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Dr. Saturday

Parents shooed away from UCLA pro day

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(Gus Ruelas/AP)

On Tuesday, UCLA parents were excited to see their sons finish their UCLA football career and try to impress NFL scouts during the university's pro day.

Only UCLA wouldn't let them see it.

As parents started arriving at Spaulding Field, they were stopped by UCLA employees telling them they weren't allowed to observe, not even from the top of the parking structure outside of the field.

One of the football employees guarding the parking structure said anyone watching from the parking structure would be considered "loitering" and that if parents refused to leave, "and it escalates," campus police would be called.

UCLA closed Pro Day to media and the public to prevent "distractions" during the workouts, though UCLAbruins.com was covering the event.

The ban also extended to parents of players working out. Football program employees, working in pairs, were on roving patrols in the parking structures, which are well away from the field.

"I think this is all unnecessary," said Mark Dye, whose son Tony Dye was a safety for the Bruins the last four seasons. "If they have a legitimate reason for keeping parents out, I haven't heard it yet."

Dye told the LA Times that he was told pro day was like a job interview and since parents wouldn't accompany their child on a job interview the same rule applies.

I guess you have to give new UCLA coach Jim Mora Jr. the benefit of the doubt here. He did spend 25 years in the NFL before coming to UCLA and probably has a pretty good idea how scouts tend to perceive workouts with parents watching.

And it seemingly worked as NFL.com reported that linebacker Akeem Ayers and free safety Rahim Moore had stellar workouts, and running back Derrick Coleman and offensive tackle Mike Harris earned some attention from the 32 scouts in attendance.

Still, if I'm a parent of a football player, watching him work out for NFL scouts would be a proud moment. It's too bad UCLA didn't take time to tell parents ahead of time that they weren't wanted.

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