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

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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

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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.

Odell Beckham Catches Deep Bomb From Blueface ... Best Arm In Rap!!!

HOLY MOLY

FINALLY -- a quarterback who can feed Odell Beckham the ball!!! (Kidding, Bake!)

The Cleveland Browns superstar linked up with Blueface while working out at UCLA on Wednesday ... and the duo decided to see what kinda arm the "Obama" rapper was dealing with.

And sheeeeesh ... the dude has a cannon!!!

OBJ offered to run about a 40-50-yard route downfield ... and Blueface hit him perfectly in stride for the completion. It was beautiful ... and something Browns fans rarely got to see last year.

"Who got the best arm in the rap game?!," Blueface asked OBJ.

"Yeah, you got it!!" Odell responded ... while gifting his new QB his gloves as a souvenir.

TMZ Sports spoke with Blueface himself about his skills ... and he says football was his first dream.

As a matter of fact, he says he could've made it to the NFL if he stuck with it!!

I COULD'VE BEEN A BALLER
TMZSports.com

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton was also in on the fun at UCLA ... throwing darts to OBJ and even Blueface ... who creatively edited his one-handed catch to provide ZERO proof he was able to come down with the ball.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Regardless, Blueface is a freak athlete ... maybe the Browns should take a look??

Yeah, aiiiight!!!

Tom Brady's Niece Maya Wins Huge Softball Award ... It's In The Genes!!!

Breaking News

G.O.A.T. blood clearly runs thick in the Brady fam ...

Tom Brady's niece -- a BEAST on the UCLA softball diamond -- just won a huge national award ... and yeah, the Bradys are now officially good at everything!!

If you weren't aware ... Maya Brady -- the daughter of Tom's older sister -- was a coveted softball recruit last year who chose the Bruins over a bunch of other offers.

And, before the season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic ... she CRUSHED it in her first collegiate season -- leading the team with 7 home runs and batting an absurd .356!!

Softball America named her its 2020 Freshman Player of the Year this week ... now cementing her as one of the best players on the globe.

Of course, we should've seen this coming ... remember when Tom posted footage of their family dodgeball game back in 2018??

7/6/18
CAN'T DODGE THIS!

Yeah, she was the one FIRING LASERS AT THE QB LEFT AND RIGHT!!!

Some families just have it all, man.

Shareef O'Neal Shaq's Son Leaving UCLA ... Emotional Goodbye

Breaking News

Shareef O'Neal is done at UCLA ... Shaq's son just announced he's transferring from the school after less than two years -- and it's unclear where his next stop will be.

"A part of my heart will always be at UCLA figuratively and literally," Shareef said in an emotional goodbye letter to the university. "I'm looking forward to the next chapter, wherever that may be."

Shareef came to UCLA in 2018 with sky-high expectations ... the 6-foot-9 forward was nationally ranked and had superstar potential.

But, his freshman season ended before it began after UCLA doctors discovered an irregularity with his heart ... and he was forced to undergo scary surgery to fix the issue.

Ex-UCLA RB Craig Lee Arrested For Attempted Murder After Weed Shop Altercation

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Ex-UCLA running back Craig Lee -- who was a key piece of one of the school's best recruiting classes ever -- was arrested for attempted murder over the weekend, TMZ Sports has learned.

According to court docs, 23-year-old Lee -- a top H.S. recruit who played for UCLA from 2013-2015 -- was involved in an altercation at a weed dispensary back in 2016 that turned violent.

Officials say Lee and at least 2 other men entered Kings Palace Marijuana Dispensary in Jurupa Valley, California 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 before law enforcement arrived.

After a 3-year-long investigation into the incident ... prosecutors now say the whole thing appeared to be a robbery gone wrong, because in the arrest warrant, obtained by TMZ Sports, a key witness claims Lee's role "was to grab drugs and money and run."

Prosecutors put out the warrant for Lee's arrest last month ... and on Friday, they arrested him in Los Angeles on charges of attempted murder and attempted robbery -- both felonies.

Lee has been in custody on $1 MILLION bond since. He's set to be arraigned in court on Thursday.

For his part, Lee's family is denying the former running back's involvement in the crime ... saying, "Anyone that knows Craig should know pulling a gun on someone with intentions to murder them is not in his character."

Lee's family has set up a GoFundMe page to try to help Lee retain a defense attorney for the case ... and so far, several of Lee's former UCLA teammates -- including Green Bay Packers star Kenny Clark -- have made donations.

Lee was part of a 2013 UCLA recruiting class that ranked No. 8 in the country and included future NFL studs like Clark, Jaguars' Myles Jack, Buccaneers' Caleb Benenoch and Titans' Jayon Brown.

Lee battled academic issues throughout his career at UCLA -- never logging an official carry before he eventually left the team in 2015.

Ex-UCLA Star Tyler Honeycutt Suicide Shootout Cost $178,000 ... Lawsuit Claims

Breaking News

Ex-UCLA basketball star Tyler Honeycutt's suicide after a standoff with police officers last year caused nearly $200k in property damage ... so says an insurance company that is now suing Honeycutt's estate for the cash.

As we previously reported, cops were called to a place Honeycutt was renting in Sherman Oaks, Calif. back on July 6, 2018 to respond to a call about a man with a gun in the residence.

When they arrived, Tyler -- who had played for the Sacramento Kings from 2011 to 2013 -- fired shots at the officers ... and an hours-long standoff ensued.

Eventually, SWAT was able to break into the home -- but they found Honeycutt on the scene unresponsive.

Officials later declared Honeycutt dead ... and said he appeared to have shot himself at some point during the altercation.

Now, Amco Insurance Company is going after Tyler's estate for the incident, saying all the damages caused during the standoff totaled up to $178,476.56.

The insurance company claims in the lawsuit Tyler's actions created "severe" damage to the property, contents, fixtures and furnishings ... and now they want his estate to pay up.

Honeycutt was a star for UCLA hoops in the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 seasons. He earned All-Pac-10 first team honors as a sophomore.

NBA Mom Toya Holiday I've Got 3 Sons In the NBA ... LaVar Can Do It Too!!!

EXCLUSIVE
MAKIN' DREAMS COME TRUE
TMZSports.com

Jrue Holiday -- New Orleans Pelicans

Justin Holiday -- Memphis Grizzlies

Aaron Holiday -- Indiana Pacers

Yes, all THREE of Toya and Shawn Holiday's sons are CURRENTLY on NBA rosters -- it's an AMAZING feat -- and now, they've got some advice for LaVar Ball on how to make it happen for him!!!

Crazy part is ... Toya and Shawn actually KNOW LaVar and his family because of the UCLA connection -- where Aaron and Jrue played their college ball.

Remember, Lonzo played at UCLA ... and so did LiAngelo (for a short time).

So, how did Toya and Shawn help their kids make it all the way to the pros?

"We didn't get the 3 in there. They got THEMSELVES in there from their talent and hard work," Shawn tells TMZ Sports ... "We just kinda coached them."

Toya noted, "It's by God's grace."

But, when it comes to LaVar -- who's been highly criticized for the way he's managed his sons' careers -- the Holidays SUPPORT everything he's doing.

"I think as parents, you know your children. He has to do what he has to do to get his children there."

One question we didn't ask, which we should've, is ... WHAT THE HELL DO YOU FEED THREE NBA PLAYERS GROWING UP?!? ... that poor woman's refrigerator.

Kevin Love LeBron Can Take Lakers to NBA Finals If ...

EXCLUSIVE
TAKE THE HINT
TMZSports.com

Kevin Love knows firsthand how LeBron James can change a franchise -- and he's telling TMZ Sports why NBA fans would be dumb to count out the Lakers in the 2019-20 season.

The Cleveland Cavs star is back in L.A. where he went to college (UCLA) -- so, we had to ask if he was reuniting with his old teammate while he's in town.

Love says there are no plans to get a workout in with #23 -- but he's still a big fan of James ... explaining what the Lakers need to do in order to get back to relevancy next season.

We also spoke with Love about those ongoing trade rumors and if he ever gets bothered by the rumblings he could get shipped out CLE.

Love also talks about his friendship with current UCLA star Shareef O'Neal and why he could be the next big thing in basketball.

Oh, we also asked Love if he would ever want to play for an L.A. team during his NBA career ... and ya gotta hear his answer.

Ex-UCLA Player Sues Jim Mora's Practices Led to Suicide Attempt

EXCLUSIVE

5/31/19 -- Two other former UCLA players -- OL Zach Bateman and OL Poasi Moala -- have joined Lopez's lawsuit against the school and Mora.

"Each of these young men suffered serious, but significantly different injuries, while they were teammates at UCLA," said their attorney, Pamela Tahim Thakur.

"While the lawsuits involve many of the same facts, each case is distinct in its own way. But what they all have in common is the pattern of brutality and intentional disregard for player health and safey by Coach Mora and his staff at UCLA."

10:30 AM PT -- A spokesperson for UCLA Athletics released a statement to TMZ Sports ... saying, “While we cannot comment on the specific details of a pending lawsuit, we want to make it clear that the health and safety of our student-athletes is UCLA’s top priority."

"We strongly deny and will defend ourselves against the allegations made in the lawsuit. We handle every injury with the highest standard of care, and take potential head injuries very seriously. As one of the world’s leading research institutions, and a partner in the largest-ever concussion research study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense and NCAA, we believe our concussion protocol is among the strongest in the country."

"Our team physicians and sports medicine staff work hand-in-hand on diagnosis, monitoring and treatment, and they are the only individuals who determine when a student-athlete is cleared to participate in their sport; coaches are not involved in these decisions.”

Former UCLA coach Jim Mora's practices were so rigorous -- and his concussion protocol was so flimsy -- an ex-OL tried to kill himself ... so claims one of Mora's former top recruits in a new lawsuit.

John Lopez -- a 6' 5", 305-pound offensive lineman -- says repeated concussions he suffered during Mora's practices led to his suicide attempt back in 2016.

Lopez claims after being recruited by Mora to UCLA ... he almost immediately suffered his first-ever concussion at the Bruins' August 2013 training camp in San Bernardino.

Lopez says Mora and his staff didn't take the proper steps to safely return him back to the field ... and rushed him back into practice.

In fact, Lopez says he was ridiculed for being injured ... and alleges one of Mora's coaches even made up a special drill where other players were encouraged to "f*ck him up!"

Lopez says the following year -- at the start of his sophomore season -- at UCLA's August 2014 training camp in San Bernardino ... he suffered a second concussion in an on-field drill.

John claims he was rushed back to the field once again ... and says the drills he was put through in his return were "unnecessarily brutal."

Lopez says a year later -- in December 2015 of his junior season -- he suffered yet another head injury ... and his post-concussion symptoms were so bad, he was forced to medically retire from the team.

But, John says the damage the brain injuries did were already crippling ... saying he suffered from short-term memory loss, depression and "drastic changes in his demeanor."

Lopez says it all came to a head in the fall of 2016 ... when he attempted to kill himself by overdosing on a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Lopez says he was able to inform family members and friends of his suicide attempt ... and they were able to save his life at the emergency center at UCLA's medical center shortly after.

John is now suing Mora, members of his staff, UCLA and the NCAA ... claiming they didn't do enough to protect him both before he suffered concussions and afterward.

Lopez is now seeking more than $15 MILLION ... saying the trauma he suffered during his time at UCLA is preventing him from finishing school and is causing him emotional pain, suffering and distress.

We've reached out to UCLA for comment -- so far, no word back.

Originally published -- 5/30 7:55 AM PT

Josh Rosen Welcomed to Miami By Legendary Jewish QB

EXCLUSIVE
WORK HARD, EARN RESPECT
TMZSports.com

"What better place for a Jewish quarterback to be than in Miami!?"

That was Jay Fiedler's reaction to the Miami Dolphins bringing on Josh Rosen -- and Feidler would know, he's Jewish too!!!

In fact, Fiedler -- a 2002 inductee to the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame -- was the last Miami Dolphins QB to lead the team to a playoff victory back in 2000.

So, with Rosen now in South Beach ... we hit up Fiedler to see if he had advice for his Hebrew brethren.

"The Jewish community down there will love him," Fiedler says ... "And, he'll probably get invited to quite a few Bar Mitzvahs along the way!!!"

In all seriousness, Fiedler thinks Rosen is a great addition to the Fins -- and says having a respected veteran like Ryan Fitzpatrick in the QB room will be HUGE for the young guy from UCLA.

Fiedler also dishes out some advice for Rosen ... and Josh should listen.

By the way, the Dolphins last playoff win was in 2000 ... when Fiedler led his squad over Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts in the wild card round!!!

Since then, the Dolphins were QB'd by guys like Daunte Culpepper, Trent Green, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Ryan Tannehill and Jay Cutler.

But, none of those guys were able to put a W on the books in playoff time.

Good luck!!!

Rick Neuheisel Advice To XFL After AAF's Failure ... 'Start With Enough $$$!'

EXCLUSIVE
BRING THE CHECKBOOK
TMZSports.com

Vince McMahon, listen up ... Rick Neuheisel is offering advice to the XFL in the wake of the AAF's colossal collapse -- "Start with enough money!!!"

"At the end of the day, you gotta have enough financing," the former Arizona Hotshots' head coach says.

Of course, the AAF just folded a few weeks ago ... and Neuheisel tells us it pretty much boils down to they just didn't have enough cash to keep it going.

So, when we asked for his message to McMahon's XFL -- which is set to kick off in 2020 -- he told us his advice is simple ... be sure to have enough green to start!!!

As for if Neuheisel thinks the league can succeed once it does that -- the ex-UCLA coach says he thinks there's certainly a place for a pro league in the NFL's offseason.

"I think there's room and need for spring football," Rick says ... "There's a gap between college and NFL and it allows players to show they're capable."

As for if Rick would have interest in coaching in McMahon's XFL -- he says he hasn't had any talks with the new league ... yet.

Tom Brady Works Out With UCLA Receivers ... Who Needs Gronk?!?

Breaking News

Tom Brady's BFF, Rob Gronkowski, is retired ... so TB12's taking his hunt for new offseason workout partners to UCLA!!!

The G.O.A.T. joined the Bruins for an impromptu throwing sesh Wednesday morning ... and seems the Patriots QB enjoyed it -- he smiled and took pics with all the guys afterward.

Of course, this is becoming an annual thing for the NFL superstar ... just 12 months ago, Brady was in town and ran an entire workout with the Bruins' offense.

This week's sesh seemed much less formal ... but UCLA studs like Chase Cota were still jacked up for the day anyway.

"Got to work with THE GOAT today," the Bruins receiver said ... "What an opportunity, go Bruins!"

By the way ... UCLA continued the tradition of throwing some shade at USC for the star-studded workout -- tagging their pictures once again with, "#OnlyAtUCLA."

BUUUUUUUUUUUURN!!!

Luke Walton's Accuser 'I Thought He Was Going to Rape Me'

Breaking News
THE STORY
TMZSports.com

4:57 PM PT -- We asked if there was any video or photo evidence to help prove Tennant's case, and her attorney essentially told us no.

4:53 PM PT -- When asked what they want to get out of the case, Tennant's attorney says they have no particular sum in mind.

4:49 PM PT -- Tennant says she did not go to law enforcement because she feared it would jeopardize her career.

Tennant's attorney says they do not intend to file a police report because they do not want to put Walton in jail.

4:43 PM PT -- Tennant says she didn't come forward at first because, "I was scared."

"I was scared for my job, my safety and what my job would be like."

She claims she's spent years trying to move past the incident and "bury it" -- but she couldn't. She says she finally mustered up the courage to tell her story.

4:40 PM PT -- Kelli Tennant got emotional while telling her story ... recounting how she felt Walton was "going to rape her" during the hotel encounter.

Tennant says she begged Walton like crazy to let her go but he ignored her pleas ... until finally giving up and letting her out of the hotel room.

"This type of behavior cannot be condoned," Tennant said.

4:33 PM PT -- Kelli says the alleged sexual assault took place in 2014, when she was 25-years-old.

Her attorney says she was uncomfortable coming forward back then but she's comfortable now.

Kelli says she met Luke Walton about 10 years ago through the volleyball community.

The woman accusing Luke Walton of sexual assault will speak with the media at 4:30 PM PT ... and TMZ Sports will be live streaming the whole thing.

Kelli Tennant and her attorney, Garo Mardirossian, will hold a press conference at his office in Los Angeles, they announced. They are both planning to speak.

Mardirossian has just issued a pre-press conference statement saying, "By way of this lawsuit, Ms. Tennant is speaking out and saying #timesup to the culture of abusing women in the NBA."

We broke the story ... Tennant -- a longtime sports reporter -- claims Walton sexually assaulted her in a Santa Monica hotel room while he was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

Walton has lawyered up and adamantly denied the allegations -- with his attorney attacking the accuser as an "opportunist."

There are TONS of unanswered questions ... what was the date of the attack? Is there any photo of video evidence? Witnesses? Etc.

Originally Published -- 4:19 PM PT

Shareef O'Neal I'm Hooping Again!!! Returns From Heart Surgery

Shareef O'Neal is making a dramatic return to the basketball court ... stepping back onto the hardwood 4 months after undergoing heart surgery!!!

The UCLA star posted a picture Wednesday evening of him getting some shots up on campus ... and it's great to see him playing the game he loves.

I'LL BE BACK ...
TMZSports.com

Shareef missed his entire freshman season after going under the knife in December to correct an irregularity with his heart ... and his post-op pictures proved just how serious the procedure was.

Shareef's return is great news for UCLA and new head coach Mick Cronin ... the Bruins struggled to a 17-16 record without the services of the star recruit, missing the NCAA Tournament by a mile.

When we got Shareef out at Staples Center in early March, Shaq's son told us he was about 6 weeks away from returning to the floor ... and it turns out his timetable was spot on.

Welcome back, big fella!!!

Ex-UCLA Star Ryan Hollins Forget John Calipari ... Bruins 'Need To Hope' For Watson

EXCLUSIVE
LUCKY TO GET HIM
TMZSports.com

Forget John Calipari ... UCLA hoops should offer Earl Watson its head coaching job -- so says ex-Bruins star Ryan Hollins, who tells TMZ Sports, the school "needs to hope" he takes the gig.

Of course, Hollins -- a 4-year contributor for the Bruins from 2002-2006 -- says he'd LOVE to see Cal bolt from the Wildcats to take over the reins in Westwood.

But, the dude says UCLA needs to be honest with itself ... and understand that the Kentucky coaching legend is probably a long shot for the Bruins' vacancy.

And, why?? Hollins says he's seen the Bruins get burned going down this road before ... saying it was just a couple years ago when UCLA lost out on Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart and had to settle for Steve Alford instead.

"These top coaches that you want to go after -- which we can't knock -- it's not a guarantee they're going to come," Hollins tells us.

"And, when you ended up with Steve Alford ... man, he was the third or fourth or fifth down the line! So, if you're going to be realistic, you might as well keep it in house."

Earl's a UCLA alum who is VERY interested in taking the job ... and in fact, just reportedly interviewed for the spot last week.

Hollins says he thinks it'd be a slam dunk hire for the Bruins ... telling us the school isn't in any shape to pass on EW for the pipe dream of Calipari.

"It's a slap in the face, bro, when UCLA wants to go after a coach and they get denied," Hollins says.

"But, UCLA has put itself in that situation of being a bad job and you've got a guy -- shoot, UCLA needs to hope Earl Watson will take the job. Honestly."

Old news is old news!
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