L.A. Times Journalist Ben Bolch Apologizes For LSU, UCLA Column ... 'Words I Used Were Wrong'

The journalist who called LSU women's basketball players "dirty debutantes" in a column last week has just issued an apology ... admitting, "I have failed miserably in my choice of words."

Ben Bolch wrote the controversial piece for the Los Angeles Times last Friday ... and it was almost immediately met with backlash. Critics slammed the way he compared the UCLA women's basketball team to "milk and cookies," while calling the Tigers' players "Louisiana hot sauce" -- insisting it was both racist and misogynistic.

In fact, LSU coach Kim Mulkey and her star player, Hailey Van Lith, were so offended by the article, they both used portions of their meetings with media members over the weekend to rail against Bolch.

The reporter clearly heard the criticism ... because on Monday afternoon, he issued a lengthy mea culpa.

In his statement -- which he posted to his X page -- Bolch acknowledged his words were "not appropriate" and were "deeply offensive."

"It was not my intent to be hurtful," he said, adding his employer did not require him to write the note, "but I now understand that I terribly missed the mark."

He concluded his message by writing, "I am deeply sorry."

For the L.A. Times' part, they swapped out portions of Bolch's original article ... writing in an editor's note, "The original version of this commentary did not meet Times editorial standards. It has been edited to remove language that was inappropriate and offensive."

LSU -- which beat the Bruins 78-69 on Saturday -- is slated to play next against Iowa later Monday evening.

Ex-UCLA DC Bill McGovern Dead At 60 ... After Cancer Battle

Former UCLA defensive coordinator Bill McGovern -- who coached linebackers in the NFL for nearly a decade prior to his time in Westwood -- died on Tuesday following a battle with cancer, his family announced.

He was 60 years old.

In a statement, UCLA officials said the longtime football coach -- who transitioned from Bruins' defensive coordinator to director of football administration earlier this year while fighting cancer -- passed away at his California home with his loved ones by his side.

"Early this morning we said goodbye to our beloved father and husband Bill after his long and difficult battle with cancer came to an end and today," the McGovern family said in revealing the sad news, "we would like to thank the entire UCLA community for all of the love and support you gave to Bill and our entire family during this very difficult struggle."

McGovern was hired by UCLA head coach Chip Kelly in 2022 ... after piling up an impressive résumé in the NFL.

From 2013 to 2019, he worked for the Eagles and Giants. In 2021, he had a role on the Chicago Bears' staff.

In his coaching career, McGovern also had stops at UMass, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Nebraska and more. He's currently on the ballot to potentially be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.


Univ. Of Oregon We're Going Pink!!! ... Unveils 'Stomp Out Cancer' Unis For UCLA Game

Highlighter green's out ... neon pink's in -- and, it's all for a great cause!!!

The Oregon Ducks announced Monday they're ditching their traditional uniforms for next weekend's home game against UCLA ... in order to pay homage to Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The kit has been dubbed "Stomp Out Cancer" by the school ... and the jerseys are sweet!

The numbers are colored-in pink ... as are most of the accents, including the school's logos.

The wings on the helmets, meanwhile, will also feature a similar shade of pink ... and the Ducks' gloves, cleats and wristbands will have the color all over them, too.

Of course, Oregon has become known for its bold jersey choices over the years -- and in fact, it was one of the first schools to ever douse its uniforms in pink for October.

Back in the Marcus Mariota days, Oregon had a few variations for the month ... including a hot-pink helmet.

The latest iteration will make its debut on Oct. 22 in Autzen Stadium ... when the nationally ranked Bruins head to Eugene for a monster Pac-12 game.

Jalen Hill Ex-UCLA Basketball Player Dead At 22

Ex-UCLA basketball player Jalen Hill has tragically died at 22 years old, the school confirmed on Tuesday night.

In a tweet, the Bruins men's basketball team said it was "deeply saddened" by the passing. Head coach Mick Cronin added in a statement that the death was "heartbreaking."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time," said Cronin, who coached Hill for two seasons in Westwood. "Jalen was a warm-hearted young man with a great smile who has left us far too soon."

According to a statement from Hill's family on social media, the 6-foot-10 power forward "went missing while in Costa Rica and we have recently learned of his passing."

No further details surrounding his death were revealed.

Hill -- ranked as a top-100 recruit coming out of Centennial H.S. in Corona, Calif. -- signed with the Bruins back in 2017, but didn't play in his true freshman season after he and two other UCLA players, including LiAngelo Ball, were arrested for shoplifting while in China for a game in Nov. 2017. He was suspended indefinitely over the incident, but later rejoined the team, playing for the Bruins from 2018 to 2021.


In his UCLA career, Hill saw time in 77 games, averaging 6.5 points per game and 6.4 rebounds. He retired from basketball in 2021, saying he was battling anxiety and depression.


UCLA Hoops Star Amari Bailey Signs 'NIL' Deal With Apparel Company ... Partnering With Ethika

UCLA hoops star Amari Bailey signed a lucrative 'NIL' deal with Ethika and will receive a percentage of revenue from his products ... TMZ Sports has learned.

The exact details of the deal remain unknown, but the California-based apparel company tells us the plan is for Amari to create/design underwear with the company.

"The NIL deal with Amari couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve followed Amari’s career since he was a youngster," Ethika exec Darius Burton tells us.

"I’ve always been impressed how he handles himself on and off the court. When I heard he was making the move to Southern California, I wanted to figure out a way to work with him."

Most of Ethika's deals are with professional athletes, but Burton says his belief in Bailey as a person, and not just a basketball player, is one of the reasons he chose to work with Amari.

"I have no doubt that we will do amazing things as a team, and I couldn’t be happier to have him be a part of our families," Burton said.

Bailey -- one of the top-ranked high school players from the 2022 class -- will be joining Rick Ross and Lil Wayne ... who also have deals with the brand.

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Long before he was associated with Rozay and Weezy, or signed a big money endorsement deal, Bailey was still accustomed to the finer things ... he bought his mom Johanna Leia, Drake's ex-girlfriend, a '22 Porsche Cayenne worth about $70K!

Bailey, a 5-star recruit ranked in the top 15 in his high school class, signed with the Bruins in November and is expected to be an integral part of their team next season.

And, he's gonna look good while doin' it!

Los Angeles Lakers Give UCLA Newborns Kobe Gear ... On Legend's 44th Bday

The Los Angeles Lakers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 44th birthday, giving UCLA newborns -- who were born on the same day as Mamba (8/23) -- gear inspired by the Hall of Fame legend.

The Lakers posted pics of the babies wearing white hats featuring Kobe's iconic No. 8 ... along with a welcome note from the team and staff at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital.

"WELCOME TO THE WORLD!” the note reads. “One of your family’s most special days has landed on one of our organization’s most celebrated days."

"On this year's Kobe day, here's to your next-generation Lakers fan. They've already got a little of the Mamba Mentality in them."

This is the second straight year the Lakers have donated the KB24-inspired care package to babies born on the Mamba's bday ... since he tragically passed away in 2020.

Kobe -- who won five NBA championships and broke numerous NBA records -- played 20 seasons, all with the Lake Show ... retiring in 2016 after dropping 60 points in his final game.

Kobe's legacy continues to live on even after his death ... and gestures like these show how much he meant to the city of Los Angeles.

Wife of Ex-UCLA Star Cade McNown Nailed in Theft Case 500 Hrs Community Service!!!


5:48 PM PT -- We spoke with McNown’s attorney, Michael Artan, who tells us his client was entered into a misdemeanor diversion program. She’ll have the next year to complete the community service and theft course — and then will get a clean bill. What's more ... he says the actual charges only alleged theft of 4 purses.


Artan says he was able to successfully argue against several of Holland’s claims.

The wife of ex-UCLA star Cade McNown, Christina McNown, got 500 hours of community service in her theft case, TMZ Sports has learned.

Christina pled no contest to petty theft Monday in L.A. -- roughly seven months after she was charged with four felonies following allegations that she stole designer goods from ex-her boss, philanthropist Sydney Holland.

In addition to the community service, we're told Christina was also ordered to complete a theft course. Court officials say a stay-away order barring her from contact with Holland was also put in place.

We're told Cade was not present in court.

TMZ Sports broke the story, Christina was arrested in December after she allegedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of purses, clothing and jewelry from Holland.

Christina, who had been working for Holland as an assistant and a stylist for over a decade, was accused of stealing the items over a several-month span in 2021.

"With her plea today, Ms. McNown is being held responsible for her numerous thefts from Ms. Holland, which cost Ms. Holland hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the loss of irreplaceable items with sentimental value," said Holland's attorney, Karen Sosa. "We hope Ms. McNown reflects on her behavior and does not repeat these crimes in the future."

Neither Christina nor Cade -- the former UCLA QB who starred under center for the Bruins from 1995 to 1998 -- has commented publicly on Monday's court proceedings.

Originally Published -- 11:50 AM PT

Tom Brady Niece Screams 'LFG' During Huge Game ... QB Loves It!!!

Tom Brady's niece, Maya Brady, just had a monster day at the plate -- smashing 2 home runs and logging 5 RBIs -- and at one point, she screamed "Let's f***ing go" during the big game ... which had the NFL superstar fired up!

The UCLA outfielder -- whose mom is Tom's sister -- proved, yet again, GOAT blood runs thick in the Brady family ... coming through for the Bruins in a must-win game against Oklahoma on Monday morning.

The centerfielder went yard not once but twice in the contest ... and in one of her trips around the bases -- she used Tom's familiar "Lets f***ing go!" rallying cry.

Of course, Tom was watching -- and he loved it, tweeting out, "Must run in the family (Sorry mom!)."

Tom also praised Maya on his Instagram page during the game, calling her "clutch" and adding, "WAY TO GO MAYA!!"

Maya's huge game propelled UCLA to a 7-3 win ... but she and the Bruins still have to beat OU one more time on Monday afternoon to advance to the Women's College World Series championship.

UCLA is currently down 3-0 in that game ... but Maya's got at least a few more at-bats to try to change that -- and we're sure Tom will be watching each and every one!

UCLA Rugby 3 Players Arrested For Vandalism Allegedly Got Wasted, Knocked Down Trees

Three UCLA rugby players were arrested early Thursday morning in Santa Monica after police say they went on a drunken, destruction rampage ... knocking down trees in a popular tourist area.

TMZ Sports has learned ... Santa Monica police were dispatched to the famed 3rd Street Promenade just after midnight ... to confront a group of males who were allegedly causing havoc, doing some unauthorized gardening, breaking holiday decorations, and screwing with a fence owned by a local business.

When cops arrived, they detained 5 men while they located surveillance video.

After watching the tape, which cops tell us captured the vandalism, all five males were arrested.

Three of those men -- listed below -- are currently seniors on the UCLA rugby squad.

- Mark Sapper, 21-year-old, 5'10", 200 lbs.
- Shane Barry, 21-year-old, 5'11", 180 lbs.
- Aiden Metzner, 22-year-old, 6'7", 230 lbs.

All 5 men, including the 3 current athletes, were hit with the same charge ... felony vandalism. Police note the men were cooperative.

If ultimately convicted, the guys face up to 1 year in county jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

The rugby season is currently in full swing ... and the team is a perfect 3-0.

We've reached out to the university. So far, no word back.

UCLA Lineman Jay Toia Threatens To 'Slap A B****' On Video ... Team To Punish Player

UCLA is vowing to take disciplinary action against Bruins defensive lineman Jay Toia ... after the 6'3", 325-pounder was captured on video threatening to slap a woman on an elevator last weekend.

The video made rounds earlier this week ... appearing to show the freshman approach an elevator on campus full of students he thought were from USC.

Toia -- donning a UCLA hoodie -- had to be held back by his friends as he goes on an expletive-filled rant threatening to hurt any USC student.

One girl tries to clear the air, saying "we go to Santa Barbara! Nobody's a Trojan! We go to USCB!"

Toia still goes off ... yelling, "you a f***ing Trojan n****! I'll slap a b****, too! I'll slap a b****!"

Worth noting -- the 4-star recruit signed with the Trojans back in Dec. 2020 ... before transferring to UCLA this June. He was the 21st ranked defensive tackle in his class and had offers from Arizona, Cal, Michigan, Nebraska and more.

UCLA's athletic director, Martin Jarmond, and football head coach, Chip Kelly, released a statement saying they saw the clip and Toia will be disciplined.

"We're aware of a recent video in which a student-athlete made disparaging remarks. This was inappropriate and not in line with our values and expectations."

"As such, we are taking disciplinary action and working with campus partners to assist with educations for the student."

Toia already lost an NIL deal with college apparel company Campus Mogul due to the video ... but has been practicing with the team all week.

He's appeared in one game this season ... earning 3 total tackles against Arizona on Oct. 19.

UCLA Hoops Star Johnny Juzang Gunning For Sponsorships ... 'Cars, Clothing, Shoes!!!'


"Cars, clothing, shoes" -- that's the type of sponsorships UCLA hoops star Johnny Juzang wants after the new NCAA rule change ... telling TMZ Sports, he's excited to make some deals!

The NCAA announced earlier this summer that athletes can now make money off their name, image and likeness ... and when we got Juzang out at Ocean Prime in Beverly Hills this week, he told us he's ready to start negotiating.

Juzang told us he wants to rep things that he aligns with ... which, of course, includes vehicles and swag!!

"I love cars, clothing, shoes -- all that type of stuff," the 20-year-old said. "Should be some cool opportunities."

The 6-foot-6 guard tells us he's also interested in food brands -- specifically healthy ones.

"I eat healthy," Juzang said. "So, different brands that’ll align with that -- it’ll be interesting, man."

He added, "It’ll be a cool way to share a little bit about myself. It’s going to be exciting, man."

Juzang -- who averaged 16 points per game last season -- became a star after leading the Bruins to the 2021 Final Four -- their first appearance there in 13 years.

JJ declared for the 2021 NBA Draft shortly after, but he withdrew before the deadline and is now back in Westwood for his junior season.

And, he says he's hoping the Bruins can make another strong run for the title in 2022!

"We’re going for it," Juzang said. "We’re going for it."

Drake Dating Johanna for Months Tight with Her Son, Too

Drake's been doing more than just wining and dining his new boo, Johanna Leia, at Dodger Stadium ... he's also been mentoring her basketball prodigy son for months.

Sources close to the pair tell us they first met months ago through high school basketball -- Johanna's son, Amari Bailey, is a top prospect -- and the relationship grew from there. We're told Drake and Amari hit it off, and Drake's offered the kid advice on finances, fame and life, in general.

Amari is headed to UCLA in 2022, and our sources say Drake's given him pointers on how to handle all the attention and pressure that comes with being a star player. We're told they've spent some one-on-one time, and all 3 have hung out at Drake's home.

Our sources say prior to Drake, Johanna was with NBA'er Alfonzo McKinnie -- who helped Amari build his skills on the court -- so it looks like he's more than ready for the next level.

As we reported, ABC7's chopper spotted Drake and Johanna as they had Dodger Stadium to themselves for a date night, complete with a table on the first baseline. A Dodgers source told us the whole thing was a thank you for a sizeable donation Drake made to the team's charitable foundation.

Johanna is the first woman we've seen Drake with consistently in a while, but based on the grandeur of their "night on the town" -- and the time spent with her son -- you'd have to think things are pretty serious.

Kenny Smith UCLA's Juzang Now A 1st-Round Pick ... After Epic Tourney Run


UCLA star Johnny Juzang has made himself a WHOLE LOT of money over the past 2 weeks ... so says Kenny Smith, who tells TMZ Sports the hooper is now a surefire 1st-round NBA draft pick!

Juzang has been a BEAST for the Bruins in their march from the First 4 to the Final 4 in this year's NCAA Tournament ... he's scored 20 or more points in 3 of UCLA's 5 games so far.

And, when we asked The Jet about the kid out at LAX on Wednesday ... he gushed over the former Kentucky transfer -- saying his stock has skyrocketed after UCLA beat Michigan on Tuesday.

"This puts him -- this year, next year -- in the first round," Smith said of Juzang's tourney performances. "And, high in the first-round possibly. For sure."

Smith also said Juzang's accomplishments will help UCLA for years to come.

The NBA on TNT analyst said the Bruins' run to a potential national championship should help the Bruins' recruiting tremendously ... telling us they've got a way better shot of keeping all the California 5-stars in California now.

"UCLA basketball is back," Smith says.

As for what's next for Juzang and UCLA ... they've got Gonzaga -- the best team on earth right now -- on Saturday night.

No pressure!

UCLA Runner Chris Weiland Axed from Team Over Racist, Homophobic Rant ... Caught on Video

UCLA has dismissed runner Chris Weiland from its track and cross country teams over video and text messages featuring racist and homophobic slurs.

Unclear exactly when the video was shot -- but it's bad. During the footage, which has gone viral, Weiland can be seen and heard griping to a woman about a girl he believes cheated on him.

During the conversation, which takes place at night inside of a car, Weiland bashes his lover's other man ... calling him the n-word and the homophobic f-word.

When complaining to the woman on the call, Weiland says his lover "wants to be with this f**king f****t who has no future. She's going to be with a stupid n****r who's going to be in community college all his life."

When the woman on the call urges Weiland to calm down and control his emotions, Weiland threatens to "beat the f**k" out of the other guy.

Video of the conversation was posted on Instagram this week and it BLEW UP quick -- with star UCLA athletes including gymnast Margzetta Frazier calling for the University to take swift action.

Weiland allegedly sent text messages to his ex-lover using similar offensive language. Those text messages were also posted to social media.

UCLA track coach Avery Anderson issued a statement Monday saying Weiland has been dismissed from the program.

But, Avery also confirms he was aware of the video months ago -- and suspended him -- before eventually allowing Weiland back on the track and cross country teams.

"When first learning of this a few months ago, I was disgusted and immediately suspended him indefinitely from the team," Anderson said.

So, why was he reinstated? Anderson says he wanted to give Weiland an opportunity to learn and grow from his mistakes.

"Even in my disgust, as a coach, my intentions are always to lead and educate and make the change happen that I want to see in this world. I can talk about changing the world, or I can put in the work to do so. And that is what I have done over the last few months with this individual. In January, I decided to reinstate him to the team."

Now, Anderson says he's had a change of heart.

"After team members and the athletic community expressed concern, it became clear that his continued involvement with the team is incompatible with the culture of mutual support and respect we’re fostering. I now realize that the decision to reinstate him was not the right decision, and that the action today is best for the well-being of our team."

Weiland was listed as a senior on UCLA's official website -- and competed for the program just last week at the Dave Murray Invitational in Tucson.

UCLA Sues Under Armour For Bailing on $280 Mil Deal ... COVID Excuse Is BS!


8:15 PM PT -- Under Armour has responded to the UCLA lawsuit ... telling TMZ Sports they plan to fight the university, and win in court.


"While we are disappointed that UCLA elected to file suit, we are confident in our position and will defend it vigorously. We sought and remain open to working out a reasonable and appropriate transition for the university, and most importantly for the student-athletes."


"In fact, at UCLA’s request after the termination of the agreement, Under Armour continued to deliver athletic products for the 2020-2021 school year because we support athletes, even as it remains uncertain when sports will resume."


6:26 PM PT -- UCLA's Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications tells TMZ Sports ... “It is unfortunate that Under Armour is opportunistically using the global pandemic to try to walk away from a binding agreement it made in 2016 but no longer likes."


"UCLA has met the terms of the agreement, which does not require that games in any sport be played on a particular schedule. We filed this lawsuit in order to support our student-athletes and the broader UCLA community, including the athletic department that has brought 118 national championships to Westwood.”

UCLA says Under Armour is full of crap for using the COVID pandemic as an excuse to back out of a $280 million sponsorship deal ... and now the school is suing.

Here's the deal ... back in June, UA announced it would be pulling the plug on the 15-year deal it made with UCLA which began in 2017.

The University had touted it as the "largest athletic apparel sponsorship deal in the history of American college sports."

According to the suit, obtained by TMZ Sports, UA messaged to the school that because of the pandemic, the company would not be getting the widespread brand exposure it was promised when it entered the massive contract.

Under Armour allegedly cited the cancelation of college baseball games and the uncertainty of bigger sports like football and basketball as the main reasons for the move.

But, UCLA ain't buyin' the company's excuse -- claiming the REAL reason UA backed out is because the company is in financial trouble and was looking for a way to save some cash.

UCLA says in its suit, "Under Armour decided to try to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a cover to get out of paying on a deal that it no longer wanted to be in."

UCLA claims it seeks to "hold Under Armour to the promises that it made" ... and wants to force them to pay out the rest of the contract.

There's more ... UCLA claims UA also tried to use the excuse that the school didn't take appropriate action in the wake of the FBI's Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, which involved a former UCLA soccer coach.

UCLA claims it took swift action and put the coach on leave the same day as his arrest -- and then accepted his resignation a few days later.

UCLA says Under Armour never suggested they mishandled the situation until using it as an excuse to get out of the deal.

UCLA is suing for more than $200 MILLION in damages for breach of contract.

Originally Published -- 4:24 PM PT

Ex-UCLA RB Craig Lee Cuts Deal In Attempted Murder Case ... Gets Probation

Ex-UCLA player Craig Lee -- a key piece of one of the school's best recruiting classes ever -- is breathing easier today ... the former Bruin just cut a plea deal with prosecutors in his attempted murder case, and is only getting probation.

We broke the story ... Lee -- a top UCLA recruit in Jim Mora's famed 2013 class -- was arrested last year after law enforcement says he was involved in an altercation at a weed dispensary that turned violent.

According to court docs, obtained by TMZ Sports, officials say Lee and at least 2 other men entered Kings Palace Marijuana Dispensary in Jurupa Valley, Calif. on June 30, 2016 ... when someone from the group shot a store employee.

Officials say a security guard in the store returned fire ... and that's when they say Lee and the other suspects bolted out of the place.

After an ensuing 3-year-long investigation into the incident ... law enforcement claimed the whole thing was a robbery gone wrong, and say a key witness told them Lee's role in it all "was to grab drugs and money and run."

Lee was eventually hit with 3 felonies by prosecutors ... including attempted murder, attempted robbery, and accessory for allegedly aiding the others to flee.

But, a rep for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office tells TMZ Sports Lee agreed to a deal this month ... pleading guilty to the accessory count.

In exchange, the prosecutors agreed to drop the other 2 charges.

We're told Lee was sentenced to 80 days in jail ... but was given credit for time served and won't have to spend another day behind bars.

Lee was also hit with 36 months of formal probation ... but prosecutors say if he keeps his nose clean for two years, he'll have the opportunity to have the felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.

As part of his probation terms, Lee, among other things, cannot possess a firearm or leave the state without first getting permission.

Lee -- who was part of the UCLA class that included future NFL players like Packers' Kenny Clark, Jaguars' Myles Jack, and Titans' Jayon Brown -- never quite lived up to expectations with the Bruins, battling academic issues before leaving the team in 2015.

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