Quarterback Brett Hundley said he was pleased with the ruling by a federal judge in an antitrust case that the
"It's something that needed to be done," Hundley said.
The ruling, which affects only football and basketball players, said the NCAA could cap the payments to athletes, though the cap could be no less than $5,000 for each year a student is academically eligible to compete. The money could be placed in trust funds.
"Athletes will be able to live a little more comfortably than we do right now," Hundley said.
The NCAA is appealing the ruling, which takes effect on July 1, 2016. Hundley indicated that there was a need to create a safety net for players.
"There are not many players who get to the next level," Hundley said, referring to the NFL. "And there are even fewer who make it to their [NFL] pensions. It's a nice start in the right direction."
Myles Jack, Eric Kendricks, Jordan Zumwalt and Anthony Barr did the lion's share of work at linebacker last season. This year, the cast has been expanded.
Barr and Zumwalt are now in the NFL. Jack and Kendricks are back. The other two spots will probably make for a tag-team event, at least when the season begins.
"To play the way we want to play, we need to rotate guys," Coach Jim Mora said.
Sophomore Jayon Brown, junior Kenny Orjioke, sophomore Deon Hollins, sophomore Isaako Savaiinaea and junior Aaron Wallace have experience. Kenny Young has been impressive and appears to be the only freshman in the mix at the moment.
"We all bring different strengths," Brown said.
What aren't strengths, they have worked on.
"I knew I had to be a more physical player on the edge," Orjioke said.
There will probably be times that Jack and Kendricks are the only linebackers on the field. But Mora expects to be able to match linebackers to situations.
"Everyone on team needs a role," Mora said. "It might be a scout team player that first year or it might be a third-down player or a first-down run player. Guys will know they fit this package or that package. Guys feel more involved because they have a role on the team."
That idea has trickled down.
Having a role, Brown said, "allows you to focus on a certain part of the defense and know where you fit in on certain coverages. You can get used to the defense and know you are valuable to the team."
Jack was tossed out of practice Monday for taunting tackle Caleb Benenoch after a post-play altercation between the two players.
Jack slapped Benenoch on the helmet. Benenoch shoved Jack. The two had to be separated by teammates. Jack was kicked out for a verbal blast that Mora found offensive.
The Live Like Nick 5K Run/Walk will be held Sept. 7 at San Clemente High School. The proceeds benefit the Nick Pasquale Foundation. Pasquale, a walk-on receiver at UCLA, died when he was struck by a car last September.