Dominic Artis, are you sure you want to de-commit from UCLA?
It's Sunday and we get to end this weekend following a Bruin victory over Washington State. Yes, it wasn't pretty, and if anything, the lackluster display against the perennial conference doormat raises even more questions about how long Rick will last in Westwood (have we offered the job to Urban or Leach yet?), but it was a victory, and it's always nice to enjoy a Sunday following a Bruin victory, even if it was a butt-ugly win over a loser program from a fourth-rate "university" in the middle of nowhere in Washington.
With that, let's turn to your Bruin Bites round-up of bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse to close out the weekend:
- Starting with football, former UCLA great Kenny Washington was honored at his alma mater, Lincoln High School, with the first Kenny Washington Memorial Game on Friday as part of their fundraising effort to rename their stadium after Washington and upgrade the facility.
- Switching over to basketball, in case you missed it, point guard prospect Dominic Artis de-committed from the Bruins following an in-home visit from Oregon on the last day of the contact period. Shrewd move by the Ducks, but according to Artis' family, UCLA is still the favorites to land the commitment of the highly touted PG prospect out of Findlay Prep (by way of Salesian in Richmond). Given that the kid left his hometown (Richmond, CA) and high school (Salesian) to join up with
diploma millbasketball grooming school Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada, it shouldn't be a shock that he has re-opened his recruiting. Can't blame the kid for wanting to keep his options open and enjoy the recruiting visits and process (but, well, told you so), but this one is on Ben Howland for not keeping Artis in the fold and for giving the cold shoulder to other options when Artis committed (Tyrone Wallace, L.J. Rose, and Javan Felix). Ben needs to bring in an elite PG this class. Period.
- Also on basketball, Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell has joined Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit against the NCAA and EA Sports because his likeness (from his college days as a University of San Francisco Don) was used by the video game maker without compensating him.
- Sticking with basketball, former UCLA basketball player Ryan Bailey, who has been the assistant coach at Loyola (L.A.) High (his alma mater) has been named the head basketball coach at the Brentwood School. Great news for Ryan.
- Beverly Hills councilman John Mirisch has a good perspective on the plans to extend Metro's Purple Line subway through West L.A. and the not-very-well-thought-out location of the "Westwood/UCLA" station. For now, the plan is to place the station at the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood, or, as I like to think of it, a long damn hike from campus. Not exactly a wise location. Mirisch writes that if Metro is serious about serving UCLA and Westwood, then the station needs to actually be in Westwood Village and not at the periphery. I know SoCal hates listening to NorCal, but the Bay Area knew what it was doing when it built its rail mass transit stations close to sporting arenas (BART's Downtown Berkeley station is walking distance from Cal, BART's Oakland Coliseum station is literally at the Coliseum/Oracle Arena, CalTrain has a special Stanford Stadium station for gamedays, and MUNI has a station within 100 yards of AT&T Park). The perfect location for a "Westwood/UCLA" station would be the intersection of Westwood and LeConte, making it a quick walk to Pauley and campus, but still in the heart of the village.
- Finally, the Daily Bruin has a Q&A with UCLA alum and star of CBS's new sitcom "2 Broke Girls" Beth Behrs. Behrs, a 2008 graduate of UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television talked about her time in Westwood, her life following graduation, what drew her to her career, and her new role on a big network sitcom.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites for the tail-end of the weekend. We'll have all the news from our non-revenue programs (many in action this weekend) tomorrow, so for now, sit tight, catch some NFL action, and fire away with your thoughts, comments, and additions.