Posted by Bryan Fischer
An already perilous offensive line situation has somehow gotten worse for UCLA. According to a report in the LA Times, starting center Kai Maiava will be suspended for the Bruins upcoming home game against San Jose State after testing positive for marijuana.
UCLA's drug policy stipulates that an athlete will be suspended for their next game after testing positive for a third time, according to the report. Surprisingly, four players were suspended last year for testing positive for marijuana for a third time.
"We had to suspend Kai Maiava for this week's game for a violation of team rules," head coach Rick Neuheisel said. "No other comment to be made on that point."
Redshirt sophomore Greg Capella is expected to take Maiava's place at center, which is undergoing several changes following UCLA's loss to Houston last week. Capella played guard in the season opener but with him sliding over, Chris Ward, Sean Sheller or recent junior college transfer Albert Cid will fill the guard spots this week. Injured offensive lineman Jeff Baca has recently began practicing with the team and could be in the mix at either guard or tackle as well.
"I'm not happy about the situation, but at the same time I'm not going to sit here and cry about it," Maiava told the Times. "Everybody makes choices. Everybody makes mistakes. I'm a grown man now and I'm going to learn from them."
The Bruins were already extremely thin along the line and losing one of, if not the, best offensive lineman will be a blow regardless who the opponent is. Following the home opener, UCLA will play Texas so it's imperative for Neuheisel to get his line situation - and marijuana issue - under control sooner rather than later.