Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Sports Medley: UCLA loses another game because of a dumb penalty 26 Sep 16

by Tony Medley

UCLA Football More of the Same: If there’s one thing that has been a trademark of Coach Jim Mora’s UCLA football teams, it is the inconvenient penalty at a crucial time. UCLA has been one of the nation’s most penalized teams every year of Mora’s tenure, and many of them are really senseless, indefensible penalties, like illegal procedure infractions with the game on the line that nullify big plays. This year has seen a pleasant departure from the egregious number of flags thrown in each game. His team has been far more disciplined. But Saturday’s loss to Stanford was caused by one of the most nonsensical penalties in UCLA history. With the Bruins leading the #7 ranked Cardinal by four points, Christian McCaffery caught a punt on the Stanford 16 with 2:03 to play.

Trailing 13-9, they had 84 yards to go to score a touchdown with no time outs. But UCLA defensive back Marcus Rios ran into McCaffery who was making a fair catch, resulting in a calamitous 15 yard penalty. Running into a player making a fair catch deep in its own territory with the game on the line? Can there be a dumber penalty? Now Stanford was on its 31 and only had 69 yards to go. They scored the winning touchdown with 31 seconds left in the game. It’s not unreasonable to believe that those additional 15 yards gave Stanford the additional 31 seconds with which to score the winning TD. If it weren’t for UCLA’s history with penalties, one would call this an unfortunate mistake. But considering the past four years of one senseless penalty after another, the fault lies with coaching.

Goodbye, Vinnie: The baseball world will miss Vin Scully, who is, quite simply, the best sportscaster who ever lived. When I wrote a Los Angeles Magazine article on Los Angeles Sportscasters in 1979, I said he was “better than the game itself,” a line that was later purloined by the LA Times (not the only time they used my material without accreditation).

Like just about everyone else, I learned from Vin. When I interviewed him in 1974 I asked him what he thought of some of the other baseball sportscasters. He said that he never listened to anyone else because he didn’t want something he heard from them to creep into his broadcasts. I took that to heart when I became a film critic and stopped reading reviews. To be truthful, though, one of the main reasons I started reviewing films was that mostly all the critics did was to tell the story, so I never got much out of their reviews anyway and learning the story often ruined the movie for me.

Three Week NFL Evaluation: After watching most of the games for the first three weeks, the best teams in the NFL are New England, Philadelphia, and Minnesota, not necessarily in that order. Philly’s annihilation of Pittsburgh last weekend should silence the talking heads who downplayed rookie quarterback Carson Wentz because “he only threw short, conservative passes.”

Nonsense. Wentz has been the best quarterback in the league the first three weeks, thanks in some part to brilliant coaching by new head coach Doug Pederson, and a good offensive line. In addition, Philly’s defense looks awesome, stifling Pittsburgh’s vaunted offense.

The Cowboys’ rookie quarterback, Dak Prescott, has also been extraordinary. As heartwarming is the success that former Rams and Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is achieving in Minnesota. The trade that sent Bradford from Philadelphia to Minnesota was a boon for both teams because it gave Wentz his chance to shine with Philly.

Just because you’re a quarterback doesn’t mean you’re smart: With the Giants leading 21-16 with six seconds to go in the half, Washington had the ball on the four yard line, 3rd and goal, no time outs. Washington Coach Jay Gruden figured that six seconds was enough time to call a quick pass play to try for a touchdown before kicking a chip field goal. How smart do you have to be to know that you have to get rid of the ball immediately or time will run out? Throw it; if nobody’s open, throw it away. But quarterback Kirk Cousins didn’t see anyone open, so he pulled it back and took a sack. Clock expires with no field goal. Cousins is paid $19,953,000 for 2016.