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Word From Westwood - Oct. 9, 2012
By: UCLA Athletics

Word From Westwood

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Oct. 9, 2012

It might be hard to believe that basketball season is right around the corner, but here it is, inching ever closer. In fact, the UCLA women's team, under the direction of second-year head coach Cori Close has already begun its practices, while Ben Howland and his men's team get underway this coming Friday.

Before you know it, less than three weeks after you read this, New Pauley Pavilion will open, summer will be completely in the rearview mirror, and winter will be right around the corner.

UCLA Football Team Returns to Rose Bowl, Hosts Utah
After hitting the road for a pair of away games and earning a split against Colorado and Cal, Jim Mora and the 4-2 UCLA Football team return to the friendly confines of the Rose Bowl this Saturday at Noon (PT) for a Pac-12 Conference matchup against the 2-3 Utah Utes.

Tickets to the game start at just $19 apiece and are available by visiting or calling 310-UCLA-WIN (825-2946). Those unable to make it to the Rose Bowl in person can catch the national broadcast on FOX (KTTV, Ch. 11 in Los Angeles).

Be sure to arrive early, make time to catch up with friends at the Bruin Fan Zone in Area H, and be in your seat for a special performance of the national anthem by the Blue Man Group. The anthem is scheduled for approximately 11:45 am.

This game will also feature thousands of future Bruins cheering in the end zones of the Rose Bowl, thanks to the I'm Going to College program. Upon arrival at the game, the school groups will be greeted by a current UCLA student and led to the IGTC college fair area, where they will be immediately immersed in Bruin traditions, including learning the UCLA Eight-Clap. Following that, the students speak with academic counselors and get answers to questions they may have regarding higher education and preparing for college. Finally, they have the opportunity to enjoy a UCLA football game and the pomp and circumstance surrounding a day at the Rose Bowl.

In the 20-plus years since its inception, the program has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students across Southern California.

ESPN to Feature Patrick Larimore on This Week's E:60 Program
Former UCLA linebacker Patrick Larimore, who retired during the football team's pre-season camp in San Bernardino this past summer, will be featured on ESPN's E:60 TV news magazine Tuesday at 4 pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern.

Although no longer playing, Patrick is enrolled in school and continues to spend time around the team. He even surprised his teammates and gave them an enormous emotional boost when he walked into their team meal unannounced prior to the Nebraska game.

Day Full of Public Appearances for Ben Howland Wednesday
Be on the lookout tomorrow for men's basketball coach Ben Howland at a Southern California location near you.

It all begins at noon with the Wooden Award Tipoff Luncheon in Downtown Los Angeles. After wrapping up that event, Howland will return to Westwood, where he and his team will host their annual media day on campus.

Finally, that evening, Howland is speaking at a reception hosted by the Wooden Athletic Fund and the UCLA Alumni Association San Fernando Valley Network at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank.

For more information on the evening reception, or to sign up, please click here.

Wooden Athletic Fund Continues Progress to 1,500 New Members
Since launching a new initiative last winter, the Wooden Athletic Fund has added well over 1,000 new members who have made donations in support of UCLA student-athletes. These donations have allowed each of our 700 UCLA student-athletes to have an opportunity to succeed in the classroom, in competition, and in the community.

Donors to the Wooden Athletic Fund qualify for special benefits, including priority seating and parking, exclusive communications and access, and the opportunity to greatly enhance their experience with UCLA Athletics.

As a special benefit, this week only, all new Wooden Athletic Fund members signed up by noon (PT) Friday, will be entered to win a UCLA Football Premium Fan Experience for Saturday's game against Utah. The experience includes four 50-yard line game tickets, four passes to the THEN NOW FOREVER pregame tailgate (includes complimentary food and drink), four pre-game sideline passes and a personalized parking space in Lot P, right outside Gate A.

To learn more about UCLA Athletics' initiative to sign up 1,500 new WAF members, or to become a member by Friday at noon and be registered to win the experience, fans are encouraged to click here or call 310-206-3302.

Dribble for the Cure Registration Still Open
Registration is still open for the 5th annual Dribble for the Cure, set for Oct. 21. Join Coach Howland, Coach Close and the men's and women's basketball teams in the event that benefits the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and the Cancer Research Program at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA.

Participants can meet the coaches and players, get autographs, and, most importantly, make a difference in the lives of children with cancer. To register or donate, click here.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The #3-ranked women's soccer team continued its winning ways with defeats of Oregon and Oregon State on the road and wraps up a five-game road swing at Washington this Friday.
  • The #3-ranked men's water polo team roared from behind to defeat Cal in overtime Saturday and handled UC Davis easily Sunday. The team has next weekend off from competition but will host the annual alumni game on Saturday and the 14th annual Jim Toring Memorial Golf Tournament on Sunday in Irvine. To register for the golf tournament, click here.
  • The #5-ranked men's soccer team shut out Oregon State 1-0 Friday but dropped a 2-1 decision in a Monday evening home contest against Washington. Jorge Salcedo's club heads south for a match at San Diego State this Friday evening.
  • The #6-ranked women's volleyball team swept both Arizona schools at the Wooden Center over the weekend and heads up to the Bay Area to face Stanford and Cal on Friday (6 pm) and Sunday (2 pm), respectively. Both matches will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.
  • The women's swimming and diving team hosts a trio of opponents: Oregon State, UC Santa Barbara and Utah at Spieker Aquatics Center on Friday afternoon.
  • Cross country will split its squads for meets on Friday at the Wisconsin Invitational and on Saturday at the Bronco Invitational in Santa Clara. The men's team is currently ranked #27 in the nation.
  • The #10-ranked women's golf team travels north to be a part of the Stanford Intercollegiate over the weekend, and the #4-ranked men's team will play in the U.S. Collegiate Championships (hosted by Georgia Tech).
  • The softball team will play LMU in an exhibition doubleheader on Saturday before playing its alumni game Sunday at Easton Stadium.
  • The men's tennis team next competes in the ITA Regionals, Oct. 19-22, at UC Irvine, while the women's team now turns its attention to the ITA Regional Championships, which begin on Oct. 18 in San Diego.
  • Finally, the men's volleyball team will play in the exhibition-only USC Tournament. This will mark the first time in 50 years that Al Scates will not be patrolling the Bruin sidelines as head coach. He was succeeded by his former player, John Speraw.

Al Scates Retirement Celebration Set for Nov. 11
The Al Scates Retirement Celebration has been formally set for Sunday, Nov. 11 in New Pauley Pavilion. The celebration will follow the annual men's volleyball Alumni Match, with first serve scheduled for 2 pm. Scates will serve as coach of the alumni.

Entrance to the event (including the Alumni Match and celebration) is $25 for the general public prior to Nov. 2, and $35 after Nov. 2. Please RSVP to Mariella Trombetta ( / 310-794-9869) by Friday, Nov. 2.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

An intimate event I was a part of last Wednesday night certainly took me back to my days as a student-athlete at UCLA.

Each fall, I set aside an evening to meet with representatives of our student-athlete leadership in our Hall of Fame. This group includes upperclassmen, team captains, and others designated by their coaches who have risen to serve as role models on their squads.

The topics discussed during our session included the risks and rewards of being in a leadership role and the responsibilities that accompany the position, such as taking a stand when it might not be the most popular choice. I continue to be amazed at the wisdom, maturity and vision of our young Bruins. I often say that our student-athletes come to UCLA, in part, to find their voice. This meeting always reinforces this notion and I consistently walk away with a feeling of tremendous pride.

This meeting also afforded me the opportunity to talk about that which I expect from them and to share personal experiences from my time in Athletics.

It was no surprise to me that these student-athletes clearly demonstrated why they are the best-in-class and deserving of the responsibility given to them by their coaches and teammates. Having worn the UCLA uniform and been in their shoes at one point, I know that leadership doesn't end at head coaches and assistant coaches.

After spending a few hours with the strong nucleus of student-athletes that is guiding each of this year's teams, I can promise to you that the Bruins will reach new heights in 2012-13. And I can guarantee you that many of these student-athlete leaders will play a vital role in that achievement.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

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