Wow. This sounds like so much fun:
UCLA sophomore center Kai Maiava and freshman wide receiver Morrell Presley are academically ineligible for the EagleBank Bowl. Jake Dean will start at center for the Bruins, with Nick Ekbatani sliding to right guard. [...]
"It's tough - I don't think anybody's taking it harder than he is," redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Prince said. "He apologized to the team on Saturday, and it's a blow to not only the offense but the whole team. He's the leader of that offensive line - he brings that fire and passion that I think helped the line play a lot better this year. I know he'll be punching himself for not being in the game."
That was from Jon Gold. Remember it was just days ago we read about Reggie Carter barely being eligible to practice after having to sit out couple of practices for not taking care his schoolwork.
Losing Kai is a huge blow to our patchwork OL which was already having to make do without a hobble Ryan Taylor at RG. With Kai at C our OL made marginal improvement this season and now he is out (will not even make the trip to DC or participate in any bowl related activities). While Kai and others have a responsibility, the blame for this falls on the UCLA academic advisers and coaching staff including of course Rick Neuheisel.
We now have had three players with academic issues this quarter during bowl preparation season and it's inexcusable that these guys didn't see it coming. To add to that they have been projecting the image (not us) of just goofing off the field for the sake of team-building.
Again at this point we will see how this team shows up next Tuesday. While Temple Owls are preparing as if we are getting ready for the Super Bowl, I am not exactly sure what we is going on with Rick Neuheisel's UCLA Bruins. Last week, I wrote Neuheisel was following Pete Carroll's model of discipline. Unfortunately right now Neuheisel's football team is starting to resemble a little bit like Carroll's Trojans off the field. Not a pretty picture.
Let's hope the Bruins actually learn from this and come out with a sense of purpose on December 29th and for rest of the offseason both on and off the field. This kind of shenanigans may be acceptable somewhere else but not at UCLA. Hope Rick Neuheisel is listening. The heat is on him to win in D.C.