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

Some people get confused when they try to analyze USC and its relationship with football. They think if the Board of Trustees keeps its distance from athletics, it wants football to fail.

It’s not that USC does not care about football. It’s that it currently doesn’t care if grossly inept people run football.

USC is spending more than $300 million to renovate the Coliseum. It spent $70 million for the McKay Center. It spent around $25 million to renovate Heritage Hall, which included expanded football facilities. That shows the university cares.

But as the academic reputation increases, some think Rick Caruso or whoever is in charge wants to de-emphasize football.

Even some alums just don’t realize USC has never really had strong centralized leadership, for better or worse. Each dept. is able to rise or sink on its own. That’s one reason these scandals develop because of a weak overall leadership system.

Here’s a good test: Fire Lynn Swann. Fire Clay Helton. Hire good people.

All of a sudden, no one will say USC’s administration wants to see football wither.

When I was a student at USC, the Board of Trustees approved a resolution in favor of an on-campus arena. It was a toothless statement and angered those of us who cared about basketball. But it was typical of the Board of Trustees. They didn’t hate basketball. They just wanted the athletic dept. to raise all the money for an arena and deal with it on their own.

This is no defense of the administration. Are the Board of Trustees incompetent? Yes. Does it need a massive overhaul? Yes.

The Board of Trustees, with its current lineup, can’t handle any problems. Just like Swann and Helton. But it doesn’t mean the trustees want football to die. They are not equipped to deal with athletics and keep their distance. That is why the new president must hire a good athletic director and not a former football star.

Good leadership solves all problems and USC is a long way from it in a variety of positions at the moment.

  • USC had more than 67,000 applicants last fall and only 11 percent were accepted. Last year, 13 percent were accepted. This is why people search for officials to bribe to get their kids into school.
  • Someone who reads this blog regularly saw my frequent mentions of how Swann does not sign autographs. So he relayed this to me: “I never mentioned this before, but I traveled to a USC game (in the 1980’s as a media member while I was in college).

“Because of a screw up, they didn’t have a press box seat for me, but they said I could serve as the spotter for the TV crew. Swann was the color analyst. I asked him for an autograph when we were done and he looked at me like I had asked for his Social Security number.”

It’s not a unique experience, unfortunately.

Perhaps someone should tell new USC president Carol Folt her athletic director will be signing autographs at a show in Virginia on March 30.

  • Until I see it, I will find it hard to believe Clay Helton allows anyone but JT Daniels to start at quarterback.
  • USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said Thursday his defense is “95 percent the same” as last season. That is either worrisome or maybe just the stubborn side of Pendergast, who does not like to admit things that go wrong.
  • Three former Pac-12 football officials wrote a letter to the conference that illustrate how awful it is when it comes to Larry Scott, David Coleman and Woodie Dixon‘s management. Read Jon Wilner‘s story in the San Jose Mercury News.
  • Now for a Tom Seaver story. One night after he became famous, Seaver went to dinner in Los Angeles. A fan approached him with a baseball and said, “Tom, can you put your John Hancock on this baseball?”

Seaver took the baseball and signed it. The signature read “John Hancock.”

  • And finally, look below at how much it cost to attend USC in 1950. It was $16 a unit. That works out to $240 for 15 units in the fee bill that is pictured. No need to bribe anyone in those days to attend USC.



49 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. Well said Scott i.e. all entities on campus rise and fall on their own efforts. Actually not a bad theory as it makes the effort dependent on itself to do whatever it hopes to accomplish – a basketball arena. The result is no oversight but the other side is a top down ‘monarch’ and there are other problems with that then again nothing like this was ever expected that has hit USC since 2010.

    I do read Folt is a very good fundraiser so hopefully, Nikias won’t be completely missed in that area

    Swann won;t change few of us ever do – born a jerk and pass as one

    Liked by 4 people

    1. From my perspective, USC did quite well for itself up until about 2010 and the NCAA sanctions. Sample, Garrett and Carroll left and the reins were turned over to Nikias and Haden. It has been all downhill since. Frankly, I think the school should be operated with each discipline managing and guiding its own affairs without a great deal of oversight from the administration. Unfortunately, there have been many rogue actors that have permeated into USC. Could administrative oversight have prevented that? My theory as a manager has been to hire good people and get out of their way and let them do their job. The issue is we have NOT hired good people. Haden and Swann come to mind. The question is can USC learn from its many mistakes over the last decade?

      Liked by 5 people

  2. ya’ …you could buy a new car from 1,000 to 3,000…attend a Calif Univ or JC for free to 100/ semester + books full load…and SC was a great school,especially the Dental school,which my dad was a grad (30’s) and teacher after retired in 70’s. They had great Baseball and Track and Field teams with many Olympians and yes football was like today good ,bad and ugly , and a few dark spots…greatness always has blemishes just like the not so great…humans are involved.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My father-in-law graduated SC Dental in ‘54, then returned as an instructor for $1/yr and was part of the football medical staff. He always bragged that the hardest part of getting into the dental school was the carving portion of the test. He still says that dentistry is all in the hands…

      Liked by 5 people

      1. On the one hand, there are people who volunteer their time to contribute to the university. On the other, there are the Donna Heinels…

        Liked by 5 people

      2. I’m pretty sure Heinel never attended SC. Nor did Vavic or the two ex soccer coaches. They were all the hired help who in the case of at least two had been here for an extended period of time and gained the trust of many around them. Much like a traitor stealing state or military secrets, it’s hard for people to predict what criminals can or would do until it happens. Who’d have thought that a ruin grad with 16 national titles as a coach would’ve given it all up for a measly $250k, while having 2 kids at school?

        Liked by 3 people

      3. ya’ my dad did it for the same basic freebie,lots of dentists I went to in 80’s,90’s and until we moved to Virginia in 2004 would recognize my name and ask if I was related to their teacher at SC dental school…and my dad bought me some carving chalk as a kid…he thought I would take over his practice one day. As a hobby he dres,painted and sculpted.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Yea, Don (my f-i-l) just won a model airplane building contest with over 10,000 entrants of all ages. Can hardly walk, but can still use his hands a 94.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Tim, adjusted for inflation, the annual tuition in 1950 would be about $2,500 in today’s dollars, compared to roughly $58,000 today.

      My dad started at SC on the BI bill in 1946 and finished in 1951. I recall him saying that it began at something like $13 per unit. (Big post-World War II inflation).

      Liked by 5 people

  3. So our AD, who more than likely has a huge salary, still finds time to go to paid autograph shows? If it’s not for some sort of charity, this is insanely tacky, low rent, embarrassing, etc..

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Agree completely. And given that he lets the foxes guard the hen house, he should be in the department every day, figuring out just WTF went wrong under his watch.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. 67 — Boy, did you hit the nail on the head with that reply. I have not once heard that patrician snob asshole Swann say “I’m sorry about what occurred on my watch.” And I can promise you that he won’y spend one second of his self serving time trying to ensure it never happens again.
        He’s a real piece of work. No matter how humiliating his eventual departure, it won’t do him (or us) justice.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. MG, apparently Swann is 100% – not 99.9% – clueless. He is supposedly paid $3 million or more per year, he is presiding over a dept. which is deeply implicated in a huge legal mess, and yet he is skipping out on his job to sign autographs in Virginia…this goes beyond late night comedy material.

        Are you at the Monkey Pod today? The rest of us can live vicariously…

        Liked by 2 people

      3. 67 — In any sane universe Swann would be in his office, doing his homework until he pinpointed how things went so south and how he can prevent things from ever getting that bad again. That’s what any half way responsible manager would do after his department had been discovered involved in felony-fraud, right? But it looks like Swann KNOWS he doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s gonna leave it to the people who ACTUALLY run his department to fix things (you know, the people who were in charge when all the previous shit went down). He has to be the very worst major university A. D. in the country.
        As far as today goes in Maui, the little woman wants to go to the Fish Market for fish and chips with her cousins. [I’m pretty good at getting out of family get togethers —-in fact, I’m starting to feel a little case of the flu coming on right now].

        Liked by 2 people

      4. MG, so Austin fires Jim Ellis, who is one of the best administrators on campus, but she can’t even tell Swann to show up in the office a couple of days a week? (I know several women at the SC B-school, who completely back Ellis).

        What was the old LAPD terminology for calling in sick? The “Blue Flu”?

        Maybe you are coming down with “Island Fever”?


        Liked by 2 people

  4. SCooter,

    First off, SC does not pay for anything. The people at SC do fund raisers to build. Money has to be in SC’s hand before they strike dirt from donors.

    Second, you are correct about the BOT’s, they care about football, they want the accolades, but they don’t want to be held accountable for managing the school. Just like Swann who does not want to be accountable. if that is the case, then fire all of them. Managing and being accountable is the first priority in leadership. The rewards will follow. Besides, you are not there for the rewards, but to serve and better the school. Too bad the BOT’s don’t know this. Swann is an a$s wipe. He does not care about baseball, football, basketball, water polo, track and field. All he cares about is playing golf. Get rid of the bum. Bring in people like Pudly76 or others on the board that have legal expertise like Michael G. They care about SC and a lot.

    I had a dentist that went to SC and he told me that he paid $19.00 per unit back in the 50’s. he said that was a lot for him. He did a great job. My other dentist went to SC, taught there, and now is retired. He was very good. I wouldn’t want any other dentist that did not go to SC. They are the best.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. my father did his undergrad at Sonoma Stare for free. Then his MASTERS AT Berkley for a few hundred. I attended UC Davis for nothing in the early 90’a because my parents refused to pay cost of USC, even though I could of attended. UC system is still the best deal going today


      1. And you’re parents decided not to waste any money on your education period. As opposed to Omar (who doesn’t know the difference between of or have), your education stopped when they released you from juvenile hall.

        Hahahahaha, stupid ruin wannabe.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Pudly’s parents scrimped and saved for a year to buy him a roll of Reynolds wrap so that he could wrap his head with it, make him look important on the rare occasion he pulls his head out if his ass and puts on his little ass hat.


      1. Hey little hillbilly troll. Up late this morning or did you hit the bottle a little harder than usual?
        If you had half a brain you’d be better off. Where’d you go to school? Never at SC. You couldn’t get in if your momma bribed the guy in Newport with a case of her best moonshine…go turn out the hogs and git yoself to bed boy.
        Hillbilly troll. 💋

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Scott sure swann should sign autographs and engage with the public…but if someone was in the press box to work, they should not be asking for autographs. Not surprised at Swanns reaction there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The renovation of the Coliseum was agreed to as part of the “Coliseum Lease Agreement” so it’s not as if USC had a choice of whether to renovate it, they had to.


    In October 2015, USC announced preliminary plans to renovate and restore the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

    The $270-million renovation is part of USC’s long-term lease agreement.

    Construction is scheduled to begin after the 2017 USC football season and be completed for the 2019 football home opener, without impact to the 2018 season.

    The renovation will be funded entirely by USC Athletics from capital gifts, sponsorship revenue, non-USC events at the Coliseum and donor naming opportunities.

    It will not require any student fees or general university, local, state or federal funds.

    The planned renovations include:

    Replacing every seat in the stadium and installing handrails throughout the stadium.

    Adding aisles, widening seats and increasing leg room in many sections.

    Building a new structure on the south side of the stadium that will include suites, loge boxes, club seats, a new concourse, and a new press box.

    Restoring the iconic peristyle to more closely resemble the stadium’s original design.

    Updating Wi-Fi technology throughout the venue.

    Improving audio and video, including two new large screens at the east end of the stadium.

    Adding new concession stands and improving existing stands.

    Upgrading entry concourses.Installing new field and stadium lighting.

    Replacing the electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems to meet current standards.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. tebow —thanks so much for the contract info —but why did you leave out the small print stating “To generate local interest in and support of the Los Angeles Rams, USC agrees to retain Coach Clay Helton.”


    2. Cut and paste? You good, too good. Plagiarism at its best, almost like you had an original thought…but not quite. Yo momma must be proud.
      You hillbilly. Where does it say SC was required to update the press box or reduce seating in their lease? You gotta stop drinking so heavily and maybe git yoself a trans later. 🥃 💋 hillbilly troll.


      1. You ruined yourself, clown. You didn’t even read the article in it’s entirety, you read one paragraph from the Cal story you posted a link to and ran with it.

        “This had nothing to do with players but then you’ve got nothing to do with the truth.”

        – Pudly

        The girl up in Berkeley cited coaches and “players” as those who were harassing her,

        “She said coaches and players stared at her during practice, sent “creepy” messages on social media and invited her to parties or to meet them in campus offices after hours or in a local hotel.”

        You’re ruined idiot, you want to keep making a bigger ass of yourself…keep commenting.



      2. Tebow you stupid puts, nowhere did I blame the players or coaches for that matter. I do know that you never post on the same thread so you don’t get hamstrung by things like the truth. Why don’t you copy and paste my statement here if I’m wrong.
        S T U P I D Hillbilly Troll. 💋


      3. Pudwacker just keeps ruining himself…

        “This had nothing to do with players but then you’ve got nothing to do with the truth.”

        – Pudly

        Pudwacker said the Cal harrassment story had nothing to do with players, but it did. Now Pudwacker is trying to bring blame into it saying he didn’t blame the players. Of course he didn’t blame the players, he said it wasn’t about them in the first place…even though it was.

        Damn, Pudly is stupid.


      4. You really are as stupid as a water spigot. Did you read either my original post or reply? Of course you did, you just don’t understand English. F’off you troll.💋


  8. Anyone know the average number of idiots who pay Swann for his autograph at those signings?

    Probably makes about $1,000 per signing event.

    Swann’s fallback is that even though the signing events are a complete joke and waste of time, he has the comfort of knowing that he’s taking USC to the cleaners and laughing all the way to the bank every minute of every day he’s on the universities payroll.

    The level of incompetence displayed by USC for hiring such an inept buffoon and having him in charge of it’s athletic dept. is one of the reasons people consider USC to be the laughingstock they made themselves out to be under Nikias, Haden and now Swann.

    Swann giving Errand Boy a contract extension confirmed his high level of stupidity.



  9. Isn’t out current deal with the state owned stadium one where we pay to fix it up and then give it back? I mean USC took control of the day to day operations of the coliseum, as evidenced by the totally messed up security at the gates. But once the money is spent the state will take it back in a blink.
    I don’t understand the logic here.


  10. The Coliseum Lease Agreement gives USC control of Exposition Park and all the facilities within it, museums, science center and the Banc of California soccer stadium.

    USC is set to make a killing financially off the Coliseum Lease.

    George Lucas announced on January 10, 2017, the museum he wishes to construct will be built and located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California, citing the proximity of University of Southern California, his alma mater, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Banc of California Stadium, other museums, and local schools in the South Los Angeles region.[31]

    The museum that will be constructed was designed by Chinese architecture firm MAD Architects (MAD Studio) and architect of record Stantec.[32] The $1 billion project will have 300,000 square feet of floor space. It will be five levels, 115 ft. high and have a library, offices and two theaters. The museum is redeveloping the area surrounding the museum in Exposition park. Plans call for redesigning the landscape 11 acres of park space with museum terraces. [33]


    Construction prep began in January 2018. Hathaway Dinwiddie is the construction agency.[34][35] The site parking lots were cleared and excavation work on the underground parking has begun. Project completion is expected by early 2021.[36] The groundbreaking ceremony took place on March 14, 2018, and was attended by the board, the Lucas’ and city officials.

    The Coliseum is jointly owned by the state, the county and the city of Los Angeles, and is managed and operated by USC under a 98-year lease that extends through 2111.


    1. Lucas is a hack director and that goofy looking coca-cola bottle (take a look at the ‘design’ – give ‘bauhaus a bad name) on stilts he’s rammed down the throat of the Coliseum Commission just imploded more parking spots adjacent to Vermont while also destroyed the west side of the park itself.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Not sure why they spend any money building nice things in the ghetto.

      Lol at clown college and the soy boys of Troy dumping a bunch of cash into new “landscaping space” that will be overrun with the filth of south central.

      Keep polishing that turd idiots


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