UCLA bars Wooden autographs

Long-retired Bruins legend John Wooden still attends basketball games at Pauley Pavilion — he is 97 years old — and he is hugely popular in the building. But the school has decreed a new policy of no autographs. Brian Dohn at the Daily News' UCLA blog:

"UCLA and coach Wooden's family are requesting that our fans respect coach Wooden's privacy at games and refrain from asking him for autographs because a decision has been made that he will no longer sign them at the games,'' UCLA spokesman Marc Dellins said. "He's coming to watch the game and enjoy the game, and visit with his former players and friends. We don't want to do anything that is too taxing, so he no longer will be signing autographs."

Adds Dohn: "From what I understand, a big reason for the decision to allow coach John Wooden to enjoy the games and not sign autographs is a combination of his age and the demand. It is not uncommon for more than 25 people to line up for autographs just about the same moment he sits down, and although Wooden keeps a very busy schedule, at 97, he needs some time to sit and relax." Coach Ben Howland, at the LAT's Bruin blog: "I think it's long overdue." Wooden has missed some recent games due to "scheduling conflicts and illness."

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