Cory Paus, UCLA's starting quarterback, has been demoted to third string for the remainder of the season, according to Head Coach Bob Toledo.
Toledo said: "I found out more details [about Paus' situation with his conviction]. I didn't have it all at my disposal at the time last Friday. Since then, I've had opportunity to find out more about it. I didn't want to make a decision based on what I had heard or read in a newspaper. Sometimes you make decisions real quick, and they're not always the right decision. I wanted to make an informed decision. I wanted to find out for myself. We did that. We are going to require that he meet some other obligations. We have a plan for him, and that's between him and me. Cory knows he made a mistake. He knows there's a price to pay.
We all know he's paying dearly right now."
Scott McEwan, the redshirt senior quarterback, in his last appearance in the Rose Bowl as a Bruin, will make his first career start. Ryan McCann will be the #1 backup.
If UCLA is invited to a bowl game, Paus will remain third string and only play if McEwan and McCann are both hurt and unable to play. It's pretty likely, then, that Paus will not see any action for the remainder of the season. Toledo said that Paus understands that. "He's 21, and he's a man. It's been hard for him to deal with. You get your name in paper, on TV, all across the country, and people are yelling things at you in the stadium. It hurts. But he's dealing with what we're doing with him as well as can be expected. He knew something would happen just wasn't quite sure what. He knows he's demoted for the rest of season. He knows that and he's accepted it."
Toledo explained that Paus' demotion wasn't entirely based on Paus' conviction and subsequent hiding of it from the coaching staff but some on his performance. "It was a combination of everything," Toledo said. "He hasn't performed well as of late. He's got a lot on his plate. He's got an injury, and had something that he's had inside of him for a long time that has obviously had an effect on him."
Toledo explained that it would have been very hard to take any disciplinary action for last week's game, since he only received the news about Paus late Thursday night. "It happened late Thursday, and then here's Friday. And there are a lot of things I have to do on Friday." Toledo said also that Paus' lawyer was out of town last Friday and unavailable. "But I talked to his lawyer since. Cory wasn't lying to us. He just wasn't aware of all that had happened. I found out more details that I didn't have at my disposal at the time. I've had chance to sit down and evaluate it."
Toledo indicated that, on one hand, it was fitting for McEwan, that he'd be able to make his first start for the last regular season game of his career. "McEwan is a loyal Bruin, a good soldier," Toledo said. "You couldn't find a better kid."