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TOLEDO BRINGS NEW SPIRIT TO UCLA.

Byline: Orange County Register

Bob Toledo blew the whistle because he didn't like what he saw - spring practice. The Bruins agreed. Hit and grunt and hit and grunt and try to forget that you don't get to hit and grunt for real until September....

So Toledo ordered something else. Full-contact sumo wrestling. Two Bruins in the pit, bowing and, well, hitting and grunting. ''They loved it,`` Toledo reported.

Another day, Toledo found the sun too tempting and the field too boring. Cut, he said. Let's go to the UCLA baseball game. He did not have to ask twice. Actually it wasn't spontaneous - Toledo already knew the Bruins played at 5 p.m.

Surprise. If UCLA's new football coach has as many surprises in the fall, he may no longer fight the same perceptions as 7-Up, Chrysler and other third choices.

''I'm a benevolent dictator,`` Toledo said. But not an anarchist. The ''going over the wall`` custom, in which the seniors could just up and leave one of Terry Donahue's practices per season, is history. If it's up to Toledo, this will be a program without walls.

Fun was not a fundamental of Donahue's. He left with the Pac-10 record for victories, but UCLA was neither shocked nor distraught when he went to TV-land. It was the right time, for him and for some of them.

UCLA called Rick Neuheisel and Gary Barnett. Thanks, but they were seeing somebody. The serious search ended with Toledo, the offensive coordinator.
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 27, 1996
Words:247
Previous Article:UCLA-CSUN IN CLOSE MATCH.
Next Article:UCLA HOLDS OFF CSUN IN FOUR GAMES.


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