Post-Practice Update

* Junior OL Jeff Baca was carted off the field after suffering a left ankle injury during practice, and his status is unknown. Connor Bradford and Stan Hasiak saw the action as Baca’s backups at left tackle.

* QB Watch: Richard Brehaut had a really good practice but bore the brunt of several dropped passes. Brehaut delivered a few crisp deep balls, but he hit the check-downs better today, and seemed to feel the pocket pretty well. Brett Hundley was good but not great, though he did have one absolutely sensational deep throw that was …. dropped.

* The guy I hyped up all year last year, Jordon James, opened some eyes today. He has great burst and hits the hole at the right time, showing little hesitation. If you come out to practice, watch out for No. 6 in white.

* Seemed like everyone had the drops today, though there also seems to be some progress in the catch-and-run department. Josh Smith had a great catch, Taylor Embree caught a nice ball in traffic and Cory Harkey had a good grab. Also, John Young, the tight end out of Loyola who missed all of last season after shoulder surgery, had three catches and looked like a real focal point. I had a good interview with him after practice that I’ll post tomorrow.

* Stan McKay got plenty of reps with the first-team defense alongside Tony Dye, and Rick Neuheisel said after practice that the safety position is very fluid and there will be plenty of mixing and matching.

* Interviews in the next few days with Young, Anthony Barr and Rahim Moore from Pro Day, as well as Neuheisel’s post-practice comments. I’ll be out of town for a few days, and we’ll have Gerry Gittelson out at practice on Saturday and Monday. I’ll be back Tuesday.

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UCLA instituting changes to The Den after major survey

From UCLA: This email was sent to members of The Den, UCLA’s student athletic support group, to announce decisions made after a survey of The Den members and several months of working with various campus student and non-student groups. The changes are designed to enhance the student experience at UCLA athletic events.

Dear Members of The Den:

This past December, the UCLA Athletic Department asked you to participate in a survey regarding the student experience at our athletic events. The results were very informative and we want to thank all of you who participated. Over the past few months, we have been working with numerous campus student and non-student groups to implement many of the survey’s findings.

Today’s email is to report to you the results of the past few months. The new programs are all designed to create the greatest athletic student environment in all of collegiate athletics.

To fully examine the survey findings and the resulting decisions, the Athletic Department worked in cooperation with the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC), specifically Undergraduate Student Association President Jasmine Hill. She, along with fellow council members helped to identify and establish student focus groups that enabled us to vet ideas and concepts. We also discussed potential changes with The Den student leadership, Wooden Center Board of Governors, ASUCLA staff leadership, cheer and band leadership, and the Rally Committee.

Beginning in the 2011-12 season, UCLA Athletics will implement several new programs listed below, all with the goal of enhancing the student experience.

When new Pauley opens, there will be a specified student entrance for members of The Den at new Pauley enhanced with special graphics;

Creation of a Student Event Enhancement Committee, consisting of members of various constituent groups that will consult with the Athletic Department on ways of creating and maintaining a student environment second-to-none on a regular basis;

The return of a single-game student ticket price. Over the past few years, student seats were sold only on a season basis and if students wanted to attend a game without a season pass, they had to pay the regular fan price. This past season, UCLA instituted a price of just $99 for The Den season pass, which provided students the opportunity to attend all home football and basketball games. As a result of the survey, UCLA reinstituted a single-game student ticket priced at $12 during this past Pac-10 basketball season and will continue this going forward. Home football games will also have single game student pricing. The Den season pass for football and basketball will also remain as the best value option.

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