So, Bill Plaschke is at it again. He has written up another ignorant column in the Times. This time, he has written up a "sports column" on UCLA receiver Andrew Baumgartner, who was awarded a one-year scholarship last season. Andrew, if you can recall, was awarded a "one year" scholarship last year after he stepped up against the Sooners (when Taylor got injured). From a report in last year's Daily Bruin (emphasis mine):
Baumgartner, who was a walk-on that was awarded a one-year scholarship, picked up the slack with the loss of Taylor.
UCLA converted on a key third down when he streaked down the middle of the field and caught a 22-yard pass which setup a touchdown by tight end Marcedes Lewis.
"It's a privilege and opportunity to play in a big game like this," Baumgartner said.
So, the term of his "one-year" scholie ran out this season, and Baumgartner is back to being a walk-on again. And Plaschke is whining. Whining like a baby with dramatics that would make John Tesh proud.
While we know Plaschke is worthless, I do wish the UCLA administration/coaching staff had clearly communicated to the Baumgartners that "one year scholarship" award given to Andrew, which I imagine these days come out to somewhere around the amount of $20-25,000, was just that - a one year award. Perhaps Dorrell himself should have told AB in person that he was not going to extend that "one year scholarship," but no mistake about it, AB is still an invaluable member of the team. Plaschke of course doesn't mention anything about that "one year scholarship," and instead writes another one of his patented ill-informed, snarky, moronic takes, which makes him look like he knows shit about college football.
AB is living a dream:
Celebrating TD against the Sooners - Matt Sayles/AP
He is part of a team that treats him as one of their own. But the reality is that UCLA needs the scholies to bring in as many talented athletes (with UCLA grades, of course) as possible so we can bridge the gap against USC/Cal in the Pac-10. So, pulling this scholie is really not all that big of a deal.
Someone should have communicated to an ignorant reporter/columnist such as Bill Plaschke, who clearly needs to be spoon-fed to write his columns, often barely worthy of the rags next to grocery store check out counters. Plaschke is obviously the classic lazy so-called journalist who always types up the easy convenient story lines. But, UCLA's incompetent PR department is also responsible for this awful story that makes us look bad. It is the job of the PR professional at UCLA to get ahead of this story. They should have aggressively pitched the UCLA angle of this story to Plaschke and all the other reports in the UCLA beat, so that the real story came out. Once again, they totally failed, making UCLA football look bad in the process.
This is not the first time it has happened either. Of course, the convenient excuse here is that SC is sucking up all the PR real estate in LA. But they do so because they have skilled PR professionals at Heritage Hall, who are good at spinning and getting their story out. That is why they have been so effective in covering up the systematic pattern of scandals during last few years under Carroll. Those guys are running circles around UCLA not just on the field but off it as well. And clowns like the Plaschkes of the world are soaking it up.