We will start the Hump day with some disappointing news:
Three Bruins, including two who were expected to play significant roles on the offensive line, will not play Saturday because of what Coach Rick Neuheisel called a violation of athletic department policy.
Guards Micah Reed and Scott Glicksberg, both of whom have started this season, and reserve defensive tackle Jess Ward will not suit up against Oregon State at the Rose Bowl.
"Never good news, but important that discipline be administered," Neuheisel said. "We'll leave it at that."
Reed is a former starting center who has been playing as a reserve guard since coming back from multiple knee injuries. Glicksberg started five games but has come off the bench in the past two due to some shuffling along a patchwork offensive line.
Ward, a Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World graduate, has gotten some playing time on the defensive line in the past three games. He missed time early in the season with a knee injury, then spent several weeks on the offensive line due to a lack of depth.
This is the second suspension for Ward. He and linebacker John Hale were suspended for the first game of the 2006 season after pleading no contest to aggravated assault charges stemming from a February 2006 fight at Ward's Arrowbear residence.
Sources said the suspensions were because the players failed drug tests. UCLA policy is to not comment on the specifics of suspensions, and the players were not made available for comment.
Haven't seen any confirmation of that account in another paper yet and also no further info. on what kind of "drugs" were involved. It's sad and pathetic on the part of these players if that report is true.
It’s good to hear CRN and the UCLA officials not wasting any time to suspend these guys for violating AD policies. Frankly given that this is Ward’s second suspension, I think coaches should strongly consider whether this guy should be kept around the program. For a program that is so desperately trying to implement a culture change, it might not be a bad idea to send a clear signal that there will be no room for selfish and undisciplined individuals, who can’t show total commitment to his team-mates and the entire team.
As for Reed and Glicksberg, their performance this season have been mediocre, as they have been constantly shifted in and out of the lineups due to their performance (or lack thereof). Sure Reed has been dealing with bumps and bruises, but even when he was healthy his performance was nothing to write about. Given that these guys have not shown their commitment to develop as student athletes, it wouldn’t be a shocker if Palcic banish these guys to permanent backup roles, and go with Savage, Tevaga, Bennett, Kia, Ekbatani, Dean, Harris, and Baca. Baca returned to practice this week from an injury. Let Reed and Glicksberg stew in their insignificant roles for a while and reflect on how they let down all of their team-mates.
Moving on to QB issue, it looks like CRN and Chow will stick with Craft:
A bye that offered no intrigue in a possible quarterbacking change ended with starter Kevin Craft "solidifying" his hold as the starter ahead of backup Chris Forcier.
"I think it solidified how we feel about the quarterback position," Neuheisel said. "It's going to be what it's been, and hopefully an improved version of what it's been."
As for Ben Olson, he was back in practice, but per CRN he looks “out of shape”:
Ben Olson took reps with the scout team team during two periods in his first practice since breaking his foot in the preseason. But after missing nearly three months, Neuheisel said he didn't expect Olson to be ready anytime soon.
"Being healthy and being ready to play at game speed are two different things," Neuheisel said. "He looked out of shape, but no worse for wear. But it's going to take a lot of this before he can be up to game speed."
If Olson is to play, the likely scenario would be for him to move into either a starting or backup role after UCLA's Nov.15 game at Washington, because the Bruins don't play again until Nov. 28 at Arizona State.
"It feels pretty good, but it's hard to test it," Olson said. "When you come back from an injury, it's hard to develop that trust that you need to have. I didn't explode out."
It will take Olson a while to get into game shape and at this point season, I hope UCLA doesn’t find itself in an emergency situation where he has to step in. The Olson saga has been incredibly disappointing and heartbreaking given what he has to deal with last few years. However, I think for the sake of this team CRN and Chow has to stick with Craft, who has been working with them for last few months.
The Beavers practiced Tuesday as if second-stringer Sean Canfield will be starting, but Coach Mike Riley is not ruling out first-stringer Lyle Moevao. Ranked among the leading passers in the Pac-10, Moevao injured his shoulder against California last week.
An MRI exam showed only a strained muscle in the rotator group and no tear.
"He should get better with each day," Riley said. "What that means about this game, I can't tell yet."
What that means is that the Bruin defense better be ready for whoever Riley starts on Saturday. Given the weapons they have at the disposal, no matter who starts he will have options while looking to inflict some damage on our defense.