Southern California breaking news and trends

UCLA defeats USC for just the second time in 14 years


Harry How/Getty Images

Joseph Fauria #8 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates his touchdown with Jerry Johnson #9 for a 17-0 lead over the USC Trojans at Rose Bowl on November 17, 2012 in Pasadena, California.

In a game that will be talked about for years -- by UCLA fans -- Brett Hundley's Bruins beat up Matt Barkley's Trojans 38-28 in Pasadena.

The win Saturday snapped a five-game UCLA losing streak to USC and allowed the Bruins to clinch the Pac-12 South title.

Despite the fact that No. 17 UCLA had a better record than No. 20 USC entering the Rivalry Week game, most considered the Bruins underdogs in the match-up as just a year ago the Trojans easily won the annual skirmish 50-0.

After today's game, UCLA head coach Jim Mora was at a loss for words when asked what the victory means for him, in this, his first year at the helm.

"It means so much to the seniors. Look at them, they're going to address the fans," he told Fox Sports. "It's awesome. I don't know what to say. What do you want me to say?"


UCLA unveils 8-foot, 400-pound bronze statue of Coach John Wooden

UCLA Wooden Statue

AP / Mark Terril

The 8-foot statue of Coach John Wooden glares over the crowd at Westwood.

UCLA Wooden Statue

Mark Terril / AP

The stern glare of the beloved coach, John Wooden, peers over the UCLA campus.

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Andy Lyons/Getty Images

John Wooden the former coach at UCLA is pictured after the boys game at the McDonald's All American High School Basketball Games on March 28, 2007 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.

The man who lead UCLA basketball to an unprecedented 10 national championships over a 12-year period, and who was a staple in the stands after his retirement, was honored Friday with a statue outside the newly renovated Pauley Pavillion in Westwood.

An 8-foot, 400-pound bronze statue stands tall on the UCLA campus celebrating the late coach who led the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Walt Hazzard and Gail Goodrich during his 27-year career.

Basketball great Ann Meyers Drysdale hosted the unveiling and noted that the modest coach, who died in 2010 at 99 years old, would have downplayed such a ceremony. 

"He'd probably pooh-pooh this," Meyers Drysdale said. "He was not one to draw attention to himself."

Nan Wooden said, "He's probably shaking his head, saying, 'I don't deserve this.'"


Who has a better chance of winning today: USC or UCLA?

Rose Bowl Renovation

Andres Aguila/KPCC

The Rose Bowl will host the UCLA - Houston game Saturday night.

The second-ranked USC Trojans travel north to battle the Stanford Cardinal this afternoon in what promises to be a excellent Pac-12 matchup. 

Meanwhile down in Pasadena Brett Hundley and his 22nd-ranked UCLA Bruins host the winless Houston Cougars at the Rose Bowl tonight.

Both USC and UCLA are undefeated in the young season and they each have something to prove.

Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley has never beaten Stanford and the Bruins would like to confirm that they deserve to be a ranked NCAA football team.

Las Vegas considers UCLA a 17-point favorite over Houston and USC is an 8-point favorite despite playing on the road.

So even though both teams are predicted to win, do you think they will?


Philanthropist's death sparks unusual lawsuit


Photo by Chris Radcliff via Flickr Creative Commons

The UCLA campus in Westwood, CA

When former model and philanthropist Phyllis Harvey died last year at 59, little note was taken. There was no mention of how she died - nothing about her struggle with alcoholism and mental illness. And there was no reference to one of the final projects she helped fund with nearly a half million dollars.

Those details now figure prominently in a medical board complaint and wrongful death lawsuit claiming her psychiatrist coaxed $490,000 in research funding from her while she was under powerful doses of psychotropic drugs that eventually killed her.

The suit filed on behalf of Brian Harvey accuses a University of California, Los Angeles psychiatrist of causing his wife's death with dangerous drugs while soliciting research funds from her.

UCLA has said it will contest the lawsuit.



Hearing delay for UCLA professor Patrick Harran charged in lab fire death of researcher

Damian Dovarganes/AP

UCLA organic chemistry professor, Patrick Harran appears for his arraignment at Los Angeles Superior Criminal Courts building in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Harran is being charged in connection with a laboratory fire that killed a staff research assistant at UCLA in December 2008.

The arraignment hearing for a UCLA professor charged in the death of a researcher has been postponed again.

KPCC’s Corey Moore was at the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles on Friday morning where accused organic chemistry professor Patrick Harran appeared briefly with his attorneys before an L.A. County Superior Court judge.

The judge added another delay to a series of pushes. The hearing isx now scheduled for later this month.

Harran is charged in the 2008 death of 23-year-old researcher Sheri Sangji who was fatally burned in a lab fire. Sangji was not wearing protective gear when a chemical she was handling ignited.

Both the professor and UCLA face felony criminal charges. Moore says a plea deal is reportedly being negotiated, but neither side would offer comment on the case.