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So many of the stories have been exaggerated or even fabricated.
So, let's set this record straight.
First, any claims that Karl Dorrell was out partying and intoxicated are flat out wrong.
And the person who was making the assertion that Dorrell was holding Eyoseph Efseaff and Ben Lorier responsible for something he, himself, did, is completely wrong.
Let's finally make it public what happened that led to Efseaff and Lorier suspended from the team.
The team arrived in Vegas on their own. The coaches had told the players repeatedly not to partake of the Las Vegas excesses.
But in the first team meeting late that night, Efseaff and Lorier show up very intoxicated.
Many players in the meeting thought that Dorrell handled the situation well. He made Efseaff and Lorier sit at the front of the meeting. And actually, many of the players thought that Dorrell was actually going to let them off at this point, that he'd make them do some pretty rigorous conditioning the next morning when they were hung over.
But then both proceeded to wretch, pretty much at the feet of the coaches.
Dorrell, still relatively calm, then decided that they were done.
Okay, so that's the real version of that story. Now for the locker room incident.
The game is over. Dorrell hasn't gone into the locker room yet, but is in the coaches' room. He's livid, barely able to see straight he's so pissed they lost.
So, in the locker room Chris Kluwe and Tab Perry are talking. They're two seniors who have been through a lot, and they started talking about their experience at UCLA, reminiscing some. At one point they were laughing, going over old times.
At that moment is when Dorrell happened to come into the locker room.
Now, Dorrell is so damn livid, remember, he can't see straight. But he does see Kluwe and Perry laughing. So, Dorrell, his temper flared, went off on both of them -- ripping them for being able to laugh after such a disappointing loss.
Perry, never one to back down, got back in Dorrell's face, but Dorrell then kept in Perry's face. It was pretty heated, and got pretty personal from what I understand.
Kluwe, being pretty smart, left the locker room.
Some of the players who witnessed it said they had never seen Dorrell so angry.
Many have said that, given the circumstances, they could understand how Dorrell went off. It wasn't the fault of Kluwe or Perry, but if you were in Dorrell's situation you very well might have lost your temper in that situation also. In fact, some of the players have said they were impressed that Dorrell was so angry about it.
As I said before, I think, given the circumstances it's understandable. Dorrell misunderstood the situation, but you can maybe see how he could have lost his temper at the time.
So, that's it. I've heard both stories from a few eye witnesses.
UCLA quarterback Drew Olson, who injured his left knee during the Las Vegas Bowl game, had surgery earlier today in the Bay Area.
The surgery, performed by Dr. Robert Eppley, repaired damage to the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments of the left knee and was successful.
The goal of medical staff and Olson is for the quarterback to be ready for the start of Fall camp in August.
There have been rumors about Fred Rouse, the wide receiver from Florida who is the #1 recruit in the country according to Scout.com, being interested in UCLA.
I've now heard from more sources about Rouse's academics. Reportedly, most close to the situation in Florida feel he will qualify academically by NCAA standards.
There is talk that Rouse likes Ben Olson and wants to visit UCLA officially in the next few weeks.
UCLA's committed player, point guard Darren Collison, added another tournament MVP to his resume.
His Etiwanda team won the Desert Heat National Invitational tourney in Palm Springs yesterday, beating Loyola, 65-49, in the championship game.
Collison had 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists in the final.
That's three tourney MVPs for Collison this month.
Etiwanda is currently the #2 team in the country, as ranked by USA Today.
There is a growing sentiment and push among some on the McDonald's All-American committee for UCLA's committed point guard, 5-11 Darren Collison of Etiwanda (Calif.) High, to make the McDonald's All-American team.
A source close to Ryan Reynolds of Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman has indicated that the elite linebacker prospect is thought to be leaning toward UCLA at this time over Oklahoma.
Even before the news of Drew Olson's injury, it was believed that Ben Olson would be able to come and immediately compete for the starting position next year.
Olson, even though he'll be limited due to a lack of experience in the offense, and having spent the last two years outside of football, still could be physically gifted and athletic enough to win the starting position, many close to the program believe.
Olson will enroll by Winter quarter, which begins in January. He'll then compete in winter practice, which UCLA has changed to February, and then have the off-season to continue to be ready for fall camp in August.
UCLA is planning to conduct its practice in February this year, not in the usual April.
It still isn't certain, but that's the prevailing sentiment as of now.
Since April is a recruiting evaluation period, having practice in February allows the coaches to spend more time recruiting in April.
The days and times have yet to be determined.
Defensive tackle Eyoseph Efseaff and linebacker Ben Lorier were sent home today for a violation of team rules.
They won't play in the bowl game.
UCLA Head Coach Karl Dorrell is close to signing a two-year extension that will extend his contract through the 2010 season, according to various reports.
As we reported Ben Olson visited UCLA's campus on Tuesday, for three hours. He reportedly has been given his enrollment papers. Even though he told BRO that he could decide by Friday, recent reports have him waiting through the weekend.
In one report, Olson did say he would come to UCLA's basketball game against Michigan. It's significant since UCLA will have 18 football recruits at the game on official visits.
UCLA's Head Coach Ben Howland was spotted in Seattle Tuesday night watching Spencer Hawes, the 6-10 junior center from Seattle (Wash.) Prep.
Hawes is considered a top 25 national player and among UCLA's top targets in the class of 2006.
Speculation on USC hiring Rick Majerus:
He's a great coach, but personally, because of some issues, there could have been worse choices for UCLA.
It will be interesting to see how well Majerus recruits, and if his style flies at USC. It very well could. Or it might not "fit" (there's that word again). There are some in the coaching profession that recognize he's a very good coach, but that his approach and his appeal might be past its effectiveness.
Plus, given his health, there will always be questions about how much longer he'll coach.
Even though many of you might not know them well, IMO, if USC had gotten either Jamie Dixon or Randy Bennett it would have been far worse for UCLA. Those two guys can really recruit -- and coach. While they might not have generated as much initial buzz over being hired as Majerus, in the long run they could have been far worse for UCLA.
The guy UCLA really wanted at USC was Paul Westphal.
The three elite prospects at the Pepperdine game were James Keefe, JR F, Santa Margarita; Curtis Eatmon, JR PG, Los Osos, and Chace Stanback, SO SF, Fairfax.
Also there was Jerren Shipp, SR SG, Fairfax, Matt Shaw, JR C, Fairfax, and Pierce Brooks, SO F, Taft.
In comparing Ray Hall, the 6-10 junior center from Denver (Col.) Mullen to last year's prospect Chris Burgess, Greg Hicks wrote:
Hall is farther along at the same stage. More skilled -- better low-post game, much better passer. Hall also has better feet and he's a little bit bigger. I don't think he's anywhere close to making a decision.
Junior linebacker Spencer Havner and sophmore running back Maurice Drew were selected winners of UCLA's Henry R. "Red" Sanders Award for Most Valuable Player at the 86th Annual UCLA Football Awards Banquet, held on campus at Covel Commons Saturday evening.
Havner, who ranks seventh (tied) in the nation in total tackles (11.36 avg.), was a second-team All-American and a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi and Butkus awards. Drew, who rushed for a school record 322 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Washington this season, leads the Bruins in rushing (881 yards) and ranks eighth on the school single season all-purpose yards list with 1,431 yards.
The complete list of winners:
Jack. R. Robinson Award for Highest Scholarship of a Senior Player: fullback Steve Seigel
George W. Dickerson Award for Outstanding Offensive Player against USC: receiver Junior Taylor
Donn Moomaw Award for Outstanding Defensive Player against USC: defensive tackle Kevin Brown
Paul I. Wellman Memorial Award for All-Around Excellence: running back Manuel White, Jr. and receiver Craig Bragg
Henry R. "Red" Sanders Award for Most Valuable Player: Offense: running back Maurice Drew; Defense: linebacker Spencer Havner
Speculation on Chase Budinger, the 6-6 elite junior wing from Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon:
From talking with other sources, I don't believe Chase is that far along with the process. I don't think he has a cut and dried list. My own take is UCLA is a very strong contender, due to academics and, especially, volleyball. Very few schools offer the combination UCLA has to offer. -- Greg Hicks