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Vandals paint UCLA campus sign as part of USC rivalry week

A maintenance crew attempts to clean the cardinal and gold paint off the Bruin Bear after it was vandalized in 2009. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

If you couldn't tell by the duct-taped statues and students standing watch over campus landmarks, it's rivalry week in Los Angeles.

It appears USC fans made the first move against UCLA — the schools face off in football Saturday at the Rose Bowl — when vandals painted a sign on the edge of the Westwood campus sometime Monday.

Thanks to some spray paint, a UCLA sign on the northern edge of campus now reads "USC."

University police told the Daily Bruin they hadn't received any reports of the incident by Monday evening and it was unclear when the vandalism occurred.

The annual rivalry week between the schools began Sunday, when students at each university took extra steps to protect campus landmarks from their crosstown foes.

At USC, the school's iconic Tommy Trojan statue — along with two other statues on campus — have been covered in duct-tape and members of the student group Trojan Knights are keeping a 24-hour watch. In Westwood, the Bruin Bear and recently unveiled statue of John Wooden have been enclosed in large boxes.

Statues on each campus have been targeted several times in the decades-long rivalry. Tommy Trojan has been doused in both blue paint and manure, and the Bruin Bear was covered in cardinal and gold paint in 2009.

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

Photo: A maintenance crew attempts to clean the cardinal and gold paint off the Bruin Bear after it was vandalized in 2009. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

 
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