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Firing Karl Dorrell, UCLA's marvelously inconsistent coach, will be difficult for a number of reasons. The new coach will have to be good but cheap, because UCLA's never really splashed out the cash for a head guy. Those are not easy to find. The new guy will also have to immediately pick up the recruiting trail from Dorrell against Pete Carroll, a move comparable in difficulty to handing off an F-15 mid-barrell roll to a novice pilot.

The administration, too, will face one possible claim: that they fired Dorrell and his 34-25 record because he is black.

Dorrell's firing--not an inevitability but a highly probable event at this point--will evoke the Willingham saga all over again, but in a more diminished way because UCLA doesn't have the gravitational media pull Notre Dame has. If there are whispers that Dorrell wasn't given another year that a white coach might be given, the rancor won't spread as it did when Willingham was let go. Also, Dorrell probably won't go on ESPN claiming he was fired because he was black. He could, of course, but that all depends on how acrimonious said firing process is.

Nevertheless, those who would believe this will believe it anyway. Assuming someone was fired because they're black/gay/fat/left-handed is an act of faith that can never be disproven, since the only evidence lies in the impenetrable inner thoughts of the AD and President who make the decision, or in a smoking gun memo that says "WE NEED A NON-BLACK COACH, SIGNED, UCLA PERSON."

In that vein, we offer the following suggestion for a PR campaign for UCLA just to counter such rumors--since those who believe race played a factor will believe it no matter what you say.

There. Free PR, on the house. Sometime we're astounded at how useful we are to this world.*

*Hey! It's satire! Or an attempt at it, at least! We don't actually think either of them was fired for being black. We're making fun of those who assume anything involving a black coach being fired instantly equals racism! Now, Gary Barnett was fired for being black, and that's the truth. Aren't you glad you read footnotes?