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Athletic department springs for UCLA students' bus ride to game

After Coach Jim Mora offers to cover UCLA students' $7 bus fare to Saturday's spring football game at the Rose Bowl, the school decides to pick up the tab.

April 25, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • Coach Jim Mora offered to pay the tab for students who wanted to take a $7 bus ride to the Rose Bowl for the spring game.
Coach Jim Mora offered to pay the tab for students who wanted to take a $7 bus… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

UCLA's spring game Saturday was going to cost UCLA students $7 for the bus ride to the Rose Bowl.

Then Bruins Coach Jim Mora stepped in. And then athletic department officials rethought the matter.

Mora had volunteered to pay for students' bus fare to the game, Josh Rebholz, UCLA associate athletic director of development, said on his Twitter account Wednesday night.

On Thursday afternoon, athletic department officials decided to pick up the tab for the trip to the Rose Bowl.

"I greatly appreciate Coach Mora's enthusiasm for the students, like we all have great enthusiasm for students," said Associate Athletic Director Mark Harlan, who oversees marketing.

"His offer is great, but the department will certainly pay for the buses on Saturday," Harlan said. "Upon further review, it was the right thing to do."

Athletic department officials set a goal for 50,000 fans for the spring game, which also includes fan interaction and a postgame fireworks show.

One vacancy

UCLA is nearly set at linebacker. On the right side is Anthony Barr, who should top some preseason All-America lists. In the middle are Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt. Who will play on the left side is still to be determined.

Aaron Wallace, a redshirt sophomore, entered training camp on top of the depth chart and has performed well. The race, though, has not been entirely run.

Kenny Orjioke, a sophomore, "all of a sudden looks like he can be an outside linebacker and play and help you win at this level," Mora said.

The position gets crowded this summer, when incoming freshmen Myles Jack and Deon Hollins Jr. arrive.

"The competition at that left outside linebacker spot is going to be fierce," Mora said.

Wallace has the advantage of experience, having spent two seasons at UCLA. He played on special teams and some at linebacker last season.

"You have three returning starters and one spot vacant," Wallace said. "I want to put my name out there."

Wallace has shown he has the attributes required to take over the position. "He is one of the smartest players I have in the meeting room," linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich said.

Etc.

Mora said the offensive line and secondary are places incoming freshmen could play a big role in the fall: "Those are the two positions where guys have to come in with the mindset that they can start and help this team win." … Guard Alberto Cid, who has been out because of a concussion, is expected to take a medical retirement.

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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