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Extra Juicy

Was accused thug E.J. Woods sent packing by Neuheisel, or did he just realize that he was meant to be a trojan?

We’ll never know the real reason, but UCLA Safety E.J. Woods is leaving UCLA.  He is transferring to Santa Monica College for a year, and will then attempt a return to the Pac-10, possibly at usc.  Woods is currently charged with six counts of Battery and Sexual Battery during three different incidents, so usc may just be a perfect fit.  Birds of a feather fly together. 

With sc’s reputation for having its athletes beat the rap, South Central may be the ideal destination for the young man who wasn’t thriving in regards to the Westwood depth chart.  With the sc legal machine working its magic, Woods wouldn’t have to worry about these pesky legal proceedings.  And then he could just blend in, amongst his own kind.

But the question remains, did he really just up and leave, perhaps over playing time, or was he forced out by Neuheisel, either due to his alleged lack of character, or maybe to clear up scholarship space?  Best case scenario is that Neuheisel had been privy to some evidence, and decided to remove him from the squad, based on a renewed zero-tolerance policy.  I would love to see Rick lay down the law, and make an example of someone (assuming that the guy is not wrongly accused).  I want UCLA to be the ANTI-sc — The Bruins should be the team that doesn’t stand for any criminal activity.  If he is convicted, sc would probably welcome him with open arms after his prison term is over.

And speaking of open arms for (alleged) thugs, the Lakers have signed fan-attacking Ron Artest to try to replace the departing Bruin Trevor Ariza.  Apparently, the Lakers did not put a lot of effort into retaining Ariza, despite Trevor’s invaluble contributions during the Lakers’ Championship run, instead snatching up the Houston Rockets’ Artest in his place.  Trevor signed with Houston, who will not only be missing Artest, but may be forever without Yao Ming, whose recent injury is now possibly career-threatening.  While Ariza’s Rockets will not improve over last year’s version, the Lakers may get better.  Artest was 2nd Team All-Defensive, and he can score consistently from all over, at a clip much higher than Ariza.  The Lakers could be even more explosive next year, on their way to a Finals meeting with the LeBron-Shaq Cavaliers.  Artest for (the younger) Ariza could be a short-term gain for L.A.

But only if Artest does not destroy the Lakers’ chemistry.  Ariza was an unassuming player who took what the Defense and his teammates gave him.  Artest will have to adjust to being a Defensive specialist, and not one of the Lakers’ go-to guys.  Kobe and Pau Gasol should still be considered better options when the chips are down.  Kobe and Artest have been known to butt heads on the court, but Phil Jackson is known for developing team chemistry, and should be able to control Artest the way he did Dennis Rodman.  Maybe Jack Haley should come back and be Artest’s interpreter.

So now it’s up to Jordan Farmar to carry the Bruin flag in Lakerland.  Hopefully, he will gain more of Derek Fisher’s minutes — perhaps preserving the aging Fish for another Playoff miracle shot — and prove once and for all that he is a capable Starting NBA Point Guard, starting a procession of success that could include Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison, and even Jrue Holiday, who apparently made a misjudgement of where he would be drafted.  He might still be at UCLA, if he could get a Mulligan.

But on a day where “Woods” gets a 9-Iron in the ass from his Coach (maybe), there are no Mulligans, and Holiday will have to “settle” for being JUST another Howland 1st Round pick.  See Pete Carroll?  You don’t have to cheat and cavort with demonic agents to become a pipeline to the Pro’s. 

And finally, speaking of Holiday, I hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July.  And as I am back to my 80-hour workweeks, the updates here will be less frequent, but when sc gets the Death Penalty, I will MAKE some time.  

"DOES A BRUIN S*** ON THE WOODS?" was published on July 4th, 2009 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, News from the Dark Side, UCLA/usc/Sports Photos.

Comments on "DOES A BRUIN S*** ON THE WOODS?": 3 Comments

  1. RR wrote,

    Meh… Woods wasn’t going to do much for the team. The idiot got caught 6+ times, he doesn’t belong here anyhow.


    For the most part, Artest has been a civil guy playing in Houston. Now that he’s playing with two of his best friends in the league, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be again. Especially when pushing for a championship.

    Sorry to Ariza, but he was just the odd man out of this equation. Obviously this is just a move for the Lakers to squeeze as many championships out of Kobe as they can as he gets older. What I didn’t like was that Ariza went on to say that it wouldn’t take much to keep him in LA right after winning the championship, yet when it came down to it he and his agent tried to play some games to up his price. Too bad, the Lakers took the upgrade at a cheaper price. Now Ariza’s taking the same contract Artest is getting elsewhere just to say FU to the Lakers because they were being unloyal? Oh please. Ariza needs to get rid of his Scott Boras wannabe agent because David Lee hasn’t done much for his clients.

    Before it was known Artest was going to LA, Ariza was being offered the same contract, and was still asking for more. He decided to play some games and court other teams so that it would up his price range. Obviously didn’t work.

    I don’t get these athletes anyway. What’s wrong with making 5/6 mil. a year to play the game you supposedly love? If you make 1-2 mil. a year you should be set already. Once you get that first few million it must get to your head…

  2. Rick wrote,

    Was really saddened to learn about the loss of Ariza for Artest because I really loved Ariza for his energy, hustle, willingness to do whatever it took to win, repeatedly ultra-clutch playoff defense and 3pt shooting, and Bruin heritage; and I hated Artest. That being said, I think Kupchak still might’ve made the right move–because Artest is the thug that the Lakers need right now, to combat not only Shaq in Cleveland, but the thugs in Boston, Denver, and elsewhere around the league as well. The days of other teams physically beating up on the Lakers are officially OVER. And with Gasol (as well as Kobe and Odom) freed up to use their finesse without fear of getting brutalized, the Lakers should be damn near unstoppable…provided Phil can work his, as you said, Rodman-style magic on Artest.
    Should be a fascinating season (and preseason!) to say the least…
    Happy 4th!

  3. Jimmy Bruin wrote,

    I dearly hope that you are right about the death penalty for SC………..!!!!!!!!!!!! My sources tell me the loss of 25 scholarships spread over 3 years, no bowls for 2 years, no television for 2 years and the loss of the 2004 national title……………I would be pleased as punch if those are the penalties!!!!! What about you?? What are you hearing and what are you realistically hoping for?? Please respond.

    [T-H’s Note: I hear that the “penalties” will be ridiculously LIGHT. However, my “sources” are NOT trustworthy. I hope yours are more reliable.]

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