Claremont’s Brandon Tuliaupupu shuns Wash. St. for UCLA …

UCLA’s late offer for Claremont offensive lineman Brandon Tuliaupupu paid off in the end, much to the chagrin of Washington St.

Tuliapupu,who had committed to Washington St., had a change of heart after UCLA came through with an on late last week. Tuliapupu will instead be a Bruin after deciding over the weekend and informing the UCLA staff.

Also, Claremont quarterback Daniel Kessler is headed to Utah where he will be a high-priority walk on.

Aram’s take: God knows UCLA needs help along the o-line. Hopefully, we’re seeing Big Brandon paving the way for the Bruins someday soon.

More details emerge in Zavala resignation at Wilson …

Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District Assistant Superintendent in charge of human resources Rob Roberts confirmed recently that the district hired an external investigator to investigate former Wilson High School football Brian Zavala due to alleged recruiting infractions.

Zavala resigned his position as head coach last week and his teaching position effective at the end of the school year. He has not publicly said why he chose to resign and has not returned several phone calls seeking comment.

As it turns out, the investigation turned up nothing after the parents of the two players involved chose not to cooperate with the external investigator and subsequently checked out of the school on Jan. 3.

“Brian Zavala told me point blank, face to face, that he denied all allegations,” Roberts said. “I have no reason not to believe him.”

Zavala was at the school for two seasons and compiled a 4-16 record. In December, potential CIF violations in terms of residency and eligibility came to the attention of Wilson principal Elena Paul, who launched an investigation into the matter. The school also self reported the allegations to CIF.

“On Dec. 15, I sat down with Mr. Zavala and I shared with him what the allegations were and he denied all allegations,” Roberts said. “We made the decision to go with the external investigator based on the fact there were inconsistencies in what was reported in the statements by the parents and students, and we have Mr. Zavala denying all allegations.”

Of the two players involved, one set of parents did not respond to the investigator’s request for an interview. The set said they’d cooperate, but did not show up for a scheduled interview.

Roberts estimated the district spent less than $500 of the school’s general fund on the external investigator and admitted that the district has used external investigators on its employees in the past for issues of conduct.

Zavala and other coaches at the school were warned by Roberts about the possibility of an outside investigation should any infractions occur as far back as last spring. Roberts had two seminars conducted about CIF rules, one at which Southern Section Assistant Commissioner Rob Wigod spoke.

With Zavala gone, former coach and athletic director Dave Merrill has been brought in as a substitute teacher for one period a day to oversee the team’s weight lifting workouts. Merrill was the athletic director and partly responsible for Zavala’s hiring, a move he takes credit for despite how things turned out.

“I thought he was going to do a great job and I still think he has a lot of potential,” Merrill said. “He was my pick and I will take total credit for pushing for him.”

The school is currently accepting resumes to find its next coach.

Baldwin Park’s Demetrius Jackson heading to Portland State …

Baldwin Park defensive back Demetrius Jackson, an All-Area selection this past season, has committed to Portland St.

Jackson originally gave a verbal commitment to UTEP, but looked elsewhere when the Miners wanted to gray shirt him.

Aram’s take: Congrats to Demetrius, who was one of the most electrifying players around last season. And it will be good to have him on hand for our Signing Day special coming up this week.

With Zavala gone at Wilson, is Arellanes soon-to-be out at Los Altos? …

I’ve heard from a number of sources that Los Altos coach Jim Arellanes will be out soon as head coach at Los Altos. As far back as a month ago, I heard from a very reliable source that both Zavala and Arellanes would be out. Naturally, I didn’t believe it one bit, so despite the person being an excellent source in the past and present, I didn’t post it. But, today I heard the same thing from several other people.

Arellanes is not thought to be in any kind of trouble with the administration for any type of infraction, but the concern is that he might make a move to secure tenure somewhere else. I’m a little fuzzy on the whole teaching/tenure thing and how that works.

Anyway, I called Arellanes this afternoon and asked him about the rumors. He flatly shot them down.

“Absolutely not,” Arellanes said. “I have a sour taste in my mouth (from last season). It wasn’t an easy year by any means. I want to stay because I want to get this turned around.

“I’ve met with my A.D. and principal about what we’re going to do and what approach we’re going to take. I want to get things right here.”

Aram’s take:
It’s always discomforting as a reporter when you hear something so far-fetched that you blow it off only to hear it again from several others a short time later. Last season, Arellanes did deny he was interested in the Los Altos job right up until he took it, but my gut (and that means something) is that he’s staying … but there’s that small part of me …

Baldwin Park’s WC3 headed to Georgetown …

So much for El Paso, Texas, Baldwin Park linebacker Wardell Crutchfield III, aka WC3, is heading to the nation’s capital.

Crutchfield has committed to play next season at Georgetown. He originally gave a verbal commitment to UTEP, but opted out of if after the coaching staff wanted to gray shirt him.

Aram’s take: If I ever need to get lawyered up, WC3 might be the first guy I call. Congrats to WC3 on making it to one heckuva school.