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Spaulding Roundup: Football News & Notes

Let's start Friday with CRN's official statement on Johnson and Carter:

"Raymond told me he loves UCLA but feels it is best for him to continue his career elsewhere. Dominique feels it's in his family's best interests to relocate so they can be with him while he goes to school and plays football," Rick Neuheisel said in a release. "We certainly wish them well and will do whatever we can to help them find another school."

I think 66 nails it with his perspective on managing talent:

I get the feeling that in "managing the talent" CRN and his coaches are being very honest about what they see in each player and what he needs to do to get playing time. I much prefer this to coaches who stockpile talent and lead people on. This honesty will cost us some transfers but will also maintain our programs integrity.

Finally, I truly hope these kids are thinking things through, before jumping. Unforeseen injuries change depth charts rapidly. Did anyone expect KC to be our starting QB for most of the year?

I wish these guys the best — should they stay or leave.

Yep, I am with 66 and will echo what I mentioned yesterday. Hopefully it works out for them. However, I don't think Carter's exploring transfer options will impact Dean's final decision (since he was stuck at the bottom of our depth chart which is about to get replenished with more RBs in next class).

One guy who is staying persistent and sticking with the program (despite not getting what he wanted) is Bruin alum James Washington. Remember few weeks ago he was in the running for the DB coach position (which went to Carnell Lake Tim Hundley). Instead of pouting and turning into a poodle for opposing coaches (or indirectly taking shots at the program), Washington is working with CRN to represent as ambassador of the program to the local community:

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, former UCLA All-America safety and two-time Super Bowl champion James Washington and the members of the Bruin coaching staff will be holding a free football clinic at Los Angeles Southwest College on Saturday, May 23. The clinic will be held in the football stadium.

Sponsored by Washington's "Shelter 37" Foundation, "Back to the Basics" is a free one-day football boot camp for youth from grades five through eight(as of Fall '09).

Enrollment is limited to 500. Campers will learn skills and drills from Neuheisel, the Bruin staff and Washington and will also receive a free T-shirt and a free box lunch.

Think about that. 500 local kids who in addition to getting some coaching, will get a full dose of Bruin blue and gold. I think if Washington stays involved like this and keeps himself around the program, he will eventually slide into a coaching slot in CRN's program. His actions speaks louder than his words in terms of his total commitment to UCLA and experiences like this in teaching will only bolster his resume.

Lastly, I will end with a college football note. Some extremely interesting news from Bloomberg:

Electronic Arts Inc. and the National Collegiate Athletic Association were sued by a former college football player who claims athletes’ images are used in video games without their permission and in violation of NCAA rules.

Electronic Arts, the second-largest video-game publisher, circumvents the rules by allowing customers to upload player names directly into games and creating images that closely resemble student athletes to increase sales and NCCA royalties, according to the complaint filed by Sam Keller, a former quarterback for Arizona State University.

The practice is sanctioned by the NCAA and a licensing company for the association, Keller said in his complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Oakland, California. Keller seeks to represent all NCCA football and basketball players featured in Electronic Arts’ NCAA video games.

"Electronic Arts is not permitted to use player names and likeness," Keller said. Yet the company "with the knowledge, participation and approval of the NCAA and Collegiate Licensing Co. extensively utilizes actual player names and likeness."

NCAA rules prohibits the commercial licensing of current NCAA athletes’ names, pictures or likeness, the lawsuit says. Electronic Arts markets NCAA Basketball, NCAA Football and NCAA March Madness games. It sold 2.5 million NCAA Football games last year, said Robert Carey, an attorney for Keller.

You can read the full complaint here (PDF). More from Keller:

"With rare exception, virtually every real-life Division I football or basketball player in the NCAA has a corresponding player in Electronic Arts' games with the same jersey number, and virtually identical height, weight, build and home state," the lawsuit said. "In addition Electronic Arts often matches the player's, skin tone, hair color, and often even a player's hair style."

To get the whole setup around the relevant issues of this case in layman's terms go over to Above the Law, where Elie Mystal leaves with this important warning shot:

The NCAA should be careful. Treating college athletes as second class citizens is not a constitutional right. If Electronic Arts, and Microsoft, and even ESPN ever get on the side of the players, there aren't going to be a lot of courts eager to uphold an unfair restraint on trade.

Would love to get the reactions to that story from the JDs hanging out here on BN.