Services for late UCLA SID Rich Bertolucci to be held Friday

Rich Bertolucci (UCLA Athletics)

Rich Bertolucci (UCLA Athletics)

Rich Bertolucci, a longtime UCLA sports information director, passed away on July 28 after his battle with cancer. He was 56.

Bertolucci’s funeral services will be held on Friday, Aug. 7 at 11 a.m., at St. Paul the Apostle Church (10750 Ohio Avenue, Los Angeles). His family asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Wooden Athletic Fund through UCLA Athletics; the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Research Foundation; the Paulist Fathers (c/o St. Paul the Apostle Church); or a favorite charity or organization.

The associate SID had been in his 34th year as part of the UCLA sports information staff, having been hired after graduating from Santa Clara University. He is survived by his wife Mary Ann; his daughter Juliet; his parents, Frank and Joy; and his siblings, Linda and Dave. He also had 14 brothers- and sisters-in-law, and was an uncle to 25 nieces and nephews.

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UCLA finishes second in 2014-15 Directors’ Cup standings

UCLA finished second in the latest Directors’ Cup standings, its highest placement in seven years.

The Bruins were behind only Stanford, which has won the award 21 straight times — missing out only when the inaugural trophy went to North Carolina in 1994. UCLA edged out USC for second place with 1,236 points to the Trojans’ 1,209.

Athletic director Dan Guerrero will receive a $30,000 bonus as a result — half for finishing in the top 10 percent of Division I schools, and half for finishing in the top 10. Through Guerrero’s 13-year tenure in Westwood, UCLA has missed the top 10 only twice (2008-09 and 2010-11).

This marks the first time the Bruins have finished second since 2007-08, the third of three straight years as the nation’s No. 2. They have placed top-three in three of the past four years.

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UCLA retires Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 across all sports

Jackie Robinson's No. 42 is now painted on both sides of UCLA's midfield logo at the Rose Bowl.

Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 is now painted on both sides of UCLA’s midfield logo at the Rose Bowl. The number has been retired across all Bruin sports.

UCLA has retired Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 across all sports, honoring the former four-star athlete and civil rights pioneer 75 years after he first enrolled as Bruin.

The school announced the news between the first and second quarters of UCLA’s rivalry game on Saturday against USC. The No. 42 was also painted on both sides of the midfield logo at the Rose Bowl, and adorned the Bruins’ helmets.

“Jackie Robinson established a standard of excellence to which people the world over should aspire,” said athletic director Dan Guerrero. Continue reading

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UCLA athletic facilities collectively named to honor Jackie Robinson

UCLA athletic facilities have now been named to honor former Bruin star and civil rights pioneer Jackie Robinson, the school announced Friday afternoon.

The Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex will be the new umbrella name that includes 22 different buildings, including Pauley Pavilion, Spaulding Field, the John Wooden Center, and just about any other on-campus venue you can think of.

Robinson arrived on the UCLA campus 75 years ago, and went on to star in four sports. The man who broke baseball’s color barrier was an honorable All-American in football, the conference scoring leader in basketball, and an NCAA champion in the broad jump.

“Jackie Robinson’s name and his legacy are an honor to this university, and to all the students and student-athletes who will continue to be inspired by his courage, dignity and grace,” UCLA chancellor Gene Block said in a statement. “Jackie detested injustice, fought for civil rights and his spirit of breaking barriers has been and always will be a guiding force of UCLA past, present and future.”

UCLA players will wear the Robinson’s No. 42 on their helmets for Saturday’s game against USC at the Rose Bowl. The number will also be painted on the 25-yard line.

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UCLA official resigns after ‘inappropriate conduct’ allegations

Former UCLA associate athletic director Michael Sondheimer resigned last Thursday after allegedly trying to engage children in sexual online chats.

He had worked at the university for 36 years and was most recently involved in admissions and on-campus recruiting.

CBS 2 first reported that Sondheimer was featured on a website called “Operation Riptide,” a sting operation in which adults posed as minors to catch online predators. The site alleges that Sondheimer attempted to engage children in “sexual chats involving humiliation and degradation.” Continue reading

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