Roundup From BN Walk: UCLA's Practice Dates, Dismissal Impact, Howland’s Camp & Other Notes

Just little more than a month left till we get back to this. Photo Credit: le borst (flickr)

One of the best benefits of this year's magical baseball season has been that it dramatically cut short the long nuclear summer aka college football off-season. As we are going through the process of wrapping up the accomplishments of UCLA baseball, we now find ourselves basically just a month away from the most highly anticipated UCLA football camp in recent years.

UCLA officially released the schedule for its 2010 Summer/Early Fall camp yesterday:

UCLA will open its 2010 pre-season football practice on Monday, August 9. The Bruins will practice once daily from August 9 through August 13 as part of the NCAA acclimatization process.

The first practice in full pads will be Friday, August 13. Two-a-day practices will begin on Saturday, August 14. NCAA rules instituted in 2003 prohibit two practices on back-to-back days.

On Saturday, August 21, the Bruins will hold their first major scrimmage of Fall Camp. The scrimmage will be held at Drake Stadium, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

All practices between August 9 and 21 will be open to the public and all, with the exception of the August 21 scrimmage, will be on Spaulding Field. Practices beginning August 23 will be determined at a later date.

Yeah, you read that right. Bruins are going full pad starting on Friday the 13th. LOL Perhaps CRN is not as superstitious as rest of us. You can get the full schedule here.  I am sure we will post the dates again as the days get closer. You should probably book mark that page anyway (and don't complain later that the official site didn't post the information).

Staying with football Brandon Huffman from BruinReportOnline.com  has a detailed look at how the recent dismissals of three incoming freshmen affect the Bruins' depth chart in the near future (excerpting here b/c the article is not behind a pay firewall):

At receiver, UCLA has several upperclassmen in the lineup, so Paul, one of the best route-runners in the West last year, would have been able to use the 2010 season to add weight and bide his time before making a push in the lineup in 2011. What makes the situation worse for Paul Richardson is his father is a former Bruin receiver, having been coached by Neuheisel (when Neuheisel was the receivers coach for the Bruins), and a teammate of current receivers coach Reggie Moore.

For Shaquille Richardson, UCLA returns one starting cornerback in Sheldon Price and Aaron Hester, who started at the beginning of the season before breaking his leg, was expected to start opposite Price. Courtney Viney, who replaced Hester early in the year after his injury was expected to be the third cornerback with Andrew Abbott slated to be the fourth corner, after also playing extensively. So Richardson was also expected to redshirt in 2010.

But Shirley was one of the few Bruin freshman expected to play as a true freshman. And the expectations for him were high.

Shirley was one of the best pass-rushing ends as a 2008 junior at Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser before moving to linebacker during his senior season.

That path was similar to the one that Preseason All-American Akeem Ayers took at Verbum Dei in Los Angeles. Ayers was the state's sack leader in 2005 as a junior but moved to linebacker as a senior.

He's now UCLA's best linebacker, playing on the strongside, where he's been named a Preseason All-American by several publication and is a strong candidate to leave for the NFL after this, his upcoming junior year.

So playing behind Ayers, Shirley would have been able to work behind one of the nation's top linebackers, without the pressure of starting as a true freshman, but with the ability to move right into Ayers' spot, should he leave after this season.

Read rest of Huffman's analysis here. As you can see, the just punishment handed out by CRN was a little more than window dressing from the perspective of these young adults. Even though CRN provided a possibility of their return to the program, it will be up to them to resolve their legal issues, stay focused both on and off the field at a JC before making their bids to come back to Westwood. It is not going to be easy but we wish them luck.

Moving on to hoops, Coach Ben Howland is still recovering from an Achilles tendon surgery. I am sure it's the main reason why he couldn't show up in Omaha to root on the Bruins. However, he was able to show up at his annual Youth Camp (on crutches) at the nearby Pacific Palisades high school gym:

Howland is optimistic about the upcoming season, especially given the addition of twin brothers David and Travis Wear, who transferred to UCLA from North Carolina. First things first, however, and Howland is glad to be back in Pacific Palisades--the fifth straight year he has held his camp here--just like Wooden used to do decades before.

"It's a great location, a great facility and the response has been terrific," Howland said. "The neat thing is that some of these kids have been to every camp so you recognize them. It's good to see them coming every summer."

This year's camp runs through Friday, when championship games are played, followed by an awards ceremony and Howland's closing comments. Open to boys and girls ages 6-12, it includes passing, dribbling and shooting drills as well as three-on-three and five-on-five games. [...]

"Let's all have a positive attitude and learn the fundamentals," Howland told his campers. "No matter how much talent you have, it comes down to basics in the end--things like defense, rebounding and passing."

After Howland's introduction, players were evaluated and teams were formed based on age and ability. Drills throughout the week work on essential skills like dribbling, jump shooting, chest passing, bounce passing, rebounding, defensive stance and lay-ups.

Perhaps Jerime Anderson (DCBruins' favorite UCLA basketball player) is also attending the camp? :-) Seriously though, even though these kinds of stories are fairly vanilla, I can't never get enough of them. Nothing wrong with evangelizing about the blue and gold to kids all around UCLA and of course LA at a very early age.

Lastly, I will end with a note on Pac-10 expansion. Over here we have been talking a lot about the need to keep California schools together in the new 12-Pac. Sounds like the Stanford's Athletic Director - Bob Bowlsby - is on the same page (emphasis added):

* On the division split: "There has been a lot of public conversation about how it will all work out. But the presidents, chancellors and athletic directors haven't come anywhere close to going down that path yet."

* On the four CA schools being in the same division: "The tradition has been the California schools play each other (every year), and obviously we'd like to have that be the case."

* On the options for structuring the 12-team league: "We'll look into everything. We're not going to take anything off the table.

* On whether Stanford will support a football championship game: "We'll have to look at how valuable it is and how the various academic structures go into it. We'll keep an open mind."

In the same post, Jon Wilner wrote about Stanford and California possibly presenting a united front during the upcoming discussions. The post also confirms the speculation that Larry Scott didn't really think out all the scenarios before settling on Colorado (and especially Utah). It will be interesting to see how the upcoming discussions and results affect the chemistry within the conference.

GO BRUINS.

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