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Word From Westwood - Jan. 29, 2013
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  01/30/2013

Word From Westwood

Word From Westwood - Deliver to Inbox

Jan. 29, 2013

This Wednesday night, at halftime of the men's basketball game against USC, yet another great Bruin will be honored when Reggie Miller's #31 will be raised to the rafters of New Pauley Pavilion. If the evening is anything like the ceremony for Jamaal Wilkes a couple of weeks ago, those members of the Bruin family who will be in the building are in for a special treat.

Also, the forecast inside Pauley on Wednesday night calls for a Blue Out ... the Bruins will be sporting their all-new, all-blue adidas uniforms from head to toe against USC. Ben Howland and the players are asking that all fans in attendance wear their Bruin Blue as well, creating a massive home-court advantage against our crosstown rival ...


Men's Basketball Opens Important Three-Game Homestand against USC
Following a road split against the Arizona schools over the weekend, the men's basketball team has its next three games at home, starting with USC on Wednesday night at 7 pm in New Pauley. A win would allow the Bruins (16-5, 5-2) to keep pace with Pac-12 leader Oregon in the conference standings and would give the Bruins an 8-1 record at home in the months of December and January combined.

After taking next weekend off, the Bruins return to Pauley on Thursday, February 7 against Washington and Saturday, February 9 against Washington State, both of whom they have yet to face this season.

Tickets remain on sale for each of these games, please click here or call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN.

Women's Basketball Team Hosts Buffaloes and Utes
New Pauley will also be home to a flurry of activity for the #18-ranked women's basketball team this week. The squad improved to 15-4 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-12 with a sweep of the Arizona schools last week, 73-57 over Arizona and 54-50 over Arizona State.

UCLA concludes its four-game home stand this week by hosting #22-ranked Colorado on Friday at 8:00 pm on the Pac-12 Networks. The Bruins end the week with Utah in a 12:30 pm tilt on Sunday.

Tickets for both games are still available here.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The #4-ranked gymnastics team remains undefeated at 3-0 after posting a 196.375-195.600 victory at Arizona State in its first road contest of the year. The Bruins next travel to #11-ranked Stanford this Saturday for a dual meet that will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks at 4 pm.
  • The #2-ranked women's tennis team hosted ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Los Angeles Tennis Center this past weekend, cruising to a pair of 4-0 victories over San Diego and Washington. With the two wins, the Bruins qualified for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors, which will be Feb. 8-11 in Charlottesville, Va.
  • The #3-ranked men's tennis team improved to 3-0 on the season last week, downing UCSB, 6-1, in its season opener before picking up wins over Cal Poly (4-0) and BYU (6-1) during ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the LA Tennis Center. The two victories in the event earned the team a spot in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors, slated for Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, Wash.
  • The #3-ranked women's water polo team improved to 8-0 on the season with four wins at the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invitational over the weekend. The Bruins opened with an 11-5 win over Pacific and then defeated Concordia, 16-4 on Saturday. UCLA finished the tournament on Sunday with a 10-2 victory over No. 15 UC Santa Barbara and a 15-3 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Bruins return to action this week when they travel to the Bay Area to take part in the Stanford Invitational.
  • The men's and women's track and field teams had a successful showing over the weekend as the Bruins posted four event wins at the UW Invitational. Sophomore Kylie Price was victorious in the 60m and the long jump, senior Sarah Toberty took the mile, and junior Mike Woepse won the pole vault. The indoor season continues in two weeks as the Bruins compete in Albuquerque, N.M. at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational.
  • The #5-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team split a pair of MPSF matches last week. The Bruins (7-4, 3-2) head into a showdown with defending NCAA champion UC Irvine tonight (Jan. 29) after recording their first sweep of the season Sunday against Pacific.
  • The #12-ranked swimming and diving team puts its undefeated 11-0 record on the line this weekend in the Bay Area as Pac-12 play continues. The Bruins take on #8 Stanford on Friday, Feb. 1 at 1 pm and #3-ranked California on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 12 pm.
  • The softball team, which earned a #19 ranking in the preseason NFCA poll, continues practice heading into its season-opening tournament Feb. 8-10 at Easton Stadium.
  • The baseball team will play its Alumni Game this Saturday and begin the regular season on Friday, February 15 at home against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Bruins, who have been ranked as high as No. 2 in the preseason polls, will look to earn their third consecutive Pac-12 Championship and reach their third College World Series in four years in 2013.

Impressive Senior Bowl for Bruins Caps off Strong All-Star Game Season
Running back Johnathan Franklin, defensive lineman Datone Jones and punter Jeff Locke all turned in strong performances for the North in the Senior Bowl last Saturday. Franklin rushed for 40 yards and a touchdown, Jones registered a sack and three total tackles, while Locke averaged 45.4 yards on seven punts.

The Senior Bowl was the culmination of a great all-star game season for UCLA, one in which 15 players saw action for their respective teams in six all-star games.


Football Signing Day Celebration RSVPs Still Being Accepted
National Letter of Intent Signing Day is just days away, and it's not too late to be a part of the excitement as we celebrate the arrival of the UCLA Football Class of 2013. Sign up now to attend the UCLA Football Signing Day celebration, presented by UCLA Athletics and the Wooden Athletic Fund.

Jim Mora, the UCLA Football coaching staff and current team, as they celebrate an extremely talented and exciting 2013 football recruiting class on the evening of Wednesday, February 6 in Pauley Pavilion.

The event is FREE and open to the public. However, advanced registration is required. Due to NCAA recruiting restrictions, high school students cannot be admitted.

Reminder: Northern Trust Open Hosts UCLA Day on February 16
If you haven't already done so, please make plans to join fellow Bruin fans, coaches, staff, and the UCLA Spirit Squad on Saturday, February 16 for UCLA Day at the Northern Trust Golf Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The special day features a $65 ticket that allows access to the tournament grounds and the Palisades Club, Riviera's new, open-air and tented VIP hospitality venue. Fifty percent of all ticket proceeds will be donated back to UCLA Athletics.

For more information or to purchase your $65 VIP ticket, please visit northerntrustopen.com/ucla.

UCLA Bids Adieu to Women's Soccer Coach B.J. Snow
UCLA women's soccer head coach B.J. Snow has accepted the position as the full-time U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team Head Coach and has stepped down as the Bruins' head coach. A search to identify a new women's head coach for UCLA is already underway.

Snow served as head coach of the Bruins for two seasons, compiling a 34-4-6 career record, going 16-1-4 in his rookie campaign and 18-3-2 this past season. In 2012, he led UCLA to the NCAA quarterfinals, and the Bruins led the Pac-12 with a 0.55 team goals against average.

The athletic department wishes him the best is his new endeavor.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

As you may have seen reported widely, at last week's NCAA Convention in Texas, decisions were made to deregulate a number of rules found in the NCAA Manual. Legislation passed to liberalize these rules may have a long-term effect on the enterprise of intercollegiate athletics.

Many of the changes have been well-received by the membership, while others are holding their judgment on certain pieces of legislation passed, largely because of their concern for the unintended consequences.

For example, many member institutions were unhappy with existing rules that mandated that an institution's Compliance staff had to monitor the printed materials being sent to prospects, including not having color on certain pages or using very particular dimensions of paper for a prospect, depending on the correspondence. These rules were put in place several years ago because it was deemed that the better-financed athletic programs were getting the competitive edge over the lesser-financed programs by producing more and higher-quality printed materials. However, institutions have increasingly felt that their staff's time would be better served addressing other more serious matters.

The legislation just passed, effective August 1 of this year, lifts the restrictions on printed recruiting materials, making it permissive to print just about anything. However, it may not be long before every institution will be creating a 500-page football media guide to keep up with the "conference next door". With zero restrictions, institutions with the greatest means can produce some pretty creative materials. Stay tuned. For the sake of deregulation and expediency, there could, and likely will be, significant cost implications -- a concern for all institutions trying to be fiscally responsible.

Though I did not attend last week's NCAA Convention, I did have the opportunity to take part in a meeting with NCAA President Mark Emmert at the winter meetings of NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) over the weekend. Emmert spent a great deal of time addressing the state of the Association, including being very frank about the issues currently facing the NCAA ... several of which many of you may be aware.

What can't be lost on any of us, however, is everything that is good about intercollegiate athletics, including much that stems from the National Office. The NCAA does a tremendous job conducting Championship events for nearly 40 sports sponsored by member institutions at the Division I, II, and III levels. Personally speaking, it is inspiring to come to work every day and join the efforts made by our coaches and staff, as well as the rest of campus, to support the goals and aspirations of our student-athletes. These student-athletes are enriched greatly by this experience, and while there is always room for improvement, it's important to keep our focus on the greater purpose of our program.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

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