Adrian Klemm, a football coach whose career has done nothing but skyrocket in the four-plus seasons he was been part of UCLA's staff, has been suspended while officials investigate whether he committed rules violations.
Klemm, 37, has received multiple promotions at UCLA, from offensive line coach to recruiting coordinator to associate head coach in charge of the offensive line and running game. And his salary has risen to a base of $760,000 for next season, with another six-figure sum possible in bonuses. He is among the highest-paid college assistants in California.
The suspension and investigation were announced Monday by UCLA, which released a statement that read: "UCLA was recently made aware of alleged NCAA rules violations involving Adrian Klemm, a member of the UCLA Football coaching staff. UCLA immediately reported this information to the NCAA and to the Pac-12 Conference and has placed Klemm on suspension with pay. UCLA will continue to work jointly and cooperate fully with the NCAA while this matter is being reviewed …"
Specifics about the allegations against Klemm are not known. Athletics program spokesman Josh Rupprecht said UCLA Coach Jim Mora, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero and other school officials would not comment until the investigation was complete.
Mora hired Klemm away from Southern Methodist in 2011, and the Inglewood native has been one of the Bruins' most effective recruiters. His connections in Texas have helped UCLA land 10 players from the state since 2012. He has also helped bring in 18 linemen in the past four recruiting classes, boosting an area where the Bruins had lacked before he arrived.
Klemm played football in high school at St. Monica in Santa Monica, where he was a teammate of former NFL star Marcellus Wiley. He then played four seasons at Hawaii and was a second-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL draft.
Klemm played for the Patriots five seasons and was part of three Super Bowl champions. He played his final NFL season with the Green Bay Packers in 2005.
At UCLA, Klemm has helped the Bruins to a 29-8 record and been so effective that rival USC has twice tried to hire him away.
The Bruins are coming off back-to-back 10-3 seasons and they have three consecutive wins over USC, but it has already been a tumultuous off-season for top UCLA assistants.
In February, on national signing day for high school seniors, news broke that Jeff Ulbrich, UCLA's defensive coordinator, had been hired by the Atlanta Falcons. The reports led Roquan Smith, a prized linebacker recruit from Georgia, to balk at turning in his letter of intent. Smith had committed to UCLA that morning.
Mora acknowledged that Ulbrich had been contacted by the Falcons, but said he had not accepted the job. A few days later, the Falcons announced Ulbrich had been hired.
Smith told UGASports.com that Ulbrich lied to him about turning down the Falcons' job, and added, "They tried to get me to go ahead and send the [letter of intent], but I wasn't doing it."
Smith did not sign with UCLA, and instead committed to Georgia.