UCLA coach Steve Alford says basketball program has not been contacted by FBI

UCLA men's basketball coach Steve Alford has six freshman on this year's team.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA basketball Coach Steve Alford said Saturday no one from his program has been contacted by the FBI or the Department of Justice regarding the ongoing bribery and corruption investigation involving college basketball coaches, players and officials.

“That’s not happened,” he said. “Obviously it’s something you don’t like seeing in our game. It’s not all programs. I know how we’re doing things.”

Asked if he had discussed issues with his staff, Alford said, “The only thing I did was when it started hitting met with my staff and I thanked them. I sleep well at night. It doesn’t mean everybody is perfect and it doesn’t mean everybody is going to do the right thing all the time. The three guys on the road with me I hired for a reason of who they are and how I want things done.”


Ten individuals were charged last month in U.S. District Court in New York as part of a wide-ranging investigation, including assistant coaches from USC, Arizona, Oklahoma State and Auburn, along with an executive from Adidas.

Both UCLA’s men’s and women’s teams were at Venice Beach on Saturday for an elaborate Under Armour production in which the school’s new uniforms were revealed and players worked out on a customized basketball court adjacent to the boardwalk. Under Armour began its new contract with UCLA this year.

Freshman Kris Wilkes walked out onto the court wearing SnapChat sunglasses. Some of the freshmen were dancing, led by 6-foot-9 Chris Smith. UCLA has seven freshmen, and they aren’t afraid to show their personalities.

“I love their personality,” Alford said. “It’s swag, it’s whatever you want to call it. Out here, they stole the show by dancing.”

Freshman LiAngelo Ball received the loudest cheer when being introduced. He has lost 20 pounds since his Chino Hills High days.

“He’s had a great summer,” Alford said. “His body has changed. He’s in much better shape and it’s helping him in other areas besides shooting the basketball.”


Freshman Jaylen Hands won a dunk competition with a little help from Alford. He stationed Alford under the basket and received all 10s from the judges after leaping over him and dunking.

“I’ve seen him jump over his mom and dad,” Alford said.