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Muffin Man: Job Helps : Pay for His Bread, Butter : Volleyball: UCLA walk-on Dan Landry covers part of his expenses by delivering baked goods to stores.

April 15, 1992|MIKE REILLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LOS ANGELES — College enlightens and expands horizons. UCLA volleyball player Dan Landry won't argue.

A history major, Landry has learned how detailed the NCAA rule book can be. He has learned about long lines, having waited in them at the financial aid office.

And he has even learned a trade--delivering muffins to local grocery stores.

Landry, a starter for the fourth-ranked Bruins, moonlights as a delivery man for a Hawthorne baked goods distributor.

A walk-on who grew up in San Diego and Manila, Philippines, Landry uses his modest salary to help pay for tuition, books and living expenses.

UCLA Coach Al Scates offered Landry a partial scholarship, but the player couldn't afford costs that the scholarship wouldn't have covered. Rather than take out loans, Landry took a job.

NCAA rules prohibit scholarship players from working during the season, but walk-ons are free to have jobs.

Landry's financial dilemma isn't unique.

Under NCAA rules, Division I men's volleyball programs can offer only five scholarships a school year. The NCAA will reduce that number to 4 1/2 in the 1993-94 school year as part of an overall cut in athletics.

Because scholarship money is scarce, some Division I players decide to walk-on and work part time.

Or, in Landry's case, moonlighting by moonlight.

He leaves his two-bedroom apartment, which he shares with three roommates, at 4 a.m. to begin his 4:30 shift.

Landry splits the 26-store route through Hollywood and Brentwood with a friend from Cal State Long Beach. Each of them works about seven hours a day, three days a week.

Landry usually finishes his route by 10:30 or 11 a.m. Then it's off to classes. Then to therapy for a shoulder he had operated on last summer. And then to practice or a match.

"The hardest thing is playing a Wednesday night match, getting home by midnight, and then putting in a full day of work and classes and practice," Landry said. "I make it to my classes, but I don't get to study very much."

You won't find him loafing on the court, either. He leads the third-ranked Bruins in hitting percentage (.370) and kills per game (4.9). As a sophomore, he was ninth in the nation in kills.

Landry made about $15,000 last year. Not a bad piece of bread for a college kid, but not exactly rolling in the dough either.

His tuition and books cost about $3,800 a year, and he saves on living expenses by cooking his meals and sharing the apartment.

"I have no other source of income," Landry said. "I had a student grant the first year I was at UCLA, but they took that away because I made too much money at my job.

"I don't want to take out a loan, and my dad (a minister in the Philippines) couldn't help with his salary.

"But I think I've done well so far. I've got only one more year to stick with it."

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