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

The Friday notes column got delayed, so here is a rare Monday version.

Do I think it mattered whether or not Puka Nacua signed with USC?

The way Nacua stretched out his commitment for maximum exposure made me think he has a dramatic streak similar to quarterback Tate Martell, who even purchased twitter followers for maximum exposure. And I’m not sure USC needs more drama.

But when two wide receivers (Bru McCoy, Nacua) who were committed to USC bail on the Trojans, it is a trend.

How dysfunctional a program is USC that even when it switched to an Air Raid offense it still could not get McCoy or Nacua to honor their commitments?

Clay Helton obviously told McCoy he would still run an Air Raid offense even with Kliff Kingsbury and that wasn’t why McCoy left as I outlined here and here. Nucua knew he became even more valuable once McCoy, Trevon Sidney, Josh Imatorbhebhe and Randal Grimes transferred.

But he was believed to have Washington and Oregon as his top two choices before he announced for the Huskies.

USC is viewed as a flawed program by recruits and current players. Don’t forget that 2020 wide receivers Kris Hutson and Koy Moore also decommitted.

I’ve heard from a few fans that USC is loaded at wide receiver and it does not matter that McCoy and Nacua went elsewhere. Two points on that mindset: Recruits are not signed solely on what they do in Year 1. And who was satisfied with the play of the wide receivers last season? Not me.

  • Imagine how angry Lynn Swann was on the first tee this morning when someone said, “What do you think of Puka Nacua going to Washington?”

Then again, Swann probably said, “Who is Puka Nacua?”

  • USC is racing to get its $315 million renovation of the Coliseum done by August 1. But a donor told me Sunday night some of fans who purchased for $7.5-to-$10 million suites want to get out of their arrangement because of tax laws.

Instead, USC is offering to extend the time to pay off the suite an additional five years. However, the donor told me the suites are no longer tax deductible because of new tax laws.

“These people found out too late about the tax write off disappearing and want out,” the donor said.

  • And now for another Julie’s restaurant story: One night after a USC basketball game, actress Marlo Thomas came in with her actor father, Danny Thomas. Marlo, who was known as Margie or Margo when she attended USC in the 1950’s, was dating Trojan basketball player Jim Pugh. A friend who had not seen Marlo Thomas recently came up to their table and said, “I didn’t recognize you with your new nose.” The comment drew a big laugh from Danny Thomas. Not sure if Marlo had a similar reaction.

42 thoughts on “If It’s Monday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. My sincere condolences to the Pugh family. On a different note, we saw Helton on a radio show recently and he delineated about the players of the football program. While he was doing that, Swann was…well you know what he was doing. And Swann’s boss, the Interim president for SC, what has she been doing lately? When she took the administrative leadership reigns subsequent Nikias throwing in the towel, she went in and began issuing walking papers to folks holding high administrative positions at SC. At the same time, she showed her true administrative style, colors, and philosophy by eschewing any interfacing and/or having a dialog with the students, staff, stakeholders at SC about her actions as interim president. I don’t have all the answers, but I think Swann and his boss could at least communicate with the above-mentioned that their choice is to remain “mum” about any issues involving the institution and programs relative to athletics. If their leadership style is to not say anything substantive and be transparent, then give everyone comprising the SC community the benefit of the doubt and pull out the bull horn and announce it. The analogy that I would like to use to illustrate the current state of affairs at SC involves a US Navy aircraft carrier and the skipper of the ship who is generally a captain or admiral. Imagine the sailors on the ship not hearing anything from the skipper about where they are going and what the mission entails. I suspect that the sailors would be somewhat insecure, neurotic, and not very complacent while they are out in the open seas. Similarly, the students, staff, and stakeholders at SC should have some insight to keep them from being like nervous sailors.Does that make sense?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Like Button”

      Dr. Jess, exactly right. Universities are run by shared governance, in which faculty, students, staff, and even alums have enormous input into major administrative decisions. The idea that a Dean, who had just been reappointed, and who had earned bonuses for achieving diversity goals, would be fired unilaterally, just doesn’t happen. But the interim president has no ideas how universities are run, because she had zero prior experience.

      Better times are ahead. I expect that the BOT now knows that SC needs to hire an experienced, high quality person who knows how to run a major university and who knows how to preserve the value of a university’s tradition as well as moving it forward.

      And as far as Puka goes, there does seem to be too much drama with him.. Driving through a snow storm to get to some t.v. station to do a 2 minute video at 10:30 at night on a Sunday to make his announcement?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Trojan67: Hoping that the new president for SC will provide the leadership and vision necessary to rebuild the confidence, hope, and aspirations for all students, staff, alumni, and community members who desire and pray for a better and brighter future at one of the established educational icons in Southern California.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Spectacular piece, 67. The great historians write about the disintegration of societies —and, however much they disagree about other things, they pretty much agree on one thing: the essential cause of disintegration is loss of confidence in the state. When a collection of people stops believing that a state —-or a university —is on the right path, they stop giving their all. USC is an institution that has —temporarily—lost the respect of the community. And it’s students. And it’s athletes. As Patton would say, “even a blind man can see it.” It plays out in a thousand little ways every day for the world to see. The football team has become kind of a metaphor for USC —run by people who aren’t respected and don’t inspire confidence. The joke has run it’s course and will end this season —but, in the meantime, a bunch of very clueless men have ruined or, at least interfered with, the careers of a bunch of very talented athletes who deserved better.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 67 —I should add that we got ourselves a great offensive coordinator. And a tough as nails s.o.b. d-line coach. So far, so good. But that’s really about it. The rest of the staff is very ordinary. Nice but very ordinary. And you can’t attract or keep receivers if all you’re offering is a very nice but ordinary receivers coach.


    2. When you “saw” the radio program, we’re they wearing makeup? Did you hear it too? Seriously? Ships’ captains having to inform crews to stave off mutiny? Wasn’t there ever a secret mission that withheld information from the seamen?
      Someone’s being a bit dramatic… and this time it’s not just scottie…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pudly76: If you were referring or alluding to me as being “dramatic”, do you think the better approach is to be “undramatic?


      2. There might be a happy medium. Perhaps reading prior to posting will help say what you really feel. Or perhaps it’s just more fun throwing the gasoline on the flames. Figuring that the quicker the fuel is used up, the quicker the fire extinguishes?
        Either way I want to watch the radio program with you next time.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Pudly— You’re right —-many of us (certainly me) are getting a bit antsy about the 2019 season. We have the pieces to do well— tried and true receivers, two potentially explosive QB’s, burned out position coaches gone and replaced by better (not much better, but better) people. My guess is the sight of players laughing at repeated false start penalties, trash talking during losing efforts and the Head Coach babbling about “reviewing the tape” at post game pressers is hard for fans to shake. Luckily, for all of us, you seem to be a stabilizing influence in these times of disappointment.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. There is no sugarcoating this thing. Winning is paramount and injuries are beyond excusable. It’s his time to show what he can do, and nothing matters except winning now. Was last year the aberration or the norm? This year will tell.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Pudly —We’ll get a lot of answers after the Fresno game —-but we’ll have ALL the answers after the Stanford game. If we can’t outscore Stanford, watch out. On the other hand, if we clean Stanford’s clock, Helton will make his life at USC much more livable.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. At this point stanfurd can’t be considered as enough to bail this team out of it’s lethargic state. They must be able to reassert dominance over the conference including the ducks and huskies and whatever manner of bear crosses their path. The devisiveness that surrounds Helton will not be sated merely winning a couple early games.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Pudly — are you saying I have to be on pins and needles ALL season —-never knowing how things are gonna turn out til the end?!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Pudly —Thanks for the article —it mainly lifted my spirits —but I sincerely hope Aoun does not become President. The job is WAY too big for him.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Clay Helton obviously told McCoy he would still run an Air Raid offense even with Kliff Kingsbury “

    That’s good news! It would have been strange to bring in KK and stick with “gumbo” or run the wing-T.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a time when the title doctor denoted a level of mindfulness in thought and words, rather than the piled higher and deeper…. The roads oft appear the same until you find yourself lost on the wrong one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pudly76: Being involved with this blog is perhaps a bit if destiny for me. I suspect that as time goes on I will improve more in terms of my mindfulness in thought and words; especially after I take a look at what you decided to post on Mr. Wolf’s blog…🌝


    2. drjess —Pudly’s beating up on everybody today. I think he’s just as frustrated over things as we are —but he’s got this tough spirit which won’t allow him to cry uncle while he’s still got one drop of blood in him. [Hopefully, some of Pudly will rub off on Swann & Helton].

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MG: No worries about Pudly getting a bit aggressive. His aggressiveness pales in comparison to my doctoral committee at SC during my pursuit of the terminal degree. Imagine Pudly spending two (2) months writing the first chapter of a five (5) chapter doctoral dissertation at SC and his doctoral chair and the other members of the committee tell him to rewrite the entire thing. Now to me, that is the epitome of feeling a complete lost of mindfulness relative to thought and words…Nonetheless, I like Pud and his interesting picture on this blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. drjess—love ya brother, you’re a class act —-but ya know what –yes, I definitely could see Pudly in front of a doctoral committee. I personally, suspect he’s actually done that deal….or, at least, could if he wanted to. I also know, based on what I’ve heard about those sessions, that I’d wind up hitting somebody in the mouth (and, I guess, that would be that).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s important for patience to be exercised during the process of change. And since “good change” might take some time, it might be better to not hurl stones at the SC BOT regarding the permanent replacement of a president. That said, I will no longer be critical of Mr. Caruso who chairs the SC BOT, as well as, the BOT simply because I feel confident that he and the people comprising the presidential committee will find and select a profound president that will effectively take charge and turn it around. Likewise, I don’t want to continue to disparage the AD and HC at SC and let this whole thing about success in Pac-12 football play itself out.
    I will end in this note: When Christ saw a dozen men with stones ready to stone Mary Magdalene to death due to her promiscuous behavior with all the men in town, he posed the question: If there is any man present who did not have sexual relations with this woman, then feel free to hurl the stone. Inside of three (3) minutes, all of the men dropped their stones and went home to their wives. Some were heard saying, “Hey, who is this guy Jesus Christ and where the hell did he come from?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “The throw the first stone” thing is my favorite line in the bible —-it’s so cool…..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Pudly76: You are categorically wrong about me playing down to the competition. With regard to my academic degree, I spent eight (8) years doing coursework and the research and writing of the dissertation while working full/time and raising four (4) children; and putting up with a demanding spouse. It’s referred to as “an earned doctorate” and believe you me I earned it. And for the record, I am proud of my accomplishment, but at the same time I don’t believe I am a pompous academic asshole who enjoys flaunting the title. Now that you have done a great job humbling my sorry ass, I plan to change my handle to a plain and simple “Lost on the road Camacho”. Have a great day my friend.


  5. MG: And while I’m drinking it, I think I will put on some videos of the University of Hawaii pre-game warmups! Those boys don’t need any “Song Girls” to help them out!


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