint to get guys where they need to be quicker and get them back to school quicker.”

UCLA fired former coach Steve Alford in December. It was the first in-season firing in the 100-year history of the program.

“I think with the new coach, I’d be surprised if that wouldn’t be something that didn’t change,” Bartow said of UCLA’s road trips. “But this year, it was kind of half commercial, half charter."