Briefs: Local dealt setback

More often than not, Cecil Whiteside hit whoever carried the football backward when he starred at Newport Harbor High.

The recent high school graduate is now the one taking a step back before he gets on the field for Cal. The touted linebacker recruit has to sit out his first year due to academic issues.

Cal Coach Jeff Tedford told the San Jose Mercury News that Whiteside will grayshirt this season. Tedford added that Whiteside most likely would enroll at a junior college in the fall before coming to Cal in the spring.

Whiteside, the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year who led Newport Harbor with 96 total tackles as a senior, would still have four years of athletic eligibility if he grayshirted and did not play at a junior college.

Tedford told the San Jose Mercury News that an eligible Whiteside probably would have sat out the upcoming season as a redshirt. Whiteside, who was ranked as the fourth best outside linebacker recruit in the nation by, said before graduating from Newport Harbor that he expected to contribute at Cal as a freshman.

"It would be hard to break into our linebacking unit," Tedford said.

Tedford told the San Jose Mercury News that Whiteside's academic standing is being reviewed by the NCAA. The paper reported that Whiteside could not enroll at Cal in the fall because he did not participate in the school's summer bridge program.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza

UCI men's hoops adds French Player

Maxime Chupin, a 6-8, 220-pound post player, has signed a written offer of financial aid to join the UC Irvine men's basketball program, Anteaters Coach Russell Turner announced.

Chupin was a member of the Cholet Basketball Club that won the French League Championship this past season.

He also played in the Espoir League (U20), where he averaged 12.5 points, seven rebounds and shot 45% from three-point range. Chupin was a member of the French U18 National Team in 2007-08.

"I plan to play Maxime at center as he certainly adds to our inside presence," Turner said. "He is a mature, inside-out player who has developed his skills competing with, and against, some outstanding players. Maxime is an excellent student who is attending summer school at UCI.

"I mentioned when I was hired that our recruiting efforts would include international players and our coaching staff did an outstanding job and worked very hard to sign Maxime," Turner added.

Another player on the Cholet team, Kevin Seraphin, was the 17th pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls and later traded to the Washington Wizards.

— From staff reports

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