The weekend is just on the horizon, and we've got some interesting tidbits of news from around the UCLA-iverse, all while we get closer and closer to the return of UCLA football with fall camp opening in San Bernardino next week. However, the biggest UCLA news (and potentially most explosive) has nothing to do with sports, but with the very real possibility that Gene Block's UCLA has sanctioned official corruption at the highest levels. With that said, let's turn to the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with King Ed's on-going lawsuit against the NCAA and EA Sports, the latest development (following the NCAA's apparently strategic move to sever its lucrative relationship with EA Sports) is that the NCAA has taken moves to try to get the association dismissed from the lawsuit entirely and begin deposing various student-athletes that have joined the lawsuit. Stay tuned for more developments.
- Flipping over to baseball, Coach John Savage picked up yet another post-season accolade, getting named as the 2013 National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches' Association, marking his fourth national coach of the year award following the Bruins run through Omaha en route to UCLA's 109th NCAA national title.
- In case you missed it, Real Madrid has once again returned to UCLA as part of their preseason training program. And how popular are Los Blancos and Cristiano Ronaldo? When Real Madrid moved a public training session from Carson to Westwood, the practice tickets sold out within a day.
- But, obviously the biggest news this week took place nowhere close to an athletic field or court. Rather, it concerns an apparent pattern of corruption and financial abuse by university officials at the highest level of Gene Block's administration at UCLA. In a time of increasing tuition and state funding shortfalls, it seems that no expense is being spared for certain top-level officials to travel in comfort. Naturally, to those of us who have been following years of Chianti Dan's wasteful spending (chianti-sipping trips to Italy, literally throwing money unnecessarily at a Big Ten reject loser like Steve Alford) shouldn't be too surprised that this kind of disgusting waste occurs under Gene Block's watch.
- The full report by the Center for Investigative Reporting blasts Gene Block's UCLA for wasteful spending, taking note of Dean Judy Olian of the Anderson School of Business, who routinely spent big bucks ($647,000 for meals, lodging, and other travel expenses from 2008-2012, more than six times her counterpart at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business for the same time period), to fly comfortably. Despite being a self-professed "cardio junkie" and taking on triathlons, the dean gets a comfy travelling budget because she is taking advantage of the medical waiver exception in the UC's travel policy. Naturally, Gene Block is nowhere to be found, because accountability is not something our tone-deaf chancellor practices in Westwood. While tuition goes through the roof for students, Gene Block and his cronies are living the high-life, thanks to the taxpayers of the State of California.
Alright folks, those are your various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse, as we count down the last few hours of the work week. Fire away with your comments, thoughts, additions, and various opinions on all things UCLA in the comment thread.