There are few universities that can lay claim to such a unique history of both academic prestige and athletic success as UCLA can. Our university is one of the top-ranked schools in the world, and the Bruins have won 113 NCAA Championships across all sports – tied with Stanford for the most championship won.
UCLA Athletics made the university 96.9 million dollars in 2016, according to Business Insider. They are an incredibly important factor in how UCLA markets itself. Our iconic script logo – the one you see on billboards, hats, and the hoodie you’re wearing right now – is supposed to only represent UCLA’s athletics. It, naturally, does far more than that.
But does the success and national relevance of our sports teams really matter to the average student here? Are the Bruins really so heartbroken about the result of Saturday’s football game against our archrival, USC? Were we really so upset about LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley besmirching UCLA’s good name in China?
I asked students around Dickson Court and on the Hill to find out:
“I have no opinion on the matter.”
-Susan Shoemaker, second-year physics student, on the China scandal
“(It means) absolutely nothing because I don’t share any of the same values as he does. Our lives are completely different.”
-Nathan Bernacki, second-year ethnomusicology student, on LiAngelo Ball’s suspension
“The tradition is on the top. The outcome of the game or match is second – if you know what I mean.”
-Isaac de Vera, second-year ethnomusicology student, on the outcome of the UCLA versus USC football game
“In my opinion, I think it’s entertaining. But I personally don’t hold too much pride over whether we win or lose. Overall, it doesn’t really matter to me.”
-Jeremy Quan, second-year environmental science student
“Not in particular. Mostly because I’m not very concerned with sports. And I feel like it’s just a whole dramatic thing that takes up time, space and money.”
-Christine Nguyen, third-year English student
“UCLA sports don’t really matter to me, but the spirit does. I love feeling united with my fellow Bruins.”
-James Barton, second-year molecular cell and developmental biology student
“UCLA sports is a big part of the college experience. It fosters school spirit, and it’s a great way to bring people together.”
-Kilaztli Saucedo, second-year sociology student
Some of my fellow Bruins’ indifference to UCLA Athletics was palpable in our conversations. Of course, this is a very small sample size, so there must be at least a few of us out there who really are interested in what’s going on with UCLA football, basketball and what-have-you. Are you one of those people? Feel free to comment below and set the record straight. Go Bruins.