UCLA Suspends Tailback Lewis


UCLA tailback Jermaine Lewis, the Bruins' leading rusher and one of the nation's top scorers, was suspended from the team Tuesday because of his involvement in fight over the weekend.

"He's been in a fight; there's a police report," coach Bob Toledo said after practice. "When it gets to that point, there's a suspension. Supposedly, it wasn't his fault.

"I don't want guys to be in a position where they get into fights. When it gets to the point where there's a police report, something has to be done."

The fight occurred at a party Saturday night. Earlier in the day, Lewis gained 94 yards on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns to help the third-ranked Bruins beat Washington State 49-17 in their Pac-10 opener.

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    Forum: How will the loss of Lewis affect the Bruins?


  • Lewis, a sophomore, will miss No. 3 UCLA's game at No. 10 Arizona on Saturday night and his future status with the team will be determined after school officials further review information regarding the incident.

    "He felt that he didn't initiate the fight," Toledo said. "So the police will investigate. I'm not going to tolerate those things. You've got to have discipline."

    Toledo said Lewis had a small scrape under his eye as a result of the fight. Toledo said the other person involved, who is not a UCLA student, "had to have stitches, from what I was told."

    He added that about six of Lewis' teammates also were at the party, and the other person involved filed a police report Monday.

    Toledo said when he informed Lewis of the suspension, "He cried. He felt bad. He's sorry it happened."

    The 5-foot-7, 180-pound Lewis has gained 270 yards on 53 carries, nearly half of the Bruins' rushing yardage in their three games. He has scored a team-high eight ouchdowns.

    Junior Keith Brown and freshman DeShaun Foster have been rotating with Lewis at the tailback position. Brown, who also scored two touchdowns against Washington State, will start against Arizona.

    "There's kind of a concern whether we can get the job done," Brown said. "Of course, I think we can. I don't think this puts us in an underdog role. We had a great practice today."

    Brown said Lewis told him after the party that he "got into a scuffle," and that he understood that Lewis acted in "self defense."

    "He's kind of down about it. We're really good friends," Brown added. "He's not a fighter, I don't think."

    Quarterback Cade McNown said he didn't believe Lewis' absence would change things too much.

    "You'd like to have all the weapons you can. I think they (Brown and Foster) will do fine," McNown said. "It's tough, but we can reload. We'll be OK. We're ready for this game."

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