UCLA DL Jay Toia practicing with team despite online video showing him threatening students

ByPaolo Uggetti ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

UCLA defensive lineman Jay Toia practiced Wednesday after a video of him threatening a group of students inside an elevator during a party on Oct. 31 surfaced online Tuesday.

Bruins head coach Chip Kelly was asked repeatedly about Toia's presence at practice Wednesday and while he acknowledged that he had seen the video, he repeated the school's statement on the matter.

"We are aware of the video and we are following university protocols on student conduct," Kelly said.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Toia lost an NIL sponsorship with apparel company Campus Mogul because of the video.

Toia, a freshman, is shown in the video wearing a UCLA hoodie as he went on an expletive-filled rant threatening to hurt any male or female USC students on campus. He also refused to let the students exit the elevator.

After losing two games in a row and falling to 5-4 on the season, Kelly (who is now 15-25 as UCLA's coach) also answered questions about defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro on Wednesday. Azzinaro has not spoken to the media once since arriving at UCLA four years ago. The Bruins have ranked 102nd, 113th, 69th and 75th in total defense during the four seasons he has been there.

"Yeah, that's Azz's choice. That's his choice on what he wants to do," Kelly said. "I think it's his choice. It's the United States of America -- we're not going to force anybody to do anything, so that's his choice that he doesn't want to speak to the media."

When asked about Azzinaro being held accountable for the Bruins' struggles, especially when players are speaking to the media, Kelly said there's a level of accountability even if he won't answer questions.

"I don't think the linebacker has to answer for it," Kelly said. "I think, ultimately, everything falls on my shoulders. I'm available all the time so I don't think our players have to answer for our coaches. The head coach talks at every availability."

Kelly was also asked about his contract including a $10,000 bonus for reaching six wins in a season. He said he didn't know anything about it but added that he thought such incentives were part of most coaches' contracts.

UCLA hosts 2-6 Colorado this weekend.