What's Bruin

Ex-UCLA football player wins Rhodes Scholarship
By Adam Rose
LA Times Blog

Former UCLA football player Chris Joseph has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. A three-year starter on the Bruins' offensive line (2005-07), he will begin studying at Oxford in the fall.

Joseph will be joined across the pond by fellow Westwood student Scott Hugo. The senior, majoring in political science and history, is a starter on UCLA's rugby team.

Another collegiate athlete made headlines this weekend when he was named one of this year's 32 recipients. Florida State safety Myron Rolle will choose between a couple of years in England and a possible NFL career. He aspires to be a neurosurgeon.

Surprised that sports play such a prominent role in theses scholars' lives? Don't be.

Although many people associate President Clinton with the prestigious award, one of the four criteria for selection is "energy to use one's talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports."

Of course, there are rigorous academic standards, and Joseph had no problem with those. He graduated ins June with a 3.95 grade point average, majoring in geography with a focus on the complex social and scientific causes of deforestation. At Oxford, he plans to do his master's of philosophy in geography.

A regional announcement was made this weekend in a room with 16 nominees. Only the two Bruins were selected. "I was stunned," Joseph said. "It took about 10 to 15 seconds for me to realize they had said my name." You can read a full account of his exciting weekend on UCLA's website.

Joseph is the second UCLA football player and fifth UCLA student-athlete to receive a Rhodes Scholarship. The others are: 1997, Annette Salmeen, swimming; 1969, Harold Griffin, football; 1962, William Zeltanoga, wrestling; and 1925, John Olmsted, tennis.

Earlier this year, Joseph won an NCAA postgraduate scholarship after being a first-team Academic All American for the two previous seasons. For more on his road to the Rhodes, check out this profile by Chris Foster that ran in April.