UCLA has not started the 2013 offseason on the right foot. According to Greg Beacham of the Associated Press, safety Tevin McDonald has been dismissed from the team for violation of team policy.
McDonald was suspended for last year’s Holiday Bowl after a violation of team rules.
According to the full report provided by Chris Huston of CBS Sports, other players such as Todd Golper, Ricky Marvray and Jerry Rice Jr. also are no longer on the roster despite having a year of eligibility remaining.
Still, all of those losses are rather easy to replace, it is the fact that McDonald has been dismissed that will leave Bruins fans with a sick feeling in their stomach.
This is someone who was a 2011 Freshman All-America team selection. A sophomore last season, he finished the year third on the team with 74 tackles. He also intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and broke up eight passes.
A highly recruited player coming out of the 2010 recruiting class, McDonald had a bright future ahead of him at UCLA. He was also expected to play a key role this season on the defensive side of the ball, an area where the Bruins struggled last year.
UCLA finished eighth last season in the Pac-12 in total defense. A lot of that had to do with a secondary that allowed 250 passing yards a game. Allowing more than seven yards per passing attempt and 27 touchdowns through the air, the secondary was by far the weakness of this team a year ago.
To make matters worse, there was only one returning starter in the secondary coming back. That returning starter happened to be McDonald, somebody who was going to provide experience to a young group of players, which is likely to include 2013 recruits Tahaan Goodman and Priest Willis.
Now the defense has even more questions heading into spring practice, which will begin next week for the Bruins.