Skip to main content

UCLA Athletics is aware of an altercation involving Jay Toia at a party Sunday night and is following university protocols concerning student conduct, a spokesperson told All Bruins on Tuesday.

The UCLA football freshman defensive lineman was caught on video threatening a group of students in an elevator at a party Oct. 31. The students supposedly told Toia they went to USC, where Toia was enrolled last spring before transferring to UCLA, but clarified they attended UC Santa Barbara when pressed by Toia.

Toia, wearing a black UCLA Jordan Brand hoodie, then went on an expletive-ridden rant threatening violence towards any Trojans, clarifying on multiple occasions that he would physically harm women as well. Toia stood in the elevator door preventing the young men and women from leaving, despite their repeated requests for him to let them go.

Two of Toia's fellow freshman on the football team, offensive lineman Thomas Cole and defensive back Josh Moore, are also present in the video. Moore posted a photo from that night on Instagram with Cole.

Screen Shot 2021-11-02 at 3.46.57 PM

Cole is seen holding Toia back in several instances during the video, preventing him from entering the elevator. Moore was behind Cole during the 50-second video, and another unidentified person seemingly appeared in the hallway at the 34-second mark.

Toia responded to the video Thursday night, first by claiming the whole story of the incident had not been told yet, then apologizing and saying he would accept whatever consequences are passed down by the school.

Coach Chip Kelly did not offer any comments on Toia's status Wednesday morning past the statement sent out by UCLA Athletics on Tuesday, but he did clarify that he had indeed seen the video himself. Toia was a full participant in practice Wednesday.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

While the incident did not have an immediate impact on Toia on the field, he suffered a quicker blow off of it. Toia's name, image and likeness deal with CampusMogul – a company that sells jersey t-shirts of student athletes and splits the profits 50/50 – has been terminated and his merchandise has been permanently removed from the site, founder Jeff Ermann told the Los Angeles Times' Ben Bolch on Wednesday.

Kelly and UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond released a joint statement Wednesday night, in which they labeled Toia's remarks "disparaging" and "inappropriate."

Toia was an early enrollee at USC last January, and he participated in the entirety of spring camp with the Trojans before entering the transfer portal on May 26. He announced his intentions on social media, detailing his decision to leave USC.

"The 2020 pandemic was tragic to so many that lost so much. For me and especially my parents we felt forced to make a major decision signing with USC based on limited information because of COVID-19 restrictions. We were not able to take any official or unofficial visits to any of the other school on our short list, such as Michigan, Utah, UCLA, Miami among others," Toia wrote. "I as well as my family are truly thankful for the USC staff and students for all the support this past semester. Although I earned all A's last semester at USC as an early enrollee and worked myself into the 1's and 2's deep rotation during spring ball 2021, we as a family felt it was important to really take a closer look at all my options regarding my short term and long term future. I have major respect for USC, but I owe it to myself and my family to reevaluate my current situation."

Sports Illustrated's All Trojans spoke to a source close to the Toia family at the time, and they said Toia felt like USC did not fulfill their promises to him and that the coaching staff was not a good fit for him.

Toia wound up committing to UCLA on June 9, and he was eventually ruled immediately eligible to play for the 2021 season. Toia has appeared in all nine games for the Bruins this season either on defense or special teams and has recorded three total tackles.

Growing up in Inglewood, Toia went to Grace Brethren High School (CA) in Simi Valley, just over 30 miles from UCLA's campus. Toia was the No. 188 recruit in the country and No. 15 player in California last year, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Toia was the No. 1 player in UCLA's 2021 recruiting class.

Follow Connon on Twitter at @SamConnon
Follow All Bruins on Twitter at @SI_AllBruins
Like All Bruins on Facebook at @SI.AllBruins
Subscribe to All Bruins on YouTube

Read more UCLA stories: UCLA Bruins on Sports Illustrated
Read more UCLA football stories: UCLA Football on Sports Illustrated