College football teams typically embrace the theme of their respective bowl games, but what UCLA did this week is ridiculous.
After the Bruins finished their first practice Sunday in preparation to play Illinois in the Dec. 31 Fight Hunger Bowl, several players became hungry when the school withheld bowl game checks meant to help with their living expenses.
Some players didn’t receive checks after failing to attend what they called voluntary workouts during finals week, one parent who asked not to be identified told the Los Angeles Times.
“We are being held from our checks because we chose not to participate in voluntary workouts,” defensive back Randall Carroll wrote on Twitter. “Honestly, don’t know how I’m going to eat these few days.”
Tweeted linebacker Aramide Olaniyan: “My stomach growling tonight.”
UCLA spokesman Nick Ammazzalorso said the workouts were mandatory and added the affected players hadn’t turned in their academic exit forms for the quarter.
Alas, the checks were issued after players complained on their Twitter accounts that they use the money to buy food. University services are shut down after the quarter ends.
Explained Ammazzalorso: “The coaching staff changed its mind when they realized that withholding the money would cause the players some financial hardship.”
Wow. Must have took those financial wizards of Westwood awhile to figure that one out.
■ PUJOLS INSULTED BY OFFER — Albert Pujols’ wife took to the airwaves in St. Louis on Monday to “share the truth” about her husband’s decision to leave the Cardinals for the Los Angeles Angels, who signed the slugger to a $254 million, 10-year deal Thursday.
Deidre Pujols told a Christian radio station the couple was prepared to take less money to stay in St. Louis, but was insulted by the Cardinals’ initial offer of $130 million for five years.
“When you have somebody say, ‘We want you to be a Cardinal for life,’ and only offer you a five-year deal, it kind of confused us,” she said. “Well, we got over that insult and felt like Albert had given so much of himself to baseball and the community we didn’t want to go through this again.”
Nobody should have to endure such an indignity.
After saying she was “mad at God” when the decision was made to leave for Los Angeles, Deidre soon forgave him, marveling, “It’s just like God to put us on a team called the Angels.”
So who put the players on the New Jersey Devils?
■ RG3 ON LETTERMAN — Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III appeared on “Late Show with David Letterman” on Monday to present the top-10 list of thoughts that went through his mind when he won the Heisman Trophy, including:
— “Wonder how much I can get for the trophy on ‘Pawn Stars’?”;
— “Thanks to Tim Tebow for putting in a word with the Man Upstairs”;
— “Indianapolis Colts, here I come”;
— “Crap, now I have to appear on Letterman”; and
— “How long before Kim Kardashian calls?”
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL