Citing distrust of Chip Kelly’s program, UCLA football players asking for third-party health official to oversee voluntary workouts


So much for the positive news when it comes to the UCLA football program.

This week, UCLA became the first California Power Five football program to announce a return date for voluntary on-campus.  Per the school, those workouts were set to begin next Mondy, June 22.  However, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that, following a virtual team meeting Thursday night, 30 UCLA football players have thrown their support behind a document demanding third-party oversight of their upcoming workouts.  The reason?  They do not trust Chip Kelly‘s program “to act in their best interest, particularly in regard to their health,” the Times wrote.

According to the players, “UCLA has ‘perpetually failed us… neglected and mismanaged injury cases.” Specific examples weren’t cited

From the Times‘ report:

The players demanded that a “third-party health official” be on hand for all football activities to see that protocols for COVID-19 prevention are being followed; that anonymous whistleblower protections are provided for athletes and staff to report violations; and that each player can make a decision about whether to come back to Westwood without fear of losing his scholarship or other retaliation.

“These demands reflect our call for an environment in which we do not feel pressured to return to competition, and if we choose not to return, that our decision will be respected,” the document reads. “If our demands are not met, we will refrain from booster events, recruiting events and all football-related promotional activities.

“The decision to return to training amidst a global pandemic has put us, the student-athletes, on the frontlines of a battle that we as a nation have not yet been able to win. We feel that as some of the first members of the community to attempt a return to normalcy, we must have assurances that allow us to make informed decisions and be protected regardless of our decision.

The newspaper writes that “UCLA athletic officials expressed understanding of the players’ hesitation to return to campus as the pandemic continues.”

UPDATED 5:20 p.m. ET: It certainly didn’t take long for UCLA football to at least start to take some action.

Arizona State hires Beau Baldwin as offensive coordinator

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State has hired former Cal Poly head coach Beau Baldwin as its next offensive coordinator.

The school announced Baldwin’s hiring of new coach Kenny Dillingham‘s staff a week after he resigned at Cal Poly.

The 50-year-old Baldwin spent three seasons as the Mustangs’ head coach, going 4-21.

Baldwin previously served as California’s offensive coordinator for three years after a nine-year stint as Eastern Washington’s head coach. He went 85-32 at Eastern Washington and won the 2010 national championship with three trips to the FCS semifinals.

Baldwin also served as Central Washington’s head coach in 2007.

Stanford QB Tanner McKee declares for NFL draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee is leaving school to enter the NFL draft.

McKee announced his decision on Thursday after a disappointing junior season on an overmatched Stanford team.

McKee completed 62% of his passes for 2,947 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season as Stanford went 3-9 for a second straight year.

Stanford will undergoing an overhaul with coach David Shaw stepping down after 12 seasons and several players expected to transfer.