UCLA Angry About Statue Vandalism

The UCLA Bruin Bear had red and yellow paint splashed on it before a big game against USC.

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If you're a college football fan, you saw the ugliness on the field at the end of UCLA and USC's huge rivalry game on Saturday. USC won, 28-7, but a pair of controversial play calls—from both teams—led to a heated exchange at center field between the two teams.

But that's not even the biggest controversy at UCLA after this weekend. Alumni and students alike are wondering how their prized Bruin Bear was vandalized, the Daily Bruin reports. The statue, which is exactly what it sounds like (a gigantic bear on UCLA's campus), was splashed with red and yellow paint (Southern Cal's colors) late Tuesday or early Wednesday, the report says.

In years past, UCLA had a Bruin Bear Security Force, a gathering of people charged with protecting the statue before the big game against USC, the report says. Students would camp out near the statue and guard it. But this year, the event was merely "symbolic" and didn't include any security measures other than a tarp over the statue, the report says. According to one student government member, there wasn't enough interest in the traditional security force, so the event focused more on carnivallike events and less on protecting the statue. Because of the change, there were no witnesses to the vandalism.

"We are not trying to make excuses for what happened," Elaine Daneshrad, codirector of the security force, tells the Daily Bruin. "Our event just got caught in the middle of a prank. In retrospect, we just should have changed the name of the title of our event."

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