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UCLA BASKETBALL FYI

Troy Aikman is reacquainted with campus

Former Bruins quarterback, recognized at halftime of basketball game against Notre Dame for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, is proud to have recently completed his degree.

February 08, 2009|David Wharton

Troy Aikman took a little time Saturday morning to walk around the UCLA campus.

The former Bruins quarterback looked at new facilities in the athletic department and talked to former coaches.

Officially, Aikman returned to attend a halftime ceremony at UCLA's 89-63 basketball victory over Notre Dame -- the school honored him for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame -- but he also talked about recently earning his degree in sociology.

"This may sound corny," he said. "When I finished that last test and knew that I was done, it was an amazing feeling. It was a really great feeling."

Aikman left UCLA almost two decades ago needing only two classes to graduate, but pro football and an ensuing broadcast career kept him too busy to finish.

"With each year that went by, you say 'Gosh, I hate to acknowledge this but it doesn't look like it's going to happen,' " he said.

A year ago, Bob Field, UCLA associate athletic director, called to suggest online classes. Aikman finished his final course in the fall and will attend graduation ceremonies in a few months.

"I'm going to feel a little old," he said. "Going through with a bunch of 22-year-olds."

Room for improvement

Since they lost at Washington, the Bruins have outscored their subsequent four opponents -- California, Stanford, USC and Notre Dame -- by an average of 14.5 points in the first half.

UCLA has stretched that lead to a 20.3 average margin of victory.

"It's just our swagger," guard Jrue Holiday said. "It's just our confidence has been boosted."

Injury report

A UCLA spokesman said that Drew Gordon left because of a tight back, Malcolm Lee sprained his left ankle and Nikola Dragovic had flu-like symptoms after the game.

--

david.wharton@latimes.com

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