Rick Neuheisel: UCLA needs changes

Updated: November 29, 2011, 4:58 PM ET
By Peter Yoon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Rick Neuheisel, fired as UCLA Bruins coach Monday, said Tuesday that changes in the approach to the football program will be needed if his successor is to have the type of success UCLA expects.

In an interview with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio, Neuheisel likened the UCLA coaching job to "taking a knife to a gunfight" when it comes to trying to compete with elite-level programs such as crosstown rival USC.

"I think every program across the country has to make a determination as to what their expectation level is and then finance that expectation level, and in some places those numbers don't jibe," Neuheisel said.

Athletic director Dan Guerrero said Monday that UCLA is "in a different league" financially for hiring its next coach. Neuheisel made $1.25 million a year and UCLA is expected to go beyond $3 million a year for Neuheisel's successor.

Guerrero also said that upgrades to UCLA's practice facility, where currently there is no 100-yard field, are in the works.

Said Neuheisel: "You want to make sure you are getting the same things that those teams where the expectation level lies are getting so that you can compete at that level.

"I would tell you that the needle needs to be moved for the next guy. He's going to ask for some things that certainly (former Bruins coach) Karl Dorrell asked for and that I asked for, and certainly the next guy will need to get to where they want to go."

Peter Yoon covers UCLA for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Peter Yoon

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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