It probably began with George Kase.
"Yeah, Psycho," linebacker Mitch Miller said.
"Well, me and Rod Smalley and the defensive line," Kase, alias Psycho, said Saturday as the afternoon sun glinted off his bald head.
Kase, a nose guard, and Smalley, an inside linebacker, had the hair clippers and plenty of help in a Friday night raid of the Dykstra Hall rooms of the UCLA freshmen. When they were finished, the new players had reason to keep their helmets on when fall practice began Saturday in Westwood.
With all the aches and pains of two-a-day practice sessions, they didn't need to add sunburned scalps.
But Kase, Smalley and a growing party of instant barbers decided that bald freshmen weren't enough. "They said if I got my hair done, the rest of the offense would follow," said short-haired quarterback Wayne Cook, who didn't much like the idea. "They had about 20 guys in my room, and there wasn't much I could do."
By Saturday morning, some strange hairdos, many of them compromises, were shown, including Troy Aldrich's Mohawk, Rob Walker's top knot and Sale Isaia's ponytail growing out of an otherwise bald head.
"Solidarity," said Kase, pointing out his motive and declaring war on some players who escaped the hair party.
One thing you will see only at practice: a passing-drill series in which the defensive backfield consisted of Javelin Guidry, Glenn Thompkins, Shaun Williams and DuVal Hicks, all freshmen. . . . After the first 11-on-11 play of the first practice, Coach Terry Donahue stepped in to remind the players they were in shorts and jerseys with helmets and no pads, and that it was a non-contact drill. A couple of players had decided football, in any form, meant hitting. . . . Non-scholarship wide receiver Kevin Walker is the new holder for All-American kicker Bjorn Merten. . . . Most likely to be redshirted: freshman quarterback Steve Buck.