It's Monday morning, which once again, sadly means a return back to work. Spring football is shaping up nicely, with a different attitude and tempo at Spaulding than we've become accustomed to in the last decade of mediocrity. Whether that translates into more wins remains to be seen, but with the storms gone and the sun back, things certainly feel like they might be turning around. We've got a lot to cover in this Monday morning edition of Bruin Bites, so let's get right to it and take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Yesterday marked the sixty-fifth anniversary of the date Jackie Robinson bravely smashed baseball's color barrier. With it came a lot of various pieces of how great Jackie was. You'll get no argument from us here at BN. In that vein, Sports Illustrated had an interesting take, summarizing the life and accomplishments of one of our greatest Bruins. But they did something more; while praising Jackie for what he did, Sports Illustrated reminds us that someone else came before Jackie: his Bruin teammates Kenny Washington and Woody Strode re-integrated the NFL in 1946 with the Los Angeles Rams. Interesting take that takes a brief look at why Jackie's fellow great Bruins are often overlooked.
- Speaking of football, former UCLA linebacker Reggie Carter is taking up a new job as an assistant coach at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood. The hard-hitting former heart-and-soul of the last UCLA defense to stop U$C will spend the next season coaching the JV team at Campbell Hall while the school rebuilds the program with a one-year hiatus from varsity competition.
- On the same subject, former UCLA defensive end Dave Ball re-signed with the Tennessee Titans on Friday. The former stand-out Bruin defensive end will continue to line-up with fellow former Bruin stand-out Alterraun Verner in Nashville, which will make it hard not to want to root for the Team-Formerly-Known-As-The-Oilers.
- While we're talking about new jobs, former UCLA head coach Larry Brown is in the market for work, and according to ESPN and Sporting News, will have met with SMU yesterday to discuss the head coaching position in Dallas. The job, ironically, was made vacant when SMU gave former UNC head coach Matt Doherty the axe after six years (gee, what a novel concept, firing a head coach who doesn't get it done). Other candidates that SMU are looking at includes former Utah and current St. Louis head coach Rick Majerus (who makes Ben Howland look like the friendliest man in the world).
- In more happy news, UCLA outfielder Brenton Allen was featured in the Daily Bruin for his role in starting up the UCLA chapter of the non-profit Soles4Souls. The goal is to collect old or seldom-worn shoes (and when you think about the shoes in your closet, it's safe to say most of us have a few we could give away and not miss) and pass them along to children throughout the world who don't have shoes. This is really great stuff and just highlights the kind of great kids that go to UCLA.
- Speaking of great UCLA current students, current student and stand-out golfer Patrick Cantlay, fresh off his win as the Low Amateur at the Masters (yes, that Masters), sat down with the Orange County Register and discussed a variety of topics, including whether or not he has decided to stick it out for all four years at UCLA or turn pro. Let's hope Cantlay sticks around for a few more years, although no one will begrudge the young man for jumping at the chance to collect a paycheck, especially given how well he's been playing against current pros.
- Turning to the academic side of the university, UCLA scientists developed a line of stem cells that are designed to seek out and destroy HIV. In a big step forward, UCLA researchers were able to place the engineered stem cells into lab mice and watched the specially designed HIV-killer cells develop in a living organism. With this development, researchers are optimistic that this could lead to the development of a more aggressive, more effective way of combating the deadly disease. Pretty cool when you think about it: at UCLA, we're making the equivalent of laser-guided HIV-killing homing missiles; all out of human cells.
- Not to be outdone by their counterparts at the School of Medicine and the AIDS Institute, UCLA astronomers, in collaboration with scientists at Cal Tech and UC Santa Cruz developed a sort of "time-machine" that lets astronomers see faint galaxies that were otherwise not visible; galaxies so far off, that the observations (given the amount of time it takes light to travel that distance to Earth), give researchers a rare opportunity to view galaxies as they appeared in an era of time much closer to the formation of galaxies in the universe. Dense stuff (which I'll leave to those South Campus eggheads).
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites to get the week started. Fire away with your thoughts, opinions, and takes in the comment threads.