June 19, 2012
There has been a great deal of focus and celebration this year throughout intercollegiate athletics (and sports in a broader sense) on the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX. Our enterprise has never been the same since that very important day - June 23, 1972 - for which this coming Saturday will officially mark the milestone anniversary.
With that in mind, and as a former student-athlete as well as the father of two daughters who also competed in intercollegiate athletics, I am delighted that UCLA has been at the forefront in sponsoring programs that have competed at the highest level over the years, and that continue to flourish today. We have been fortunate, over the last forty years, to have had some of the very best-in-class wearing the UCLA uniform, so celebrating their achievements is certainly appropriate.
Hard work, dedication, the ability to adapt to trying situations, working well with peers, and many other intrinsic values of a successful team setting can be translated into "everyday life" - no matter what your chosen career path. Having this solid foundation is equally important to today's young men and women, if not more so now than it was for my generation, as the world is getting exponentially more complex with each passing year. The experience of college athletics provides all of this and more.
Other Athletic Department news this week includes:
Baseball Continues Run at the College World Series
After splitting their first two games at the College World Series, the UCLA Baseball team (48-15) next faces Florida State (49-16) in an elimination game today. Thus far in Omaha, both the Bruins and the Seminoles have defeated Stony Brook, while losing to Arizona, and the winner will face the Wildcats Thursday afternoon at 2 pm PT.
Having had the opportunity to spend time with the team over the past few days in Omaha, it is no secret why college baseball players dream of playing in the College World Series. The City of Omaha does a fantastic job making this a special experience for all of the teams competing in the CWS and the new baseball venue, TD Ameritrade Park, is as close an atmosphere to being in a major league stadium as a person can get, without actually being in one.
Our team has competed hard all year long and, after the loss to Arizona Sunday night, will face an uphill battle to reach the final weekend series. However, we just came off of a nine-game winning streak, so we are certainly capable of stringing together a few more victories before all is said and done.
First Student-Athlete Graduation Ceremony a Special Time For All
As I mentioned in this very space last week, the Athletic Department hosted the first-ever student-athlete graduation ceremony on Friday afternoon at the Wooden Center.
I wanted to take the time to congratulate the 113 graduating student-athletes in the Class of 2012 for their accomplishments and wish them continued success in the future, both on and off the field of play. I also wanted to express my appreciation to Petrina Long, Sr. Associate Athletic Director, Christina Rivera, Ric Coy and all of the other members of academic staff for starting this wonderful new tradition. I have heard from many parents following the ceremony, expressing their gratitude to UCLA for contributing to the growth and development of their sons and daughters.
Here is an excerpt from an email received from the proud mother of a great Bruin who recently graduated:
"Student-athletes are a rare breed among the UCLA population. They KNOW what it means to be a Bruin. They live it everyday preparing for their sport. This is what made the Athletics Graduation even more special. They understood each other's commitment to their education, their sport, and their university."
Good luck and Go Bruins!
Football Kickoff Times and Television Partners Set for First Three Weeks of 2012 Season
When the first three weeks of the 2012 Pac-12 football broadcast schedule were announced late last week, I would imagine that it came as little surprise to UCLA fans that each of the first three games of the Jim Mora era will be televised.
UCLA's season-opener at Rice on Aug. 30 will be broadcast nationally on the CBS Sports Network at 4:30 pm (PT) as part of Conference USA's TV package. The Bruins' home opener on Sept. 8 at 4:30 pm (PT) against Nebraska at the Rose Bowl will also be a national telecast, this time on FOX. The third game, Sept. 15 at 7:30 pm PT against Houston will mark UCLA's debut on the new Pac-12 Networks.
All other UCLA football games this season will not have their time and television outlet determined until 12 days prior to the date of the game.
2012 UCLA Football season tickets for the exciting seven-game schedule at the Rose Bowl are still on sale. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the football ticket page on UCLABruins.com.
Football to Open Summer Camp in San Bernardino
The first practices of the football team's training camp later this summer will be held on the campus of Cal State San Bernardino. Though the complete schedule has not been finalized at this time, summer camp will open on Saturday, August 4, and each of the practices at CSUSB will be open to the public. More details will be available in the coming weeks on UCLABruins.com.
PAC-12 Networks Announces Fall Olympic Sports Schedules
In addition to the first three weeks of the football schedule, the Pac-12 Networks have been busy announcing their fall Olympic Sports broadcast schedules. On Monday, the women's soccer schedule, including nine contests involving UCLA, was announced, and earlier today, the men's soccer schedule, which includes 12 games featuring the Bruins, was released. Women's volleyball will be released Wednesday morning, with men's water polo following on Thursday.
The Pac-12 Networks launch August 15 and will consist of one national and six regional networks devoted solely to the Pac-12. In addition to the hundreds of live televised Pac-12 sporting events, Pac-12 Networks subscribers will have access to their carrier's TV Everywhere platform, providing access to all Pac-12 Networks programming on any device through their broadband service.
To see if your television provider is currently signed up as a partner who carries the Pac-12 Networks, please click here to be directed to the channel locator. If your provider is not currently scheduled to carry the programming, we encourage you to utilize the "send a request" option to send an email to your provider. For additional questions regarding the Pac-12 Networks, visit Pac-12.org.
Bruins Climb near Top of Learfield Sports Directors Cup, Capital One Cup Standings
In case you missed it, thanks to strong showings in men's golf and women's rowing, UCLA has moved up three spots from No. 7 to No. 4 in the latest 2011-12 Division I Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings.
In the most recent standings, Stanford (1384.25 pts.) has already clinched the top spot, followed by Florida (1241.00), Ohio State (1104.25) and UCLA (1064.75). UCLA, however, will end up passing Ohio State for third place when the final standings are released after the conclusion of the College World Series. In the past decade, other than Stanford, few schools, if any, have placed higher in the Director's Cup, on a regular basis, than UCLA.
Meanwhile, in the recently-created Capital One Cup, our women's teams recently finished the year in second place, trailing only Stanford, with Alabama, LSU and Duke landing in places #3 though 5. The men remain in contention for the crown should results go our way at the College World Series, so stay tuned! We are presently in 6th place, but the five schools ahead of us, Florida, LSU, North Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky, can all be passed pending the baseball results.
We are very proud of all of our student-athletes for their performances this school year and look forward to more of the same in future years as well.
WAF Renewal Deadline Approaching Quickly
As you know, the generous financial support we receive from thousands of Bruin alumni, fans and friends like yourself is absolutely vital in our ability to provide our student-athletes with the resources they need to succeed in competition, in the classroom and in the community.
The donations received through the Wooden Athletic Fund go directly to support the needs of all UCLA student-athletes competing for each of our 24 programs. Your support has been truly inspiring over the last several months as annual donations have been coming in each day as we draw nearer to the Wooden Athletic Fund annual membership renewal deadline of June 30.
A hearty "thank you" to the many folks who increased their giving level since last year, as well as the support of those who have joined the Wooden Athletic Fund since the start of this year, as we are now on pace to generate more annual support than ever before.
For more information and to renew or join online, please visit: www.WoodenAthleticFund.com.
Ask Dan Question of the Week
Q: I enjoy reading the Word from Westwood every week. Will you continue the blog through the summer even though our teams will not be competing?
A: I am glad you have liked reading the blog. I have certainly enjoyed being able to bring some insight on what the department does each week to the everyone in the Bruin family, no matter where you may be. When we launched this blog last September, it was our intention to continue it through the completion of our athletic and academic year, and we are going to make good on that. Given that the baseball team is still playing in the College World Series, the last "edition" of Word from Westwood for the 2011-12 school year will be next week. We will pick up where we left off during the first week in August, when our fall teams are returning to campus and beginning practice for the 2012-13 school year. Please be assured that if there is any breaking news on any of our 24 teams between now and then, that all the information you need will be on UCLABruins.com.
Director of Athletics, UCLA