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Spaulding Roundup: Transfer News, Hickman to Canada & Inspiration From Ryan Nece

We have some football related news and notes that have piled up from last few days. So let's get right to them. Looks like there is now a major obstacle to Brandon Warner to UCLA scenario. From Brian Dohn:

Warner said he spoke at length with members of the coaching staff Sunday, but he no longer feels comfortable with the program. He said the lengthy conversations with UCLA were because the staff "is still trying to get me to go there.''
Asked what the problem was with UCLA, Warner said "a whole bunch of stuff'." He added UCLA did not remain in close contact with him during a trying time this spring in which he was finishing classes and trying to resolve an outstanding tuition bill. He said his transcripts were released to schools today.
Does it look like UCLA is out of the picture?
"Probably, but I can't say definite,'' he said.
Warner said he is now looking at New Mexico State, SMU and Ohio University.
"They are all about even right now,'' Warner said.

The story sounds really odd. For some reason Warner has been working to get this transcript straightened out since March. He told Dohn back in April that he was supposed to get some kind of "loan check" that would enable him to play "bill" (presumably related to transcript) and get the administrative issue all straightened out. However, one has to wonder exactly how difficult it is to clear up an administrative hold on Warner's transcript if it was related to financial issues. Was there any othe issues involved? Just asking. Because the options he has besides UCLA - NMSU, SMU or Ohio University - don't scream of major D 1 programs. I would think given his availibility other major programs in the Pac-10 would be all over him. So something doesn't seem quiet right with this story. Wish there was more information since he seems to be leaving with a parting shot against UCLA coaches (who left a spot open for him for months) that seems unfair and out of left field.

Let's go from one strange situation to another apparently Chris Forcier was on a big media tour after his odd press release in which he annouced his decision to transfer to Furman University. He appeared on Dan Patrick's show late last week. There was nothing dramatic in that appearance and he didn't any new "facts." Again, hopefully he finds himself at home and succeeds at Furman. FWIW I do like the fact that he left saying very classy things about UCLA (even though the media tour seemed a little odd).

Moving on from transfers let's talk about some alums from the program. Justin Hickman is working to develop his professional career in Canadian football league:

Defensive end Justin Hickman, who earned first-team All-America honors in 2006 while making 12.5 sacks, is expected to play for the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League. Hickman left for Canada earlier this week for pre-season camp.

Good luck to Justin. Hopefully he will eventually work his way into the NFL.

Speaking of the NFL there is a wonderful story on (Tampa Bay Online) about former Bruin safety and Bucs linebacker getting involved with charity in Tampa Bay:

There were about 60 Tampa Bay area business and community leaders invited Tuesday night to a Ryan Nece Foundation function at Mise En Place, a Tampa restaurant. It seemed like routine stuff - cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, networking, Nece saying thanks for the support, the requisite contributions to the foundation and everyone speeding back to their normal lives.

Then Nece called for everyone's attention.

"Tonight, I want to do something a little different," said Nece, the former Bucs linebacker who played last season with the Detroit Lions.

Slowly, everyone forgot about their normal lives. Suddenly, they imagined some possibilities.

Each person was handed an envelope - with a "Power of Giving" logo.

Inside was $55.

Nece, who wore No. 55 last season with the Lions, had instructions. Use the money for someone who needs help, he said. Try to make the cash multiply. Be creative. Get others involved.

Ryan got his inspiration from a sermon in church and Kevin Spacy and Haley Joel Osmont's "Pay It Forward" (the movie):

"It's such a simple concept," Nece said. "Yet, how often do we do something like that?

"We're all so caught up in our lives. And these days, with the economy, we're all bombarded by such negativity. We're all in tough times.

"The idea is to step away from your own life, do something for others and watch it grow. Imagine how you can help someone else. I was a little nervous about it because all of these people have supported the foundation, but nobody really knew why they were invited to this. Truthfully, I can't believe the response. The juices were really flowing. People were thinking. They were lingering, not wanting to leave. It's exciting."

Nece wants everyone, once they have an idea about how to use the $55, to write a blog on his Web site (

Before leaving Tuesday night, one man said he was going to spend his $55 on postage stamps. He would then write friends and acquaintances, imploring them to help others with a financial donation.

Ryan donated $4,000 of his own money into the project.

Yet another Bruin who has made his mark both on and off the field.