UCLA dismisses Richardsons, Shirley from team

Incoming freshmen linebacker Josh Shirley, wide receiver Paul Richardson and cornerback Shaquille Richardson were dismissed from the UCLA football team today after the three players were arrested last Wednesday on suspicion of felony theft.

“The three young men know they made a terrible mistake,” Neuheisel said in a release. “We expect our players to behave a certain way and there are consequences when they don’t. Paul, Shaquille and Josh are paying a steep price for their lapse in judgment. They will not be allowed to enroll in school this fall and will not have the opportunity to begin their UCLA academic and athletic careers.

“Whether they are allowed to enroll for Winter Quarter will be determined at a later date. That decision will be based on several factors, including their behavior.”

Neuheisel has left the window open for a return to the program in January if the players meet requirements set by the team. However, the Office of the Dean of Students might impose additional discipline.

The three players were arrested near Hedrick Hall by University Police, reportedly on suspicion of stealing a purse. They were charged with suspicion of felony theft and released on Thursday, the Richardsons receiving $20,000 bail, while Shirley received none.

It is a sharp turn of events, particularly for Shirley, who was expected to compete for a spot on the depth chart after a fantastic senior season at Kaiser of Fontana. Shirley, rated the No. 12 outside linebacker in the class of 2010 by Scout.com, shocked the football community by signing with UCLA on Feb. 3. Most recruiting analysts believed he had ruled out the Bruins.

Shaq and Paul Richardson, meanwhile, were expected to redshirt this season, as they were to enter positions of strength. Shaq Richardson was rated the No. 27 cornerback out of Los Alamitos High School, while Paul Richardson was rated the No. 22 wide receiver out of Serra High of Gardena.

  • Bruingold82

    While this is terrible news and they all could have been major contributors to our team, I am glad that Neuheisel is making the right decision and being very strict about our conduct policy.

    That said, I hope they do everything asked of them and join the team again at a later date, though thats probably not likely. I would expect them to transfer (maybe to Oregon? =) )

  • Peter

    Glad that, at least to start, the punishment fits the crime.

  • incomingtransferthisfall

    I guess I won’t have to worry about them stealing any of my stuff when im living on campus this fall.

    good for rick to be the tough coach. it will help our program in the long run

  • “Count” Smackula

    too bad for them. but unlike some others, UCLA holds their people responsible for their actions.

    hopefully these kids learn from this and come back to play for us. amazing how kids can ingnore the most basic of rules i assume their parents taught them. stealing a purse? now that’s chicken-&%$#!!

  • Warren

    I guess now they can go sign with USC where this type of behavior will be swept under the rug. It sucks to lose good players, but good for Neuheisel for making a swift decision and not overlooking something like this.

  • theuclan

    great job CRN!!!
    Let em play cross town…They’ll fit right in…

  • bruin95grad

    “We expect our players to behave a certain way and there are consequences when they don’t.” I commend CRN for a swift and decisive decision.

  • Mike H class of 90

    Good move, Rick…I’m glad he took the time to gather the facts and even happier that he disciplined them for their mistake. There can always be a few bad apples but the difference I want the Bruins to strive for is to have the accountability that is sometimes lacking in other programs.

  • Boston Bruin

    I’m glad to see that the incident has not festered and that UCLA has made a decision. I think it is fair, assuming that they will be off the team until (if) they are found not guilty and live within the proscribed guidelines for the school and the team.

    While the trial is still to come to determine guilt or innocence, I was disturbed to read that…”the three players were arrested near Hedrick Hall by University Police, reportedly on suspicion of stealing a purse.”

    As my grandmother said, “Preying on the weak is the lowest form of theivery.”


    By releasing them, does that mean other teams can pick them up?

  • blackstone

    Perfect response. Clear message that high profile athletes need to be mindful of their actions. I want a team I’m proud to cheer on. I agree with giving the young men a chance for redemption. I’m not ready to label these youngsters. Hopefully just a very poor decision on their part. I’d like to see if with proper guidance, they can turn this episode around and be a success on and off the field. Champions, after all, are Made here.

  • sandiegobruinfan

    I presume that video evidence was fairly damning..its unfortunate for UCLA to lose players of this caliber but CRN did the right thing in clearly establishing to the program and to all outsiders that this can’t be tolerated.

    We all did dumb things at age 18 although this is certainly worse than most. I hope these kids who made a terrible error in judgment undertake the necessary steps to put themselves in position to be reconsidered for reinstatement in January.


    From High school All-Americans to the outhouse.

    Your life can turn in an instant. Gotta be careful out there.


  • MichaelRyerson

    High marks for coach Neuheisel and the administration. I hope these kids can get past this but actions have consequences. I hope they’re paying attention.

  • BruinInSeattle

    Is it really an option to sign with someone else? Be it Oregon or SC? Didn’t they sign letters of intent? Aren’t they bound to the school and whatever disciplinary measures it might need to take? If they did sign, I’d bet they would lose more than the six months of eligibility they are losing from coach Neuheisel’s action. They’d lose at least a year, I would think, and most every school out there, esp. SC and Oregon who have had numerous and well documented recent problems with student athletes, would think twice about taking them on… Masoli…NCAA sanctions anyone?

  • Anonymous

    This would never have been done across town. Great job Rick.

  • http://http:://topix.com/member/profile/robthenbruin BruinRob

    Way to go Rick, great job! It shows the integrity to the football program your commitment to win with players that are willing to be on the team and fit the Bruin profile. The Richardsons and Shirley are great palyers that UCLA was counting on for the future, I hope they do get the opportunity to stay in school and come back to the this team in due time.

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    1. “We all did stupid things at 18 . . . .” What? I can’t recall ever stealing a purse when I was 18, or 19, or EVER! What a dumbazz comment! Age is no excuse for criminality! “Didn’t you mamma teach you any bettah!”

    2. Apparently, there was pretty damning evidence of the ‘crime.’ Otherwise, CRN would have issued the usual,”They are suspended from the team pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.” To give them the boot means it is pretty clear cut!

    3. In light of the sanctions against SUC for turning a blind eye toward the transgressions of superstar players, this move sends the PERFECT message that UCLA will not tolerate this type of behavior.

    4. The door is open for redemption. And I think these 3 will be redeemed. They received a swift kick in the azz from CRN, they work through the criminal process, then say their mea culpas to CRN, be reinstated conditionally, and off we go! Now, future thugs will know the punishment for their lapses in judgment and the University is demonstrating ‘institutional control.’ Win-win-win for everyone!

  • Anonymous

    15 comments already and not a single one that looks like it comes from an SC troll. Interesting how they posted when the crime was reported, but silence now that action has been taken. What I would give to see some intelectual honesty amoung blog posters.

  • spedjones

    Just ask Janzen Jackson how hard it is to get kicked off a Lane Kiffin team…

  • Anonymous

    Handled perfectly…but still sucks to lose a talent like Shirley.

    Absent proof of innocence, even if they all walk, still handled perfectly.

  • Proud

    I couldn’t be more proud of UCLA and Rick Neuheisel for this decision. He didn’t deal with things this way up at Washington and this shows how much he has grown. I think USC would have said they were going to handle it internally and then forced the players to miss the first series of the first game. I love it! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this frees up three scholarships and it seems like we didn’t have a heck of a lot avaialable for next year’s class. Although, it probably wouldn’t be so bad to have a few thugs types on the team if we want to close the gap on SC.

  • Anonymous

    Great Leadership, Mr. Coach Neuheisal

  • spedjones

    Bruin in Seattle – their scholarships were pulled and they were booted from the team. There’s nothing stopping them from leaving. That said, they have some manning up to do and the next 6 months will show whether these kids were meant to be bruins or not.

  • Anonymous

    no one is mentioning that they might be innocent. instead of being quick to throw them under the bus and commend rick for being the bus driver, take a moment to consider that perhaps they were in the wrong place when a student screams that her backpack is missing and the police’s attention is naturally drawn to the large black men standing near the scene.

    the justice system hasn’t found them guilty, why do we?


    Mother always tells me stealing is bad.

    I know Mother would approve of Coach Rick.

  • spedjones

    right – it’s a racist plot, not three dipsh*ts caught on tape lifting a purse filled with computer gear.

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Anon 3:19. Uh, you don’t get $20k bail for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the fact that one was released with no bail means there was a distinction in the evidence between the three men. Further, CRN did NOT act without consulting Guerrero and the compliance office AND LEGAL COUNSEL to the athletic department. So for UCLA to take such swift and serious action, it means that the known facts are just a bit more than the police being “naturally drawn to the large black men standing near the scene.”

    Man, what a bunch of f-in morons!

  • Mike H class of 90

    Anon@3:19pm, It’s been a few days…plenty of time to review the incident and chat with the 3 to get their side of the story, including reviewing video of the incident, if it exists. I don’t think race has any bearing on this…obviously, nobody has all the information at this point except the 3 – curious that there’s been nothing but silence from them, don’t you think. If I were being “thrown under the bus” the screams would be loud and numerous. My guess is you’ll have a lot of cooperation from them (along with an admission of guilt) and a reduced sentence (from felony to misdemeanor) because of that cooperation.

  • bruin95grad

    @Anon 3:19 – CRN clearly states that “The three young men know they made a terrible mistake,” If they were innocent bystanders, then no need to acknowledge making a “terrible mistake.” Plus the video evidence that was obtained I’m sure implicated all three knuckleheads.

  • Logic

    Just goes to show that you can pry a recruit away from SC, but you can’t always pry the SC out of the recruit.


    Interesting how so many of the comments were digs on SC. Let’s see, SC gets sanctioned severely over one guy, that’s one guy, who was dishonest because he allowed his parents to gain economic advantage.

    Now, ucla has 3 guys who rob a student.

    Aaaah, if one were to be objective, which is difficult for most SC-ucla fanatics, which is the worst act, Bush’s or the Thre Freshmen?

    Finally, with Neu’s reputation he had to show a strong reaction to this situation. He had no choice.


  • Anonymous

    Be Real, the reason why USC got the NCAA smack down was for lack of institutional control. The USC coaches failed to address the obvious infractions Bush was commiting and treated players who committed serious crimes like assault (sometimes multiple times) with a “boys will be boys attitude.” On the other hand when UCLA players commit serious infractions or crimes they are out of the program in under a week. See the difference?

  • http://topix.com/member/profile/robthenbruin BruinRob

    BE REAL, schools don’t get sanctioned for having thugs on your team, if that was the case USC’s football team would have disappeared from the face of the earth many years ago. USC had arrests from it’s players that stemmed from: possession of firearms, possession of drugs, assault, RAPE…you name it…the charges against the UCLA players are comparable to being arrested for stealing candy, when comparing to the arrests coming from the USC players. Sanctions are made to schools that cheat and don’t play fair…GOT IT??!!

    Much to the dismay of Bruin haters…Rick Neuheisel did what a coach with integrity is supposed to do, discipline or dismiss the players for making stupid embarrassing decisions – something that Petey the Cheaty never did at USC. So all you morons that have been talking shhyt about how shady and “slick” Rick is…well PIE ON YOUR FACE!! LMAO Rick handled the situation perfectly by taking immediate action and not saying what Pete Carroll would say: “we will wait and see” or Carroll telling the Orange County Register when asked why he wasn’t disciplining Rey Maualuga after he beat some dude unconscious at a Halloween party “I don’t care what anybody thinks,I will run my program according to the way I see fit” – that is what Cheat Carroll said. Pete Carroll NEVER suspended any of his players – that I can remember for any reason…he even held a scholarship for Marquis Simmons until he was pronounced guilty in the courst of law for holding up a liquors store with his buddies.

    Rick Neuheisel needed Josh Shirley, he was supposed to compete for a Linebacker spot, it didn’t matter…win at all costs? NOPE, not at UCLA…integrity first. Go Bruins!

  • BruinInSeattle

    @spedjones — where does it say their scholarships were pulled or that they can go anywhere they choose?

    This, according to LATimes: “However, each of the players is still bound by their letter of intent to UCLA, school spokesman Marc Dellins said.”

    They’re still on the team, they still have scholarships, they just aren’t allowed to enroll for one quarter. That’s my take, anyway.

    And Mr. Lawyer John…let’s be honest, here. It’s not one player at SC but many, over the years, with crimes ranging from domestic violence, to assault, etc. And I’ll be honest, too…it has happened at UCLA as well, and not just the football team but basketball, too. Kids these day.

  • Sandy Underpants

    These are 3 thugs recruited by Neuheisal. I don’t think there’s much to be proud about. The recruits from 2009 all got bounced out of school as well with mental problems, behavioral issues, racist comments about their coaches, etc. And CRN, brought in some other reject that got expelled from Notre Dame the year before.

    UCLA’s football program has always been known for criminal behavior with your kicker and his DUI accident that left his female passenger hanging upside down while he fled the scene. He was still kicking for UCLA a couple weeks later when his leg healed. And then that assistant coach for Karl Dorrell who got arrested for breaking and entering. What kind of criminals does UCLA attract to their athletics. Obviously, some pretty big time low-lifes.

  • rob

    I can see how most of you want to forgive these young men. I too beleive in forgiveness. We have all done some bad things when we were 18 and younger, but how many of us have done this.

  • http://topix.com/member/profile/robthenbruin BruinRob

    To Sand in your brains: SFTU your condoms have had players arrested for rape and former players for murder…go bury you head back in the sand, whining little…girl.

  • cliq

    “They’re still on the team, they still have scholarships, they just aren’t allowed to enroll for one quarter. That’s my take, anyway.”

    Even if they get their act together and are some how allowed back, they lose 1 whole year of playing football. That’s a huge punishment.

    I think it will be very impressive if these boys get their act together and end up staying at UCLA.

    They can cop out of their poor decision by joining another football program (if possible), or take the punishment, prove themselves, and lose a year.

  • 123

    LOL Trogans. Do you really want to argue the fact that this type of behavior goes unpunished at your “university”? Please. Good job Coach Neuheisel for standing up for UCLA and not stooping to the level of Sanction Central.

  • Anonymous

    All of the good press CRN is getting is exactly what he wanted. I think he may have thrown an innocent kid(s) under the bus. How do 3 guys steal one purse? Did they all carry it?

  • jess

    SC has has it’s problems, granted. And ucla has similar problems. Let me refresh your memory with a just few examples. What punishment did the ucla basketballer named Dragovic get after he and his accomplice beat up a much smaller guy and pushed him into a glass display case that severed the victim’s achilles tendon? It was the second public fight in less than a year for Dragovic. What was the punishment for the extra benefits of 30 ucla footballers who stole and used handicap parking placards for years? NCAA extra benefits maybe? We know Cade McClown skated free and Deshaun Foster was also involved. How about Deshaun Foster and the free new SUV and drugs. How about the ucla kicker who left his female friend dangling out of his crashed car window with a broken neck next to the 405 freeway after he fled the scene and was caught by police 2 hours later? Great friend for the female ucla golfer! Seems he was promptly back kicking after his leg healed. How about the 2 ucla footballers getting into a brawl in big bear? Almost every college football and basketball team has it’s problems except the Ivy League and perhaps Stanford. ucla is not exempt. Glass houses and stones?

  • Boston Bruin

    @jess said.

    You had a good point until you said: “…exept Ivy League and perhaps Stanford.”

    No need for a false assumption. Liivng in the Boston area there are occassional stories about Harvard and Darmouth athletes with problems — certainly not Rape or domestic assualt.

    Also, Boston College, an institution of high academic standing had a BB point shaving scandal here within the last decade. They took it on the chin by booting 3 players (quite a percentage by comparison).

  • Perry Mason

    @ Anonymous said: (June 29, 2010 3:19 PM )
    “…maybe they were in the wrong place when a student screamed that her backpack is missing and the police’s attention is naturally drawn to the large black men standing near the scene.”

    Only 5 days to draw the race card. Better than in incidents past in L.A.

    Question: Are you an idiot, ignoramous, or simply a mindless troll?

    There is a police report available to get the facts.

    1) Wrong place was by having hands in someone else’s locker/cubby.

    2) The student didn’t scream. She reported the theft to the university police who looked at the film in the security cameras of the cafe.

    3) Police attention was drawn to the persons, who obviously were together at the locker/cubby pulling out the purse/bag. Actions, not ethnicity, prevailed as the attention getter.

    4) Large is a relative term. These weren’t linemen or BB forwards, they are 6-0 180-190 lbs, Shirley maybe a bit larger. There are many students at UCLA with equal stature, and UCLA is racially diverse. It’s not as if this is the campus of the University of Sweden, Stockholm.

    There is a difference between whether all three are legally guilty, but all are most certainly morally guilty.

    The fact that one of them took the purse/bag while the other two stood and watched, or covered the act with out saying “WTF, are you out of your f&*@#ing mind?” means that they are complicit — same as doing the crime itself.

    So stop with the playing the race card, it’s last thing needed in L.A.

  • Anonymous

    Again, How do three men steal one purse? Why did Josh Shirley not have to post bail?

    I guess it is easy to lable someone a thug or criminal even though you have never met them. Anyone who knows Josh Shirley knows he doesn’t steal. I won’t believe it until I see it. If they have a tape show it then I will shut up.

  • Clarence Darrow

    @Anonymous said June 30, 2010 9:30 AM

    As Denzel Washington in the movie Philadelphia might have said: “I’ll explain this to you like you’re a six year old, okay?

    Anon = “Again, How do three men steal one purse?”

    At law, an accomplice is a person who participates in the commission of a crime, even though they take no part in the actual criminal offense. An accomplice can be prosecuted as is the main criminal (the principal).

    Anon = “Why did Josh Shirley not have to post bail?”

    When a criminal suspect is arrested, booked, and granted “own recognizance” release, no bail money needs to be paid to the court, and no bond is posted. The suspect is released after promising, in writing, to appear in court for all upcoming proceedings.

    Anon = “I guess it is easy to lable someone a thug or criminal even though you have never met them.”

    Do you know whether the commenter’s to this story are using the Merriam Webster definition of thug: “a tough and violent man,” or “a member of an organization of robbers and assassins in India who typically strangled their victims?”

    Since Mr. Shirley has been released on his own recognizance, I doubt they are referring to the latter definition. In fact I don’t think they are even referring to the former definition.

    Instead they may be referring to the way Tupac (Shakur) defined it: “A thug is someone who is going through struggles, has gone through struggles, and continues to live day by day with nothing for them. That person is a thug. and the life they are living is the thug life.” An interesting perspective that may have philosophers musing for decades.

    Anon = “Anyone who knows Josh Shirley knows he doesn’t steal.”

    I guess the law enforcement officials viewing the tape concur and arrested and booked him not as the perpetrator, but as an accomplice (see above). So in a strict sense, he hadn’t stolen, he simply aided and abetted the crime. A technicality.

    Anon = “I won’t believe it until I see it. If they have a tape show it then I will shut up.

    I’m sure it will be on You Tube shortly for your viewing pleasure.

    But considering your ardent defense of the three young men in general and Mr. Shirley in particular, you should not just be quiet but publically admit that Mr, Shirley is at least guilty of extremely poor judgment and a lapse in a generally accepted moral code.

    Perhaps Mr. Shirley was absent the day his HS American history class teacher might have read one of the many pithy quotes from B. Franklin (famous in Tupac’s circle as the face on the ‘Benjamins), one of which is most appropriate for anyone who is an accomplice to any nefarious deed: “He that lieth down with dogs, shall rise up with fleas.”

  • http://http:://topix.com/member/profile/robthebruin BruinRob

    Anonymous said:

    All of the good press CRN is getting is exactly what he wanted. I think he may have thrown an innocent kid(s) under the bus. How do 3 guys steal one purse? Did they all carry it?

    BruinRob says: Thrown 3 innocent kids under the bus? just to get good press?? what a moron!! what the hell is he supposed to do, keep them on the team for the sake of looking like a goody two-shoe coach that tolerates thugs on the team like USC’s Cheat Carroll? – this is UCLA, not University of Sanctioned Cheaters!!


    You guys are all missing the obvious.

    It was the purse itself that was racist. And now three young men have to suffer for it.

    This is just like an episode of “Law and Order” that Mother let me watch.

  • uclabruin84

    Seahawks sign former USC safety Kevin Ellison

    The Seattle Seahawks have signed safety Kevin Ellison to a new contract a week after claiming him off waivers.

    RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks have signed safety Kevin Ellison to a new contract a week after claiming him off waivers.

    The team says Tuesday it had to claim the former San Diego Chargers player last week, then waive him and allow him to clear waivers before Seattle could rework a new deal.

    Ellison was an All-Pac-10 selection and team captain at USC for new Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Ellison played from 2005 to 2008 at USC.

    He started nine games at strong safety as a rookie for San Diego last season.

    The Chargers waived Ellison after police in Redondo Beach, Calif., stopped him for speeding in a school zone near his former high school in late May. Police said a search of Ellison’s vehicle turned up 100 Vicodin pills.

    Too bad Shirley, Ricardson & Richardson couldn’t have been placed on waivers by the University … Petey would have welcomed them with open arms in Seattle!!!

  • Pyperkub

    Perry Mason – I don’t know about UCLA’s diversity: http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/a/affirmative_action/index.html

    “The reasons weren’t entirely clear, but they seemed to include some combination of the admissions office taking Proposition 209 to heart and black students falling further behind in the academic arms race. The changes on U.C.L.A.’s campus were hard to miss. In 1997, the freshman class included 221 black students; in 2006, it had only 100. In the region with easily the largest black population west of the Mississippi River, the top public university had a freshman class in which barely 1 in 50 students was black.”

    It definitely appears to have changed over time.

  • Perry Mason


    Of 253 ‘national’ colleges in the 2008-09 US News and World Report College data, UCLA ranked #11 only 0.09 behind #1 Rutgers (compared to North Dakota State having much less diversity at 0.68 behind #1.)


    BTW – diversity isn’t only the % of blacks on campus, but also Latinos, Asian, and Native American.

    As a state school working mostly off a SAT/ACT and HS GPA grid, the UCLA student body reflects a meritocracy. While it can offer a certain number of admissions for qualitative reasons (i.e. athletics), the vast majority are admitted on a quantitative basis of academic scores and extracurricular activities.

    California demographics is the real hurdle facing black HS students. The more superior Asian and Latino students applying (respectively 2x and 5x the Calf population vs blacks), have greater numbers reflected in the UCLA student body compared to superior black students admitted.

    But those numbers aren’t even representative, considering Caucasian and Asian students constitute the majority of students in superior suburban, urban specialty and private schools, giving them a leg up over black and Latino students.

    While your point about a small black population at UCLA is true, the above average % of Asian and Latino students far surpasses the ave US college population.

  • joanl

    I understand there is excellent video surveillance tape of the incident.
    I understand the scholarships have been revoked and they cannot enroll at UCLA this summer or fall, and they are off the football team.
    I understand the Letters of Intent keep them from playing football anywhere else.
    If they don’t want to waste their time, they can go to another college this summer and fall (for instance OCC or Goldenwest) where they could get in pretty fast and keep their costs down. They can get some classes under their belts, do conditioning, and prove their academic intention to Rick N.
    But what becomes of the three now empty scholarships and the empty positions? Can Rick offer the scholarships to others who are available? Or can he offer them to players who did not get scholarships? I guess we just wasted three scholarships on these guys. I am proud of the way Rick handled this.

  • Boston Bruin


    You make an excellent point about the redistribution of those three scholarships.

    CRN should look at the team and offer to one, two or three players who have proved themselves those ‘open’ scholarships.

    He would know by February 2011 whether the three booted are serious about coming back and then use three from next year’s available slots.

    Also, CRN certainly can save a scholarship by not offering his son one. At his salary he can well-afford the cost for in-state tuition for Neu Jr.