Initial Word on Baca's Eligibility

Bruin Report Online has learned about the NCAA ruling on th eligibility of Jeff Baca, the junior offensive lineman that has been a starter his first two years in the UCLA program...

Offensive lineman Jeff Baca's appeal to the NCAA for eligibility has initially been denied, according to sources.

Baca, a junior and a two-year starter, was deemed ineligible to play football for the fall season by the NCAA because he didn't possess enough credits going toward his degree, as laid out by NCAA guidelines.

Baca and UCLA appealed the decision to the NCAA earlier this month, but the latest is that the appeal has been denied.

A source indicated that there could be another recourse in light of the NCAA denial.

Baca has also been sitting out of fall practice due to a stress fracture in his right foot.

The loss of Baca for the season would be another blow to an offensive line that continues to lose bodies. Of course, Xavier Su'a-Filo, a starter as a true freshman last season, went on his Mormom mission; Nik Abele, who was projected to possibly start at a tackle spot this season, has left the program due to a serious neck issue; Stan Hasiak is academically ineligible for the season; Kai Maiava, the veteran starting center, went down in Saturday's scrimmage with a broken ankle; and UCLA is without the services of veteran starting tackle Mike Harris for the Kansas State game due to a one-game suspension.

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