Justin Medlock, the senior kicker and potential All-American, pleaded guilty in April to a misdemeanor DUI charge stemming from a car crash last December that injured a passenger in the car.
Medlock was ordered to serve three years probation, perform five days of work with Caltrans and undergo a nine-month alcohol program.
He was suspended from UCLA's Sun Bowl game and spring practice.
The passenger, UCLA golfer Hannah Jun, suffered a fractured vertebra in her neck, but is back out on the golf circuit.
Medlock's opening statement:
"I'm really sorry about the whole thing. Anybody who knows me, knows that...I'm really sorry about everything. I've apologized to the parents, and apologized to the fans, and my family. My family's not disappointed in me. They know I made a mistake and they forgive me, and that we all make mistakes. They don't hate me or anything. We all live and learn. We're all young. We make mistakes and I just wanted to say that I'm sorry about everything to everybody out there. And mostly I'm sorry to the passenger's family. What they had to go through, and all the media, for their family...I just wanted to say sorry."
How is it to be back to football?
"It's good. It's good training, to be back with these guys. It was hard the first couple of months when I was by myself just training. It was hard. It's gotten easier. I wouldn't say I'm completely where I need to be, but I think I'm close to it. Hopefully by the start of the season I'll be ready to go."
Did you do a lot of kicking during the suspension?
"Yeah, I did. I was out there hanging out with Aaron Perez, and I spent time kicking with him and the other kickers. I was out there all the time."
How was it working out while you were suspended?
"Taking time off and not working out with the team, it's hard because you have a schedule, like everyday, 6:00, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, you're always the same schedule. When you're alone you set your schedule but it's hard to be on a set plan. There's no punishment if you don't work out. I always made my workouts but it just wouldn't be the same. You need other people there to work out with you. I was working out with Robert Chai, probably the first week I got back. And I remembered, dang, this is how it is with someone pushing you. You just kind of forget that. No one at the Wooden Center is going to push you."
What was the hardest part about the entire incident?
"The first few months, definitely. I'm 22-years-old. I'm young. It's going to take a hit in your mind. With what came out, both of our families, the passenger's family and my family, had to take a lot of heat for what happened. And it's knowing what really happened and what was published. It just kind of hurts you. If you go out to golf courses and stuff like that where there are people knowing who you are, and talking about it, with us knowing, it just kind of hurts."
What did happen?
"I can't really talk about it. There's no point now. I don't want to talk about it now. Maybe I'll talk about it later. With respect to her (the passenger), I don't want to talk about it. She doesn't really want to talk about it."
Is she playing golf?
"Yes, she's at a tournament right now. She's fully recovered."
Did you watch the Sun Bowl?
"I did. It was different. It was hard to watch. It was different."
Were you ever concerned that you wouldn't be back here?
"No, I knew I'd be back here. It was made to look so bad but I knew what really went on. Two felonies, it was like...that wasn't really going to happen."
What guys on the team were there for you?
"Robert Chai. Aaron Perez. A bunch of guys, everybody helped out and said things. Derrick Williams. Some guys I thought would never even say things to me, they all said things to me. I would say the three most were Robert, Aaron and Riley (Jondle). Those are the people that really helped me out and are good friends."
Pat Cowan is your holder. Did you get to work with him?
"Not really. This whole process (fall camp) is going to be a work in stages. That's why I don't really know if we're ready, you know? We've had different schedules. The thing that really messed us up was Spaulding Field being messed up. We had to go kick at West L.A. College. We had to figure out a Saturday to go out there. And then the track and field program had practice from 12 to 6, and then it'd be dark and too hard to kick. This last month we were able to kick."
Before this last month, how often did you get together to kick?
"Maybe once or twice a week. Then in July we'd kick four times a week."