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USC Morning Buzz: Donor Unrest Continues

At least three donors have decided to write USC out of their wills, per a booster who has donated millions. They are unhappy with issues related to the university. And at least one of the three blames Lynn Swann, who was abrasive to the donor once for not donating more money. Since it is Monday, it is worth noting the athletic dept. has not yet … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Donor Unrest Continues

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Saturday USC Notes

The Coliseum almost looks like it could handle a game from this view today. St. John Bosco defeated Corona del Mar to win the Mission Viejo Passing Tournament. Mater Dei, with USC-bound QB Bryce Young, lost to St. John Bosco in the quarterfinals. USC quarterback JT Daniels was on hand to watch Mater Dei. Former USC tennis player, Robert Farah, and his partner, Juan Sebastian … Continue reading Saturday USC Notes

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Maybe USC Is Not So Bad . . . This Week

If you think USC is going through a rough time, here are the most-read stories at the Harvard Crimson website, the school paper of the Ivy League school. Someone very close to former USC coach John Robinson contacted me this afternoon to say he was fired from his job at the university. This is yet another source to say Robinson was fired. USC maintains Robinson … Continue reading Maybe USC Is Not So Bad . . . This Week

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USC Morning Buzz: No Good Arguments For Destroying Tradition

One argument I’ve seen for scheduling UC Davis is that it had a better Sagarin rating last season than UNLV, USC’s first opponent a year ago. That misses the point. It is not about whether UC Davis is as good as a bad FBS team. It’s about destroying a traditiion that sets USC apart from other schools. The other argument is that SEC schools do … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: No Good Arguments For Destroying Tradition

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Nice Timing On Bad News Announcement

If USC thought playing UC Davis was such a good idea, why did it wait until a Friday in mid-July to announce the news? Buried in the statement about playing three cupcakes was this sentence: “USC also is in talks to add a neutral site non-conference game against a Power 5 opponent in 2024 and 2028, years that it currently has 6 home games scheduled.” … Continue reading Nice Timing On Bad News Announcement

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Is Scheduling UC Davis The USC Way?

A former USC All-American called me today, outraged over the decision to schedule UC Davis. “Lynn Swann doesn’t even want to learn how to be an athletic director,” said the player, who knows Swann. “He just wants to get paid.” When Swann got hired, a USC official lectured me for criticizing the hire. “This is the USC way. The real Trojans are happy,” the official … Continue reading Is Scheduling UC Davis The USC Way?

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USC Schedules UC Davis In Football (Really)

This is one of the biggest joke of the Lynn Swann-Clay Helton era. USC has never played an FCS school but has now scheduled UC Davis for a game at the Coliseum in 2021. Thank administrator Steve Lopes for this too. USC is one of only three schools to never play an FCS school with UCLA and Notre Dame. That tradition is kaput. Lopes and … Continue reading USC Schedules UC Davis In Football (Really)

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If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

USC’s 1959 coaching staff included John McKay and former Raiders owner Al Davis.

Maybe when you consider the egos involved, it is not surprising the pair did not get along even though they were on the same staff in the above picture.

“He wasn’t a big fan of Al Davis,” legendary USC assistant coach Dave Levy said of McKay.

When McKay was hired as head coach after the 1959 season, Davis did not return. When Davis worked for then-USC coach Don Clark, he had a lot of freedom and controlled recruiting. That would not have continued even if McKay retained him.

Former San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell last only one season (1960) with McKay at USC for a different reason. He used to get frustrated with McKay’s constant changing of the game plan during the week.

  • If you buy a $10 ticket to the Fall Showcase scrimmage on the athletic dept. website, USC will slap a $3 “order charge” on it.
  • Former Mater Dei cornerback Elias Ricks, who is committed to LSU but being recruited by USC, has transferred to IMG Academy in Florida. Rivals lists Ricks as the No. 1 corner in the nation.
  • USC wide receiver Velus Jones said he considered only two schools (Tennessee, Western Kentucky) after he entered the transfer portal before he returned to the Trojans.
  • When Pete Carroll was at USC, there was some criticism that too many celebrities hung around the program like Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell.
  • But in 1962, you had actor Randolph Scott at Saturday team breakfasts and actor Andy Devine in the locker room after games. And, of course, John Wayne was at a lot of the games.
  • Former offensive lineman Ron Mix, who is in the NFL Hall of Fame, recently wrote a letter about his best day at USC, which occurred 36 years after he graduated.

I’m including the full letter, unedited, after the jump:

Continue reading “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column”
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USC Morning Buzz: Nothing Beats Quality Yacht Time

Rick Caruso must feel good about letting USC president Carol Folt do her job because he spent Tuesday night hosting the U.S. women’s soccer team on his $100 million yacht for a trip on the Hudson River. I guess it’s better publicity for Caruso than hosting Olivia Jade, the daughter of Lori Loughlin, on his yacht as the College Admissions scandal broke. But is the … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Nothing Beats Quality Yacht Time

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USC Pac-12 Odds

BetOnline has more odds, this time on who has the best chance to win the Pac-12. Pacific 12 Championship Oregon                         9/4 Washington                   9/4        Utah                             15/4 Washington State          17/2      USC                             9/1        Stanford                       20/1      Arizona                         20/1      Arizona State                25/1      California                      25/1      UCLA                            33/1      Colorado                      80/1      Oregon State                100/1    Continue reading USC Pac-12 Odds

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Trey Davis Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

Freshman cornerback Trey Davis has entered the NCAA transfer portal, according to USCFootball.com. Davis is an incoming freshman and when he committed last year I questioned whether he would ever actually show up? His only other offers were from Portland State, Sacramento State and Washington State. Hardly a great list. Some USC recruiting pundits tried to overhype him but now it appears he will play … Continue reading Trey Davis Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

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Morning Buzz: All Not Quiet On USC Front

Week 2 for new USC president Carol Folt is not exactly going quietly. Folt is still getting emails and phone calls from USC fans regarding athletic director Lynn Swann. And now a well-heeled group is asking for an apology. The Board of Leaders for the USC Marshall School of Business have asked Folt to apologize to former business school dean Jim Ellis over allegations he … Continue reading Morning Buzz: All Not Quiet On USC Front

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Top Recruit Sets Announcement Date

Five-star Bijan Robinson is set to reveal his college choice on Aug. 2 on his Instagram. Robinson visited USC, Ohio State and Texas last month. Remember I said a booster called new USC president Carol Folt and was told in an email she would call back? She hasn’t called back yet. Former USC campus gynecologist George Tyndall had his bail reduced from $2.1 million to … Continue reading Top Recruit Sets Announcement Date

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Morning Buzz: Are USC Coaches On Same Page?

I’ve heard there is a schism within the USC coaching staff. The new coaches hang out among themselves and don’t interact much with the holdovers who were not fired by Clay Helton. The one exception is the fairly laid-back Johnny Nansen, who is able to interact with both groups. But the bottom line is the newcomers are probably not too close with special teams coach … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Are USC Coaches On Same Page?

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USC Night Notes

Four-star wide receiver Mookie Cooper of St. Louis committed to Ohio State over USC, Texas and Miami today. Ohio State, minus Urban Meyer, already had three of the nation’s top 16 receivers for the Class of 2020 before Copper committed, including Julian Fleming, who is ranked No. 1 by Rivals. Jack Lovrich, who played on USC’s 1954 NCAA Final Four basketball team and 1955 College … Continue reading USC Night Notes

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USC Morning Buzz: Can History Repeat Itself With Ticket Sales?

With ticket sales struggling and some reports season tickets are down 35 percent, it reminds me of a story from 1962. USC had a legendary ticket manager named John Morley back then who was univerally liked and respected. It really was a different era! Anyways, USC went 4-5-1 in 1961 but then midway through 1962 the Trojans were 6-0. Morley started getting up at 3 … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Can History Repeat Itself With Ticket Sales?

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Let’s Look At USC 2020 Class Another Way

USC’s 2020 recruiting class is currently ranked No. 60 nationally by Rivals. But maybe it is fairer to look at the average star rating for the class. USC’s is exactly 3.0. Other schools with a 3.0 star rating are Virginia, Boston College, Cal (Cal!!), Iowa, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. The current No. 1 class, Clemson, is 4.11. No. 2 LSU is 3.9. Remember USC’s … Continue reading Let’s Look At USC 2020 Class Another Way

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What Does ESPN’s Football Power Index Project For USC?

Every year, ESPN comes out with its FPI ratings (Football Power Index), which is “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season.” So how does USC project? ESPN projects the Trojans with 6.7 wins and 5.5 losses with a 7 percent of winning the Pac-12. How does that … Continue reading What Does ESPN’s Football Power Index Project For USC?

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USC Morning Buzz: Time For Recruiting Break

USC has gotten a lot of commitments the past month, which usually makes fans happy. But with all the two-and-three star commitments, maybe it’s best if the Trojans took a break. Perhaps recruiting coordinator Johnny Nansen and crew should go back and re-evaluate who is left so that USC can make better choices. Or figure out how it lost Myles Murao when all the recruiting … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Time For Recruiting Break

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This Is How A President Should Talk

When Norman Topping became USC president in 1958, his first major address following his inauguration was at the homecoming luncheon on Nov. 5. Topping talked about USC having a variety of business interests. “We also engage in entertainment in a small way, although I’ve heard the word, entertainment, questioned after some of our football games this year.” USC went 4-5-1 in 1958. Continue reading This Is How A President Should Talk

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USC Morning Buzz: Saturday Notes

Reggie Bush left the team out of his tweet that he knows best: USC LA sports has to be at an all time high, LA Clippers and Lakers are good now, both LA Chargers and Rams are good, and the Dodgers have the best record in baseball!— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) July 6, 2019 Jaylen Watson, a cornerback from Ventura College who signed in February, will … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Saturday Notes

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USC Actually Wants 2-3 Star Recruits

You might think USC is struggling in its attempt to land quality offensive line recruits. But you don’t realize the Trojans really don’t want the top prospects. Here is what USC offensive line coach Tim Drevno recently told The Athletic: “If you get a guy who’s really raw,” Drevno said, “his ceiling will probably be higher. Because he hasn’t been taught all those things.” Drevno … Continue reading USC Actually Wants 2-3 Star Recruits

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If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

USC has some great skill players but why can’t it land great offensive linemen? It has four offensive line commits for 2020 who have a total of 16 scholarship offers from Power 5 schools. The three linemen who committed elsewhere (Myles Murao, Drake Metcalf, Jeffrey Persi) since June 25 have 58 offers from Power 5 schools. Murao became Washington’s 10th commitment for 2020 and improved … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

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USC Loses Top Prospect To Washington

Although USC’s offensive line recruiting has been nothing but two-or-three star prospects, the Trojans’ ace in the hole was Mater Dei four-star offensive lineman Myles Murao. Just go back and look at how the USC recruiting sites fawned over Murao the past two years and did the wink-and-nod routine to signal Murao would be a future Trojan. Not anymore. Murao committed to Washington tonight. Not … Continue reading USC Loses Top Prospect To Washington

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USC Fourth Of July Notes

USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson will donate bone marrow next week to his little sister, Autumn, who suffers from Diamond-Blackfan anemia. One thing about the lawsuit filed by Rick Courtright. It shows a different side to Clay Helton, which is consistent with USC assistant coaches who say the “nice guy” image changes inside the McKay Center and view him as “two-faced.” The lawsuit said Helton … Continue reading USC Fourth Of July Notes

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The Legacy Of Max Nikias Proves Costly

That apology USC delivered to UC San Diego also included a $50 million payment in damages for taking UCSD’s Alzheimer’s program. This is a direct of Max Nikias‘ presidency, where he had a win-at-all-costs attitude on everything. He didn’t care about the ethics of taking the Alzheimer’s program. Or the potential for a lawsuit. Sometimes, it might have worked, like when he got the L.A. … Continue reading The Legacy Of Max Nikias Proves Costly

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Do You Believe Rick Courtright?

I spoke to someone who worked with Rick Courtright, who is suing USC for $2 million and claims Clancy Pendergast committed NCAA violations. “I didn’t know him as a coach, I knew him as a scout,” the person told me. “He was a good scout. I think he knew football.” Is it really so impossible that Pendergast or Clay Helton issue a comment on this … Continue reading Do You Believe Rick Courtright?

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Morning Buzz: An Apology From USC

USC apologized to UC Santa Diego on Tuesday after it raided the prestigious Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study at UCSD in 2015 and took control of the program’s contracts that were worth ten of millions of dollars and led to a contentious lawsuit. “USC and Dr. Paul Aisen regret that the manner in which Dr. Aisen and members of the ADCS staff left UC San Diego … Continue reading Morning Buzz: An Apology From USC

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Where Are The Fans?

I focused last week on how the cancellation of the Salute to Troy affected the past teams that get honored. But it also affects the families of current players who usually come to enjoy the festivities with their sons and the diehard fans who come to the event. “We weren’t selling many tickets,” a USC employee told me. Clay Helton is strangling the football program … Continue reading Where Are The Fans?

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USC Morning Buzz: The Day Many Waited For Arrives

Time to start the week off with some notes: Today is the start of Carol Folt‘s tenure as USC president. And I’ve already had several emails sent to her that were forwarded to me from angry fans and former players about Lynn Swann and the state of the football program. Folt might need to hire a person just to deal with her emails. If USC … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: The Day Many Waited For Arrives