Bruins rescind coordinator offer to Seto
For about 12 hours last Tuesday night, Rocky Seto was planning to become UCLA's next defensive coordinator.
The former USC defensive coordinator and current assistant coach with the Seattle Seahawks said he had accepted a verbal offer from UCLA and was scheduled to be introduced at a news conference the following day.
He told a few friends. He told his family. He tried to wrap his head around the idea of holding such a key role for UCLA, the school that had been his rival as both a player and a coach for more than a decade.
By the end of the next day, however, all those thoughts were gone. So was the job.
"It was a unique situation," Seto said when reached on his cell phone by ESPNLosAngeles.com late Monday night. "I was a bit disappointed because when I accepted the offer, emotionally and mentally I was there.
"But as a follower of Jesus Christ, I just believe that everything happens for a reason and there's no accidents. It kind of allows you to have peace about the situation, knowing that God is in control."
Seto said UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel called him Wednesday to tell him that "it just wasn't the right time."
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"He called, and he was really gracious about it and very flattering," Seto said. "It just wasn't the right time. What was flattering about it was I really believe he wanted to do it, but the circumstances just wouldn't allow for it."
Seto said he believes he's no longer under consideration for the job. A UCLA spokesperson said that no official job offer was made.
"I think they've moved in a different direction," Seto said.
It's unclear what changed in those 12 hours. Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News reported on his Inside USC blog Monday night that Seto posted he'd accepted the job on his Facebook account, which incensed UCLA and ignited a fan backlash.
Seto said he never posted the news on his Facebook profile himself but acknowledged that several of his friends and family members offered congratulations on his wall as the news started to leak out Tuesday night.
"I didn't post anything on my Facebook page," Seto said. "They may be talking about some people close to me maybe congratulating me. Leaving messages on my wall. But I didn't write anything.
"My intentions were not to get the news out. Maybe I shouldn't have told as many friends and family. I was just so excited. And we were scheduled for a press conference on Wednesday."
Seto said he has no hard feelings with Neuheisel over the way the situation played out.
"I really feel we can depart as friends," Seto said. "I was impressed by the guy. It would take a lot for me to leave coach [Pete] Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, but I was impressed by Rick and the opportunity he presented.
"I give him a lot of credit; he would've taken shots, I would've taken shots because we were kind of crossing over. It took a lot of courage for him to initially make that decision. It's unfortunate the circumstances didn't work out."
Neuheisel did not respond to a text message seeking comment Monday.
Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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