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  The NCAA and its conferences have left it to each school to decide when it is safe for athletes to return to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. And that has Elijah Wade worried. Wade, a defensive end out of Las Vegas who signed with UCLA as part of Chip Kelly's first recruiting haul in 2018, left the program this spring. He told The Times he medically retired from football because of an in-season injury that he felt was mishandled by UCLA staff, leading to physical and emotional trauma.

When former teammates told Wade that they had practiced four times and were dressed in full pads on March 12 for a fifth before that practice was canceled, "I began to panic," Wade said. "I'm hearing about this pandemic ravaging different states and becoming an issue around the world and...I feared for their safety." By then, Wade was already doing something about it. His football career had ended midway through his sophomore year, but he now had a bigger mission for his time in Westwood. He decided to run for a seat on the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC), gathering more than 100 signatures to get on the ballot, then navigating a virtual election process to be elected as a general representative. - Los Angeles Times

(DS#999 OLB) Jr/2022 OLB Elijah WadeUCLA
News Source: Los Angeles Times



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