Former four-star linebacker Aaron Porter will transfer to Washington State

After leaving UCLA in early April, former four-star prospect Aaron Porter will transfer to Washington State.

Originally signed as a linebacker in 2012, Porter never played in a game for the Bruins — converting to fullback after falling down the depth chart. He was not enrolled for spring quarter and seemed unlikely to return to a team that played 18 true freshmen over him last season.

Cougfan.com first reported the news.

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UCLA announces five kickoff times for 2014 season

Five kickoff times for UCLA’s 2014 season are now set, with only one being slotted for a Pac-12 Networks broadcast.

The culprit is the Bruins’ home opener against Memphis, which will start at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6. The game follows a week after UCLA opens its season at Virginia with a 9 a.m. PT start on ESPN, which was first announced last week.

The team’s primetime visit to Texas at AT&T Stadium will start at 5 p.m. PT on FOX, while the conference slate begins with a 7 p.m. PT visit to Arizona State on Fox Sports 1.

Seven games in October and November are still without finalized kickoff times, but UCLA’s regular-season finale against Stanford will start at 12:30 p.m. on ABC.

Here’s the full UCLA football schedule for 2014 right now: Continue reading

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Oddsmaker gives UCLA eighth-best chance at College Football Playoff berth

The college football season doesn’t start for another three months, but oddsmakers are already taking early bets.

Online sportsbook Bovada.lv gave UCLA a 12-to-5 shot to make the inaugural College Football Playoff, good for an eighth-best chance at the field of four.

Defending national champion Florida State led with 2-to-7 odds, followed by Alabama (11-to-10), Oregon (1-to-1) and Ohio State (20-to-21). The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host national semifinals on Jan. 1, with winners advancing to the Jan. 12 title game at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

USC closed the 11-team list with 6-to-1 odds.

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Pac-12 links: Conference sets revenue records with help of new TV deals

» The Pac-12′s new TV deals pushed it to $334 million in revenue for the 2012-2013 fiscal year — the record for any college conference. UCLA gets a $19,838,644 payout.

» Two recent pieces on former UCLA stars worth reading: Grantland’s look at the unusual career arc of point guard Russell Westbrook, and Sports Illustrated’s story about safety Rahim Moore and how he nearly lost his leg.

» UCLA’s use of a drone in football practices is part of a larger trend in sports.

» Todd Graham’s one-year extension will keep him at Arizona State through the 2018 season, and raises his annual salary to $2.7 million.

» Arizona has also agreed to contract extensions to May 31, 2019 for basketball coach Sean Miller, football coach Rich Rodriguez and athletic director Greg Byrne. Continue reading

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Three UCLA players named to All-Pac-12 baseball team

An injury-riddled UCLA baseball team just finished with its worst record in nearly a decade, but the Pac-12 still recognized some of the team’s top talent.

Three Bruins earned spots on the 32-man All-Pac-12 team, including closer David Berg, who became the fifth UCLA player to make three all-conference teams. He joins Dennis Delany (1976-78), Garrett Atkins (1998-2000), Trevor Bauer (2009-11), and Adam Plutko (2011-13).

Berg struggled with injuries this spring after making 101 appearances through his first two seasons at UCLA, but still recorded a 1.50 ERA and 11 saves through 31 outings.

Also honored on the all-conference squad were starting pitcher James Kaprielian and catcher Shane Zeile. Kaprielian was 14th in the country with 108 strikeouts, while Zeile led the team by batting .324 with 70 hits and 28 RBI.

After losing several key players before the season even started, UCLA lost 10 straight games in May and finished 25-30-1 overall and placed ninth (12-18) in the Pac-12. It was the team’s worst record since 2005, when head coach John Savage debuted with a 15-41 (4-20) campaign.

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UCLA radio announcer Chris Roberts will retire in 2015

UCLA radio announcer Chris Roberts will retire after the 2014-15 season, ending a tenure that has spanned over two decades.

Having served as the school’s radio voice for football and basketball since 1992, Roberts will leave as the program’s longest-serving play-by-play announcer — tying the late Fred Hessler. Also presence on Los Angeles radio since 1982, Roberts has won the Golden Mike Award four times and joined the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2012.

He will be honored at both the Rose Bowl and Pauley Pavilion during his final run, and will retire with lifetime football and basketball season tickets.

“I cannot put into words what it has meant to be the ‘Voice of UCLA’ for all these years,” Roberts said in a statement. “The Bruins have played a major role in my life for the past two-plus decades and hopefully my broadcasts have reflected this. Our athletes, coaches and administrators here in Westwood are first-class, and it has been an absolute delight providing the soundtrack for some of their greatest accomplishments.

“All athletes would love the chance to go out on top, and with both UCLA Football and Basketball poised to do great things in 2014-15, as a broadcaster, I am in the envious position of actually having that very opportunity.”

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UCLA announces new basketball practice facility, estimated to cost $30-40 million

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UCLA will spend an estimated $30-40 million on a new basketball practice facility, the school announced Thursday afternoon.

The new building will be located near the Bruins’ home court of Pauley Pavilion, immediately south of the Los Angeles Tennis Center and west of the planned $50 million football facility. The school said private donations will fund the project — which will house practice gyms for both men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well locker rooms and a training area. Continue reading

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Former UCLA quarterback John Sciarra enters College Football Hall of Fame

Another Bruin is in.

Former UCLA quarterback John Sciarra became the program’s latest member of the College Football Hall of Fame, joining a 14-player 2014 class announced Thursday. Sciarra was a consensus first-team All-American in 1975, and led the Bruins to a Rose Bowl victory over top-ranked Ohio State that following January. He threw two touchdown passes on his way to an MVP performance, guiding the team to a 23-10 upset.

Sciarra also finished seventh in Heisman voting that season, and still leads all UCLA quarterbacks with 1,813 career rushing yards. (Current starting quarterback Brett Hundley enters his final season with 1,103.) Continue reading

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NFL roundup: Anthony Barr signs for guaranteed $12.7 million over four years

» After being picked ninth overall in the NFL draft, linebacker Anthony Barr officially signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, inking a fully guaranteed contract worth $12,743,596 over four years. He will get a signing bonus of $7,588,072, and the team can exercise a fifth-year option.

He and other former UCLA players must return to campus through spring quarter, however, since NFL rules dictate that anyone who hasn’t graduated cannot stay their teams until their school sessions end.

» Houston Texans sideline reporter John Harris said Xavier Su’a-Filo will become the starting left guard by Week 1, and be a “key figure” in the run game for at least the next five to seven years. Continue reading

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