April 14, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Amid uncertainty, UCLA football doesn’t hold farewell ceremony

Before what might have been their last game at the Rose Bowl, UCLA’s seniors and graduate transfers were greeted with … nothing.

There was no farewell ceremony prior to the Bruins’ rivalry game against USC with so much uncertainty hovering around the final weekend of this season, not to mention the players’ status for next season.

Even with no formal announcement, there was a chance UCLA could play one more home game Dec. 19, giving the team another opportunity to honor a group of players who will have the option to return in 2021 after the NCAA granted an additional year of eligibility to all players in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then again, there’s no assurances that game gets played given all the cancellations across college football this season.

Among those who might have played their last game at the Rose Bowl were graduate transfers Brittain Brown, Obi Eboh, Paul Grattan Jr. and Qwuantrezz Knight; redshirt seniors Demetric Felton Jr., Ethan Fernea, Leni Toailoa and Osa Odighizuwa; and senior Datona Jackson.

USC’s fate was slightly more assured. The Trojans will play Washington in the Pac-12 championship Friday at the Coliseum, assuming the Huskies have enough players available after their game against Oregon this weekend was declared a no contest because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the Washington program.

Not going viral

One of the biggest success stories of UCLA’s season has been its ability to ward off COVID-19.

The Bruins athletic department announced Friday that it had zero positive results for the coronavirus among the 732 antigen and 421 PCR tests administered over the previous week. Since the athletic department began testing June 22, there were only 26 positives among athletes, coaches and staff from the 13,430 tests administered to all teams on campus, a positive rate of 0.19%.

According to the most recent figures released by the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine coronavirus tracker, an average of 11.0% of all tests conducted in the United states were positive over the last seven days.

Four UCLA football players have tested positive since the start of the season. One positive test came before the opener against Colorado, two positives came before the game against Oregon, and one positive came before the game against Arizona State. The Bruins had additional players quarantined as a result of contact tracing protocols, including quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. He missed the games against Oregon and Arizona.

Etc.

UCLA defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia appeared to get hurt early in the second quarter and entered the injury tent. … A moment of silence for former UCLA track and field great Rafer Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon who died earlier this month at 86, was held before the game.