Pac-12 links: O’Bannon trial continues with testimony from economics professor

» O’Bannon v. NCAA rolled on through Tuesday with testimony from Roger Noll, a Stanford professor emeritus of economics. Noll, who calls the NCAA a ‘cartel’, has testified for seven-and-a-half hours through the first two days and will take the stand again Wednesday.

Former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon took the stand on Monday.

» Jeremy Bloom, a two-time Olympic skier and former Colorado All-American receiver, shared his thoughts on the NCAA. Bloom was declared ineligible for football in 2004 due to endorsements he received as a pro skier, but was still taken in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

» Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said eliminating National Signing Day could make sense. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pac-12 links: An inside look at the life of a basketball recruit

» Worth reading: An inside look at the recruitment of Marvin Clark Jr., a one-time Oregon commit whose future flickered when he fractured his foot.

» Former USC coach Lane Kiffin’s three-year contract as Alabama’s offensive coordinator will pay him $680,000 for the first two years, then $714,000 in the third.

» Arizona State may ban beer kegs at its tailgates. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Steve Alford ranked No. 36 on ESPN’s list of top college basketball coaches

For taking UCLA to its first Sweet Sixteen in six years, Steve Alford’s debut in Los Angeles earned him a spot as one of college basketball’s top-50 coaches.

No. 36 isn’t a lofty spot for someone at the helm of one of the sport’s most recognizable programs, but Alford also benefited in inheriting a unique college star in All-American point guard Kyle Anderson, as well as a capable scorer in Jordan Adams.

But nevertheless turned around a team that was embarrassed in the first round a year ago, and successfully implemented an up-tempo style that wasn’t apparent in his years at New Mexico.

From ESPN: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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

map

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

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pac-12 links: AT&T’s deal for DirecTV could expand Pac-12 Networks’ reach

» AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV for $48.5 billion could finally make Pac-12 Networks available on the latter, but not until 2015 or 2016.

» Oregon State didn’t make the splashiest hire in Wayne Tinkle, but the Beavers also aren’t taking a major risk.

» After a weekend tryout, the Green Bay Packers signed former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla. Lyerla went undrafted earlier this month, his troubled history weighing down his physical talents. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

NBA combine roundup: Zach LaVine wows with athleticism

To understand just how well Zach LaVine did at this week’s NBA Draft Combine, take a look at these numbers: first, second, eighth, fourth, third.

That’s what he placed in strength and agility drills among 59 participants, doing so with — respectively — a 10.42-second lane agility drill, a 2.8-second shuttle run, a 3.19-second three-quarter sprint, a 33.5-inch standing vertical, and a 41.5-inch max vertical. No one else placed top-10 in all five.

The NBA combine doesn’t usually move draft stock as much as the NFL’s does, so top prospects often sit out of drills. Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid all sat out completely this year, not even traveling to Chicago for interviews and measurements.

That said, this is exactly the type of environment LaVine was going to use to his advantage. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA football, men’s basketball APR scores trending up

Both UCLA football and men’s basketball teams have earned their highest academic progress rates in a decade.

The former scored a four-year APR of 979 for the 2012-13 academic year, second in the Pac-12 behind Stanford. The program’s multi-year score has improved each year since it recorded a 915 in 2004-05.

Basketball was seventh in the conference at 969 — a significant improvement from the 951, 942 and 948 it scored in the three prior academic years.

Head coach Jim Mora earned a $50,000 bonus for having the football team reach an APR of at least 930, and a graduation success rate of more than 56 percent. Steve Alford earned a $10,000 bonus for having the men’s basketball team clear an APR of 925.

To compete in the NCAA postseason, teams must have a minimum four-year APR of 900 or a two-year average of 930. Starting in 2014-15, that bar rises to 930 and 940.

The five UCLA teams that earned perfect single-year APR scores of 1,000 were baseball, women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, women’s water polo and women’s golf — which also scored perfectly on its four-year average. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA announces dates of Gonzaga home-and-home series

UCLA officially announced the dates of its upcoming home-and-home basketball series against Gonzaga.

The Bruins will host the Bulldogs at Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 13, 2014 — part of head coach Steve Alford’s efforts to beef up the team’s nonconference slate. UCLA will visit Spokane on Dec. 12, 2015, though that game could be moved to another December date.

Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth first announced the series last month.

The two teams last played each other on March 23, 2006, in one of the most memorable Sweet Sixteen matchups ever. The Bulldogs last visited Pauley Pavilion in 1999.

The Bruins’ nonconference schedule also includes a game against Kentucky on Dec. 20, part of the inaugural CBS Sports Classic at Chicago’s United Center.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email