Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Stop us if you've heard this one before: a formerly highly-touted recruit has left UCLA following a brief, turbulent tenure for reasons related to academics (as opposed to injury, this time), leaving Rick Neuheisel's Bruins perilously thin at a key position.
We can't believe you didn't stop us. Because surely you've heard that story before, right? This time, the main character is offensive lineman Stanley Hasiak, who the Los Angeles Times reported today has been declared academically ineligible and is expected to transfer to a community college.
A 6-foot-5, 300-pound guard from Hawaii, Hasiak was considered one of the nation's top offensive line prospects in the class of 2009 and would see action in three games as a true freshman that fall. But after being expected to challenge for a starting position in 2010, Hasiak was declared academically ineligible and missed the entire season. He returned to the practice field this spring and drew positive notices, sparking hope he might contribute again in 2011.
That won't happen, and now the Bruins could be one injury away from disaster at guard (again).
With senior Sean Sheller starting at one guard position and sophomore Chris Ward pegged for the other, UCLA should be OK in the starting five. But behind those two are nothing but redshirt freshmen, meaning an injury could cause a major reshuffling along the entire line if those newcomers can't hack it.
Of course, those kinds of reshufflings won't be anything new for the snakebitten Bruins -- another major reason Neuheisel is facing a make-or-break 2011 season, one Hasiak's departure won't do anything to help "make."