Aug. 27 News: Josh Rosen Named Starting UCLA Quarterback

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Chosen Rosen, indeed.

Looks like UCLA head coach Jim Mora’s motivational tactics resonated with 5-star freshman quarterback Josh Rosen. The “next Peyton Manning” begins his ascent as the Bruins’ Week 1 starter against Virginia. Mora announced the decision Wednesday.

Josh Rosen beat out veteran Jerry Neuheisel, who will be at the ready should the freshman struggle beyond the level expected of a newbie. And struggles are expected.

Rosen also outlasted Asiantii Woulard, a 4-star recruit in 2013 who transferred to USF in June. Woulard was the only one of the three with a dual-threat reminiscent of predecessor Brett Hundley. For that reason, this writer wrongly projected Woulard as the quarterback to beat in the spring.

Josh Rosen steps into the most veteran lineup in the Pac-12, and one of the most experienced starting rotations in all of college football. The Bruins return every starter along the offensive line, the entire receiving corps and the conference’s leading rusher in 2014, running back Paul Perkins.

He’ll have plenty of experience to lean on as he adjusts to the college game.

At Auburn, Athletics and Academics Collide

Ben Cohen, The Wall Street Journal

Public administration, a degree program described as “unpopular” by The Wall Street Journal, remains in the Auburn University catalog as a result of lobbying from the athletic department.

Ben Cohen details the findings from internal documents on Auburn athletics’ efforts to keep public administration available. The damning paragraph is a December 2012 memo that forecasts declining graduation success rates without athletes having access to the public administration program.

Cohen’s investigation is a must-read, with a theme central to the ongoing debate over amateurism in big-time college sports. The primary argument against monetary compensation for athletes in revenue sports — ergo, football and men’s basketball — is that a scholarship is a worthy reward.

However, some of the more sordid details in Cohen’s story lend credence to concern that academics take a backseat to performance. The North Carolina academic scandal is the most damning recent affair.

Positional Battles Don’t Detract from “Bro Code at Cal

Emily Van Buskirk, The Sports Fan Journal

Though they may not command as much attention as college football’s various quarterback battles, plenty of other positional competitions are afoot with a little over a week remaining until Week 1.

Fighting for a spot in the game-day rotation can turn into fights of a different nature in practice, as Emily Van Buskirk details from Cal Golden Bears practice this week.

Running back Vic Enwere details the mentality Van Buskirk describes as “bros before positional foes:”

“We are out here, we know it’s competition and we know it gets chippy, but at the end you always shake the guy’s hand and it’s like family again. Everyone knows that in a family, you have some issues sometimes and you go at it and you compete, but at the end of the day it’s all love.”

Tackling Dummies Go High-Tech at Dartmouth

Holly Ramer, Associated Press

Solving football’s concussion crisis starts with reducing risks in practice. The constant impact from full-contact drills has prompted certain teams and conferences around college football to reduce the number of full-pad practices.

Dartmouth is testing an entirely new way of practicing that allows its players to go at game-speed in full gear without sustaining the usual impact.

Dartmouth’s Mobile Virtual Player could be football’s MVP, should this innovative practice model prove effective and take off.