Originally created 12/05/01

Bruins won't be playing in a bowl game



LOS ANGELES -- After starting the season with six victories and hopes of a national title, UCLA will skip any bowl game following a late-season collapse.

Gary Beck, executive director of the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho, confirmed Tuesday that the 7-4 Bruins won't be one of the participants. The Bruins said going to the New Year's Eve game would have resulted in a $300,000 loss.

Louisiana Tech will play Clemson in the Humanitarian Bowl instead

"We talked with them, no invitation was extended," Beck said. "We had preliminary discussions, about ticket requirements, the hotel arrangement, bowl sponsorship, things like that."

Since the Bruins finished sixth in the Pac-10 with a 4-4 record, they didn't get an automatic bowl bid, extended to the top five finishers. That left the Silicon Valley Bowl in San Jose and the Humanitarian Bowl as the only possibilities.

Michigan State was selected Sunday to face No. 19 Fresno State in the Silicon Valley Bowl, leaving the Humanitarian Bowl as the only possibility.

UCLA athletic director Pete Dalis said he had spoken with representatives of both bowls along with Karl Benson, commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference, to express interest in both games.

Dalis said that because of financial commitments such as a corporate sponsorship, the guarantee to sell 5,000 tickets at $33 each and a requirement of staying in Boise for five nights, a loss of $300,000 was projected, and would have to come from this year's operating revenues.

Participating schools in the Humanitarian Bowl receive $750,000 each.

"UCLA felt a fiduciary responsibility to at least break even in the bowl game," Dalis said. "We never said we weren't interested in playing in the game, just unwilling to lose several hundred thousand dollars to play."

Beck said he understood Dalis' concerns, especially involving tickets.

"I think one of the things you have to look at is there is a ticket commitment, something that's required by every bowl," Beck said. "One of the ways for the teams to recover revenue they invest is through ticket sales. I don't know what component Mr. Dalis was concerned with. If you have to buy 5,000 tickets and can only sell 1,000, that's a lost revenue opportunity."

Dalis, who will retire next summer, said the money UCLA won't spend on a bowl game can be better used for a new locker room with an expanded weight room, medical training center and meeting rooms. The facility is to be built next year.

After starting 6-0 and being ranked No. 3 in the BCS standings, the Bruins lost to Stanford, Washington State, Oregon and crosstown rival Southern California before beating Arizona State 52-42 last weekend.



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