An emotional two days following the death of UCLA receiver Nick Pasquale came to the surface during Coach Jim Mora’s news conference Monday.
Mora, annoyed with a media video technician who was speaking on the phone, cut short his news conference and stormed out.
This was the first day of practice for UCLA since Pasquale was struck by a vehicle and died early Sunday morning. Mora and several players attended a vigil for Pasquale on Sunday.
Mora, meeting with the media for the first time since Pasquale's death, had just started talking about the player when he became annoyed with the technician who was talking on a cellphone.
“Hey, shut up,” Mora barked at him.
Mora paused and said, “The disrespect of some people is unbelievable to me. Just unbelievable. Anyway ... ”
Mora glared at the technician, who apparently said to go on with the news conference. Mora shot back, “Don’t tell me to go on. I’ll go on when I’m ready to go on. Why don’t you take your butt out of here if you’re going to be disrespectful.”
The technician said he wasn’t and Mora answered, “You were.”
Mora then stood up and said, “I got nothing to say” and left the room.
Mora returned to talk with the team’s beat writers, without television crews around, and continued talking about Pasquale, a walk-on player who Mora called “more than just a scout team player.”
“It is a very tough time for everyone who knew Nick,” Mora said. “But most importantly, it is for his family. That’s where our thoughts and prayers are.
Mora closed practice to all media Monday. The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News and Orange County Register do not attend practice.
“What I’m trying to do is help our players deal with this,” Mora said. “Everyone is going to process this a little bit different. Everyone’s emotions are going to be unique to themselves.”
Mora said grief counselors were made available to UCLA players Monday.
The Bruins will wear a "36" emblem, Pasquale’s number, on their jerseys. Nebraska players will have a “36” on their helmets this weekend and a moment of silence will be observed pre-game.
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