Lute Olson, Hall of Fame basketball coach for Arizona and Long Beach State, dies at 85

TUCSON, Ariz. — Lute Olson, the Hall of Fame coach who turned Arizona into a college basketball powerhouse, has died. He was 85.

Olson’s family said he died Thursday evening. The cause of death wasn’t given.

“It’s hard to put into words how much Lute Olson meant to me,” Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who played for Olson at Arizona, tweeted. “He was an amazing coach & a wonderful man. Being part of the U of A basketball family changed my life forever.

“I will never forget Coach O, those awesome nights at McKale and all my teammates. Thank you Coach. I love you!”

Olson spent 24 seasons at Arizona, revitalizing a fan base in the desert while transforming a program that had been to the NCAA Tournament just three times in 79 years before he was hired in 1983.

  • FILE – In this March 5, 2016, file photo, Kelly and Lute Olson stand during the second half of Arizona’s NCAA college basketball game against Stanford in Tucson, Ariz. Lute Olson, the Hall of Fame coach who turned Arizona into a college basketball powerhouse, has died. He was 85. Olson’s family said he died Thursday evening, Aug. 27, 2020. The family didn’t provide the cause of death. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

  • Arizona coach Lute Olson celebrates with the trophy after they beat Kentucky 84-79 in overtime to win the national championship at the NCAA Final Four Monday, March 31, 1997, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Bob Jordan)

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  • Flanked by former coaches Lute Olson, left, from the University of Arizona, and Jerry Marvin, from Palisades High School, Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr poses for photos after addressing the media regarding his selection as the NBA Coach of the Year during a news conference in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

  • Arizona coach Lute Olson speaks during a news conference at the NCAA Midwest Regional tournament in San Antonio, Saturday, March 24, 2001. Arizona will play Illinois in the Midwest Regional championship game Sunday. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

  • Arizona coach Lute Olson can’t believe a call by an official during overtime in Arizona’s 90-81 win over Stanford in a college basketball game in Tucson, Ariz., Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006. (AP Photo/John Miller)

  • 15 Feb 2001: Head Coach Lute Olson of the Arizona Wildcats questions the call made by the referee as Head Coach Steve Lavin listens in during the game against the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. The Bruins defeated the Wildcats 79-77.Mandatory Credit: Donald Miralle /Allsport

  • Arizona head coach Lute Olson reacts to a call during the second half of the Wildcats game against UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2004 in Los Angeles. Arizona won 97-72. (AP Photo/Chris Urso)

  • UCLA guard Darren Collison (2) defends against Arizona guard Mustafa Shakur as Arizona coach Lute Olson watches at left in the second half of an NCAA Pac-10 basketball game in Los Angeles Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007. UCLA won, 73-69. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)



  • Arizona head coach Lute Olson, left, smiles at Stanford head coach Mike Montgomery, right, Saturday, March 1, 2003 in Stanford, Calif. Arizona defeated Stanford 72-69 to win the Pac-10 regular season title. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

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Olson started his career as a high school coach in Minnesota and then moved to Orange County, where he coached at Western High in Anaheim, Loara and Marina, before becoming the head coach at Long Beach City College, where he won the state junior college title in 1971.

He spent one season at Long Beach State before going on to coach nine seasons at Iowa. He led the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Tournament his final five seasons, including a trip to the 1980 Final Four.

Olson had a career record of 780-280 in 34 years as a Division I coach.

Olson first took the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament during his second season in Tucson to start a string of 25 straight appearances. The streak would have been the third-longest in NCAA history, but the 1999 and 2008 appearances were later vacated by the NCAA for impermissible benefits to players and recruiting violations.

The Wildcats won a national championship under Olson in 1997 with a team led by Mike Bibby, Jason Terry and Miles Simon. Olson’s Arizona teams reached the Final Four four times and lost the 2001 national title game to Duke.

Olson won a school-record 589 games at Arizona, 11 Pac-10 titles and was named the conference coach of the year seven times. He led Arizona to 20 straight 20-win seasons and is one of five coaches in NCAA history with 29 seasons of at least 20 wins.

Olson’s 327 conference victories are the most in Pac-10/12 history and he was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002.

“It’s rare that a man is a Hall of Famer and still under appreciated,” former Arizona and NBA player Richard Jefferson tweeted. “I’ll always feel like you never got the credit you deserved as a leader, family man, grandfather, coach and as a mentor. I love you Coach O.”

Olson had a series of health issues late in his coaching career, leading to his retirement in 2008.

Olson remained in Tucson and became a regular at the McKale Center during his retirement, drawing cheers every time he appeared on the video board.

Born on a farm outside Mayville, North Dakota, on Sept. 22, 1934, Olson led his high school team to the 1952 state championship and was a three-sport athlete at Augsburg College in Minnesota from 1953 to 1956.

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As college leaders meet, football players push to play

After the Power Five conference commissioners met Sunday to discuss mounting concern about whether a college football season can be played in a pandemic, players took to social media to urge leaders to let them play.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said no decisions on the season have been made, but conceded the outlook has not improved.

“Are we in a better place today than two weeks, ago?” he said. “No, we’re not.”

Bowlsby cited “growing evidence and the growing pool of data around myocarditis.”

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart and it has been found in some COVID-19 patients. There is concern it could be a long-term complication of contracting the virus even in young, healthy people, a group that has usually avoided severe cardiovascular symptoms.

Also Sunday night, the Big Ten’s university presidents and chancellors held a previously unscheduled meeting, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was not announced by the conference.

Another person with direct knowledge of the meeting speaking on condition of anonymity said no votes were taken or decisions made about the college football season.

The final call on whether major college football will played this season rests in the hands of the university presidents who oversee the largest conferences.

All this activity comes a day after the Mid-American Conference became the first among 10 leagues that play at the highest tier of Division I college football to cancel fall sports because of concerns about keeping athletes from contracting and spreading COVID-19.

The MAC’s decision came less than a month before the first games are scheduled to be played and raised questions if other conferences might follow.

Also on Saturday, the Big Ten slowed its ramp up to the season, announcing its teams would not be permitted to start full contact practices until further notice. The Big Ten season is scheduled to start Labor Day weekend.

Meanwhile, college football players took to social media Sunday to push for a season, led by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with a series of tweets.

“People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play,” Lawrence tweeted. “Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19.”

Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth had a similar message.

“Since day one coming back to campus the Penn State Football staff and medical experts have put our health and safety first, above anything else,” he tweeted. “The guidelines put into place keep us safe while playing the game we love. We are ready to play and we want to play.”

Other players tweeted with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay, and within a few hours that movement merged with another. Lawrence, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma State All-America running back Cuba Hubbard, Alabama running back Najee Harris and numerous other players from across the country posted a graphics with #WeWantToPlay and #WeAreUnited, the hashtag used by a group of Pac-12 players who announced a college player rights movement a week ago.

Under the logos of each Power Five conference — ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — the players pronounced their platform:

— We all want to play football this season.

— Establish universal mandated health & safety procedures and protocols to protect college athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA.

— Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision.

— Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not.

— Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials: Ultimately create a College Football Players Association.

— Representative of all Power Five conferences.

The parents of Ohio State football players weighed in, too, posting a letter saying they were confident in the university’s plan to keep their sons safe.

“We believe that this age group represents some of the healthiest individuals, while we recognize the risk cannot be eliminated, we believe the risk is minimal and the season can safely and responsibly occur,” wrote the Football Parents Association at Ohio State.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he has heard the same from Fighting Irish football players. Notre Dame has had only two COVID-19 cases since it began testing athletes.

“I’ve been around our guys and they thinks it’s safe and they want to try and play,” Swarbrick said. “If we change course, we better be able to articulate the reason for doing so to our student-athletes. They are going to want to know why.”

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Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott responds to football players threatening opt-outs

The Pac-12 responded Monday to football players who have threaten to opt-out of the season because of concerns related to health and safety, racial injustice and economic rights with a letter touting the conference’s work in those areas and an invitation to meet later this week.

A letter from Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, dated Aug. 3, was sent to 12 football players leading the #WeAreUnited movement. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press and first reported by Sports Illustrated.

The players say they have been communicating with more than 400 of their peers throughout the Pac-12. The group released a lengthy list of demands Sunday and said if they are not addressed they will not practice or play. The group said it reached out to the Pac-12 on Sunday to request a meeting. In the letter, Scott said he was eager to discuss their concerns.

“I will come back to you in the coming days following discussion with our members and student-athlete leaders to schedule a call for this week to discuss the matters that you have raised,” Scott wrote.

Also Monday night, Washington State coach Nick Rolovich said in a statement he regretted cautioning one of his players about being part of the #WeAreUnited movement. A recording of a conversation between Rolovich and receiver Kassidy Woods obtained by the Dallas Morning News revealed the coach seemingly warning the player that being involved with the group would hurt his standing with the team. Woods had called Rolovich to inform him he was opting out of the season for health reasons related to COVID-19.

“I spoke with Kassidy Woods in a private phone conversation last Saturday afternoon. This was before the #WeAreUnited group had released its letter of concerns,” said Rolovich, who is in his first season was Washington State coach. “Without knowing the concerns of the group, I regret that my words cautioning Kassidy have become construed as opposition. I’m proud of our players and all the Pac-12 student-athletes for using their platform, especially for matters they are passionate about. WSU football student-athletes who have expressed support for the #WeAreUnited group will continue to be welcome to all team-related activities, unless they choose to opt out for health and safety reasons.”

The #WeAreUnited players’ demands focused on four areas: health and safety protections, especially protocols related to COVID-19; guarding against the elimination of sports programs by schools during an economic downturn; ending racial injustice in college sports; and economic freedom and equity.

Scott addressed each area, highlighting the conference’s:

— Medical advisory committee working on COVID-19 protocols and webinars for student-athletes and their parents;

— Support for reforming NCAA rules regarding name, image and likeness compensation for college athletes;

— Recent initiatives to address racial inequities such as the formation of a social justice & anti-racism advisory group that includes student-athletes representatives.

Scott also listed 10 areas in which, he wrote, “The Pac-12 has been a leader in supporting student-athlete health and well-being …” Included were enhanced medical coverage post-eligibility; cost-of-attendance stipends added to the value of scholarship; mental health support; and the Pac-12’s support of reforming NCAA transfer rules to allow athletes more freedom to switch schools.

Pac-12 football teams are scheduled to begin preseason practices Aug. 17 and the league’s conference-only regular season is set to start Sept. 26.

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UCLA’s AD Martin Jarmond faces many challenges with new job

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Most new athletic directors who take over in July have the luxury of getting acclimated to their new school before things really ramp up in two months. That isn’t going to be the case for the start of Martin Jarmond’s tenure at UCLA.

“You would like have something resembling normalcy, but I have to come in and embrace the challenges,” said Jarmond, who officially took the helm on Wednesday. “I’m not the only one going through what is an uncertain time.”

The 39-year old Jarmond was named UCLA’s first Black athletic director in May. He is also the first AD in the program’s 101-year history who has no prior ties to the university. He replaces Dan Guerrero, who led his alma mater for 18 years.

Jarmond, who was hired in Westwood after three years leading Boston College’s athletic department, has a lot on his plate. Not only is there trying to navigate 23 teams in 15 sports through the coronavirus pandemic, but there is the added challenge of Under Armour trying to terminate its record apparel contract with the university. The company informed UCLA last week of its intentions.

The two sides are four years into a 15-year deal worth $280 million, which remains the highest in college athletics. Under Armour pays $11 million per year in rights and marketing fees as well as contributing $2 million per year to aid in facility improvements. Under terms of the contract, the company is supposed to supply $6.85 million in athletic apparel, footwear and uniforms.

Jarmond reiterated last week’s statement that the matter is being evaluated by the university and its attorneys.

Under Armour cited the team’s struggles in its highest profile sports as a reason for ending the partnership. The football program has had a losing record four straight seasons, including a 7-17 mark in Chip Kelly’s first two seasons, which has led to declining attendance at the Rose Bowl. Men’s basketball struggled the first half of last season but won nine of its last 11 in Mick Cronin’s first season.

On-field performance though will eventually rise on Jarmond’s list of priorities. His first task is trying to make sure UCLA’s teams can return healthy once games begin. The campus started welcoming athletes in football and fall Olympic sports last week, beginning with testing before they could progress to offseason conditioning drills.

The NCAA recently approved a plan allowing for extended football and basketball workouts, but the county has not cleared UCLA for that timeline yet. The university reports that 75 members of the campus community have tested positive, but doesn’t specify whether they are athletes. This past week, 18 students and six staff members had positive tests.

When football players expressed concerns about returning to campus two weeks ago, Jarmond met with the team via Zoom to answer questions along with Kelly.

“I thought it was important to make sure everyone was heard, along with trying to show coaches that things can be addressed head on,” Jarmond said. “I think our safety plan is thorough but we can’t control the spikes going on throughout the country.”

Jarmond is known as one of the country’s best athletic fundraisers, not only at Boston College but when he worked in the athletic programs at Michigan State and Ohio State. That will be needed at UCLA, which ran an $18.9-million deficit during the 2019 fiscal year. That figure could more than double this year.

Jarmond is still doing most of his work from Boston while trying to relocate to Los Angeles. He was on campus last month for the first time after all of his interviews with the search committee were done remotely due to the pandemic.

In order to find out more from students and supporters, he has launched MJ Listens on the athletic program’s website.

“It is critically important to listen and learn from key stakeholders. I have a pretty good idea of where to start but a lot of things will be dictated with what is currently happening,” he said.

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Former UCLA pitcher Tyson Brummett, 3 others die in plane crash

AMERICAN FORK, Utah (AP) — A former UCLA pitcher and three others died in a plane crash in rural Utah.

Ex-pitcher Tyson Brummett, 35, of Salt Lake City, was flying the small plane, which left from the South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan and crashed near Box Elder Peak in American Fork Canyon just before 8 a.m. Friday, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

A witness said the plane went into a downward corkscrew motion as it crashed.

TV station WPVI reports all four people on board did not survive.

The passengers were identified as Elaine W. Blackhurst, 60, her husband Douglas Robinson Blackhurst, 62; and their nephew Alex Blackhurst Ruegner, 35. The three were from Riverton, Utah.

“The (Philadelphia) Phillies organization sends heartfelt condolences to the family of and friends of former pitcher Tyson Brummett, along with three members of the Ruegner and Blackhurst families, who tragically passed away in a plane crash yesterday morning,” the team said in a statement released Saturday.

Brummett was drafted by the Phillies in 2007 out of UCLA.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating the crash.

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UCLA adds receiver Isaiah Newcombe to 2021 class

UCLA received its ninth commit of its 2021 recruiting class Saturday night.

Three-star wide receiver Isaiah Newcombe, from Arizona, announced his commitment to the Bruins’ program via Twitter. He is UCLA’s fourth commitment in the last eight days.

Man!! Words can’t describe how excited I am right now!!🤩@CoachNewcombe @MsRachelN @UCLAFootball @GeoffreyLeins @CoachJimmieD @EthanYoungFB @CasteelFootball pic.twitter.com/rjL3pVo82z

— Isaiah Newcombe (@IsaiahNewcombe) June 14, 2020

“I would like to thank my family, friends, and coaches for supporting me throughout this whole process,” Newcombe tweeted. “I would also like to thank my dad for everything. You’ve helped in so many ways, you’ve pushed me to be the best. I would also like to thank all my teachers for helping and guiding me. After weeks of talking and praying over this, I’m excited to announce my commitment to the University of California, Los Angeles.”

Newcombe, 6-1, 185, is the third receiver committed to the Bruins’ 2021 class, joining Ezavier Staples and DJ Justice. According to 247Sports.com, Newcombe is not nationally ranked but the site lists him as the No. 10 prospect out of the state of Arizona.

With his addition, UCLA’s class falls to No. 5 in the Pac-12 and No. 58 nationally after rising to No. 4 in the conference and No. 54 earlier in the week with Deshun Murrell’s commitment.

The Arizona native chose UCLA over offers from Washington, Utah, Boise State and Fresno State.

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NCAA clears way for football, basketball individual workouts

The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to lift a moratorium on voluntary workouts by football and basketball players effective June 1 as a growing number of college leaders expressed confidence that fall sports will be possible in some form despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

This decision clears the way for individual workouts by athletes, mostly on their own, subject to safety and health protocols decided by their schools or local health officials..

NCAA officials noted that the workouts could go on as long as all local, state and federal regulations are followed. The status of voluntary workouts for other sports will be determined later.

“We encourage each school to use its discretion to make the best decisions possible for football and basketball student-athletes within the appropriate resocialization framework,” Penn athletic director and council chair M. Grace Calhoun said in a statement. “Allowing for voluntary athletics activity acknowledges that reopening our campuses will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts.”

From Notre Dame to LSU and more, a number of schools have announced plans to reopen campuses for the fall semester and conferences have begun setting up plans for how to play football amid the pandemic. The latest came this week with the Florida State system announcing plans for its 12 schools and more than 420,000 students.

Many questions remain, including specific safety protocols and whether fans would be allowed if games proceed.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in conference call Wednesday that he believes the Buckeyes could safely play home games with 20,000 to 30,000 fans in its 105,000-seat stadium.

“I think we can get there,” Smith said.

Smith said he hadn’t figured out yet how those 20,000 to 30,000 spectators would be chosen. He said masks and other precautions would be required to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Smith added that Ohio State is ready to open the 15,000-square-foot Woody Hayes Athletic Center to athletes starting June 8 if the NCAA allows it. About 10 players at a time would be allowed to work out on staggered scheduled with social-distancing and other hygiene precautions in place. Some coaches returned to the complex on a limited basis this week.

Other schools also are looking into ways they can hold workouts as safely as possible.

Middle Tennessee athletic director Chris Massaro said his school plans to take the temperature of players daily and make sure they are wearing masks. Massaro has even discussed moving some equipment from the weight room to the Red Floyd Stadium concourse to make sure workouts allow social distancing.

“We’re a little bit kind of almost like guinea pigs,” Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said. “We’re the ones that are coming back first, football’s coming back first all across the country. So we’ve got to make sure we’re doing our part so there’s not a setback, and it’s going to take all of us buying in and doing whatever we can to keep everybody else healthy and safe.”

The presidents of Miami and Notre Dame said in separate interviews they expect the football season to be played.

Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins told MSNBC he expects to have clarity on how — or if — the football season can happen in the next few weeks.

“The team itself, I feel we can manage that one,” Jenkins said. “Then the question is people in the stands. We have an 85,000-person stadium. Can we get 85,000 people in there? That will be a big challenge to do that. But could we get a smaller number — 10,000, 15,000, 20,000? I don’t know.”

Miami President Julio Frenk told CNN he hopes the Hurricanes can play this fall and that safety would be the top priority.

“They will probably play in empty stadiums, like so many other sports,” Frenk said.

Scott Woodward, the athletic director at defending national champion LSU, has said that his school was preparing to welcome back its athletes after the Southeastern Conference’s closure of athletic facilities to students is slated to end May 31.

LSU will offer summer classes online and doesn’t have plans to reopen its campus to the general student population at least until the fall semester.

The Division I Council also passed a series of waivers that included suspending the minimum football attendance required of Football Bowl Subdivision members for two years.

Most athletic departments need the revenue generated from football to fund their other sports. Hundreds of schools are reeling financially from the effects of the pandemic. Athletic departments, particularly at smaller schools and in Division II, have already cut a number of sports.

The NCAA this week lowered the minimum and maximum number of games Division II schools are required to play in all sports next year. The move includes a 33% reduction in the minimum number of games needed for sponsorship and championship qualification in most sports.

Under the plan, D-II schools must play at least five football games to maintain NCAA sponsorship and at least seven games to be eligible for playoff consideration. The maximum number of allowable games is 10.

The requirements would return to normal in 2021-22.

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Former UCLA football coach Pepper Rodgers dies at 88

Former UCLA football coach Pepper Rodgers died Thursday after reportedly being hospitalized for injuries suffered in a fall at his home in Reston, Va., last week. He was 88.

A statement about his passing from his alma mater, Georgia Tech, did not give a cause of death.

Rodgers coached the Bruins for three seasons from 1971-1973. After a 2-7-1 record his first season, he turned the program around for winning seasons of 8-3 and 9-2 his last two years. He was named the Pac-8 Coach of the Year after the 1972 and 1973 seasons.

Under head coach Tommy Prothro, Rodgers was also an assistant coach for the Bruins during the 1965 and 1966 seasons. Prior to that he held assistant coaching positions at Air Force (from 1958-1959) and at Florida (1960 to 1964). His first head coach role came in 1967 for Kansas, where he led the Jayhawks to a Big Eight Championship during his second season.

He followed his time at UCLA by returning to Georgia Tech to coach his alma mater. In his six seasons with the Yellow Jackets, he led the team to four winning seasons and was twice named the Southern Independent Coach of the Year.

“I am devastated to learn of the passing of Pepper Rodgers,” Georgia Tech Athletics Director Todd Stansbury said in a release. “He was a Georgia Tech legend, having won a national championship as an outstanding player and going on to compile four winning seasons in six years as head coach.

“On a personal note, he was the coach that recruited me to Georgia Tech, and I am eternally grateful to him for bringing me here. If it weren’t for Pepper, I would have never had the opportunity to live out my dreams as a Tech student, football player, alumnus and, now, athletics director. He has also been a mentor and friend throughout my professional career and I will miss him greatly. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Livingston, his family and his many, many friends. We have lost a great Tech man.”

Rodgers had two professional coaching roles, first in the United States Football League with the Memphis Showboats (from 1984 to 1985), and with the Memphis Mad Dogs of the Canadian Football League in 1995.

He served as vice president of football operations for the Washington Redskins from 2001-2004.

As a quarterback for Georgia Tech in the 1950s, Rodgers led the Yellow Jackets to two conference championships, two Sugar Bowl victories and a share of the 1952 national championship with Michigan State. He was named the MVP of the 1954 Sugar Bowl and inducted into the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame in its inaugural class in 2018.

After his collegiate football career came to a close, he spent five years in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot.

Rodgers is survived by his wife, Livingston, his daughters, Terri and Kelly, and his sons, Rick and Kyle.

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UCLA forward Jalen Hill withdraws his name from NBA Draft

Jalen Hill is returning to Westwood.

The UCLA forward has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft, a school spokesperson said, to return to the Bruins for his redshirt junior season. Hill’s name was on a list of players who declared early for the draft released by the NBA this week.

Hill started in 25 of 30 games for UCLA as a sophomore, averaging nine points and 6.9 rebounds per contest, leading the Bruins in the latter category while also pacing the team with 1.1 blocks per game.

He earned honorable mention on the Pac-12’s all-defensive team as a sophomore.

With the former Corona Centennial standout returning to UCLA, leading scorer Chris Smith is now the lone Bruin still testing the NBA waters.

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4-star RB Brandon Campbell commits to USC

USC’s 2021 recruiting class picked up a big addition Saturday night.

Running back Brandon Campbell committed to the Trojans, making him the fifth member of USC’s upcoming recruiting class. A four-star prospect according to 247Sports.com, the Lamar Consolidated (Tex.) back made the announcement via his Twitter account.

Campbell picked USC over Penn State, LSU, Texas and Oklahoma, among others. He fills a big need for the Trojans, who did not receive a running back commit in their small 2020 class.

He is the fourth four-star recruit to commit to USC for the 2021 cycle. The Trojans only added two such prospects for 2020.

USC’s 2021 class is currently ranked 13th nationally and second in the Pac-12, according to 247Sports.com.

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