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Roundup From BN Walk: News & Notes

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We will start our walk with some bad news from the football front. As uclafan11 already noted Christian Ramirez has been declared ineligible for the entire 2008 season. From Kevin Pearson at PE.com

UCLA tailback Christian Ramirez, who was expected to compete for playing time in a deep UCLA backfield, was ruled ineligible because he did not meet NCAA eligibility requirements and will be forced to sit out the 2008 season.

Ramirez, a converted safety who could have moved back to defense this season if needed, can count this as his redshirt season. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He is allowed to practice with the team.

"This is unfortunate for Christian and for our team" said head coach Rick Neuheisel. "I'm sure Christian will work hard to ensure this situation does not occur again. The rest of our running backs will just have to step up."

Needless to say this is very disappointing. I have always been high on Ramirez. I loved what I saw out of him last year. However, when it comes to academics there is no compromising at UCLA. Let’s hope he has learned a lesson and comes back with purpose and determination next season. As for the depth chart, we have decent depth at TB. What will be interesting is who will replace Ramirez as KR in the depth chart. I would think this will really present an opportunity for Jonathan "Jet Ski" Franklin to step up.

Speaking of depth chart may be there is some more shuffling around on the horizon at the right side of OL. From Dohn:

UCLA offensive lineman Nick Ekbatani, who spent his first two years in the program as a guard, is playing right tackle during summer passing drills as the Bruins look to replace injured starter Sean Sheller.

Haven’t heard anything official from the coaches yet. But this is a sign that Ekbatani is probably in the mix for competing for the starting spot vacated by Sheller’s injury. He will be competing against Harris, Chandler, and probably Edwards for the starting spot. Competition bodes well for the team.

Elsewhere, Pac-10’s official site have released a generic preview of UCLA. There is nothing earth shattering in that link, but throwing it up there for those who’d like to read every piece of Bruin related info out on the internets.

Speaking of Bruin football related football info, if there is anyone on BN who is a NASCAR, UCLA football has a special deal for you. Apparently the AD and the Auto Club has put together a package for both the Pepsi 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the UCLA/Tennessee game. I drink Coke and don’t watch NASCAR. But if it works for you, get on it.

We will end the walk with a note on Ben Ball. Coach Howland recently returned to Pacific Palisades (I feel cooler already in this hot Mid Atlantic summer dawn just typing Palisades) for his annual youth basketball camp. The Palisadian-Post has the details:

A hush fell over the Palisades High gym Monday morning when UCLA men's basketball coach Ben Howland gave his opening speech to the aspiring players who signed up for his third annual summer youth basketball camp.

When Howland talks, you listen... and learn.

"I see a lot of talent out here," Howland said after players were assigned teams in one of three divisions--the SEC (grades 1 and 2); the PAC-10 (grades 3 and 4) and the NBA (grades 5-7). "Possibly some future Bruins."

He should know. Howland led UCLA to its third consecutive NCAA Final Four in March and his defense-first philosophy has caught on up the road in Westwood.

"We want the kids to have fun, but we also want them to learn the fundamentals of basketball," said Howland, who was delighted that 210 kids signed up--70 more than last year. "This is a fun week."

Read rest of the report here. It’s always fun when Coach Howland shows up.

GO BRUINS.