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UCLA REPORT

Season Over for Bozeman?

February 26, 2003|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

Cedric Bozeman never believed he would be Exhibit A in a test study of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

But there he was Tuesday, being forced to lay to rest speculation that his bruised right shoulder was actually 1) a torn labrum, or 2) a ruse to sit out the rest of the season and transfer.

"Nah, none of that," he said, amused at the questions. "It's a real bad bruise that limits my range of motion.

"I'll be back [at UCLA]. This is where I want to stay."

The HIPAA, a federal law set to take effect in April, is designed to protect the privacy of employee medical records. But it includes language that could punish institutions for releasing information about an athlete's medical records.

So UCLA decided to implement a new policy five weeks early, refusing to report Bozeman's status or discuss any aspect of his treatment.

Bozeman, a sophomore guard, had surgery to repair a torn labrum during his junior year at Mater Dei High. He suffered the bruise against Oregon on Jan. 30 and aggravated it against USC on Feb. 5 and Arizona State on Feb. 15.

He might not play again this season, partly because the Bruins don't appear to be going anywhere and partly because senior Ray Young has ably filled Bozeman's role at point guard.

Bozeman is accompanying the team today on the trip to Oregon State and Oregon. He said that if he doesn't play, the primary reason will be because he has not practiced in more than a week.

*

UCLA is considering substantially increasing the number of court-level seats allotted to students next season to give Pauley Pavilion a greater home-court feel.

Students currently occupy about 2,400 seats in two of eight court-level sections and several higher concourse sections. For many years, priority for most court-level seats have gone to longtime season ticket holders, parents and friends of players, Bruin athletes and alumni.

"They definitely should incorporate students a lot more," guard Ray Young said. "They are the spirit of the campus."

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