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UCLA football: Mora says no to 'over-the-wall' days

December 21, 2011 | 12:35 pm

UCLA-logoZero tolerance is UCLA Coach Jim Mora's stand on the Bruins’ tradition of going "over the wall."

UCLA players bolted from practice Tuesday, a tradition that dates back to 1980. Mora addressed it on Wednesday.

“It’s completely unacceptable and will not be part of the program going forward,” Mora said. “It’s a privilege, not a right, to play football for the UCLA Bruins. With the commitment you make when you sign on there comes a commitment to do what is asked of you by your coaches on a daily basis. I can just tell you in no uncertain terms that that tradition will not be part of tradition going forward.”

Mora said he and Athletic Director Dan Guerrero discussed such matters during the interview process.

“We both agree that the culture of UCLA football needs to change,” Mora said. “We’re going to do all we can to change it.”

Other UCLA coaches have tried to end the practice of ditching practice by negotiating alternatives. Karl Dorrell would schedule the day. Rick Neuheisel tried offering seniors a special day off.

Mora had a more direct approach in mind, saying, “I’m not about making threats and I’ll keep that between the players and myself, but I can tell you this, my general feeling is if they feel they want to skip out on practice and skip over the wall, they might as well keep going because they are not a part of what I want to be part of.”

-- Chris Foster

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