Earlier today it was confirmed that three little-used reserves, including the son of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, decided to forego another season of eligibility at UCLA.
Unfortunately, there was another roster development for the Bruins that will have a much greater impact on the 2013 season.
Tevin McDonald, long-time starter at free safety and one of the team’s top tacklers in 2012, has been dismissed from the football program. No reason other than “violation of unspecified team rules” was given.
“It’s disappointing to me and disappointing for Tevin,” head coach Jim Mora said. “I have known him since he was a young boy. On a personal level, it’s disappointing. I hope everything turns out well for him.”
Late last year, McDonald was suspended for UCLA’s Holiday Bowl appearance for what was reportedly a third failed drug test. The Los Angeles Times notes that, “[u]nder UCLA policy, a player loses his scholarship after a fourth positive test.”
Regardless of the specific reason for the dismissal, the loss is a rather significant one for the Bruins’ defense in general and its secondary specifically.
Last season, McDonald led the team in pass breakups (nine) and passes defensed (10), and finished third in tackles with 79. He started 24 games the past two seasons, including the first 13 of last season before his suspension.