Clay Helton Obviously Wants To Save Staff

I should have added in the previous post that Clay Helton fired defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, defensive line coach Chris Wilson, defensive backs coach Keith Heyward and offensive line coach Bob Connelly before the 2015 Holiday Bowl.

 “I wanted to give them the best opportunity to move forward with their career,” Helton said at the time.

So it is obvious Helton does not want to fire Clancy Pendergast or John Baxter. In fact, with his newfound power since Carol Folt backed him, Helton probably thinks he can fight for his two closest associates.

And with Mike Bohn’s history of caving, Helton probably figures it can’t hurt to try and save the duo.

  • There is a report former USC QB Jack Sears has committed to San Diego State but nothing’s been confirmed yet.

29 thoughts on “Clay Helton Obviously Wants To Save Staff

      1. Did y’all see this today.?.? Real cool stuff.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. My question is, what kind of established coordinators would up root their families to join a sinking ship? Mike Bohn can’t be that stupid to think Clay Helton can attract quality coaches, unless they’re an up and coming analysts. After Alabama puts up 50 plus points on the Trojans again next season, it will be obvious to all, that Helton is walking in place, and a change is needed .


  2. If ‘tickled pink’ gets a decent DC and also the same as a special teams USC may fare better than all deem their lot. We all want Helton gone and I do believe he will be a year hence but again a couple of good hires might make a huge difference for next year and for a new head coach.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A lot of people can’t see past their noses on this one, Alv. The offense —with Amon, Stepp, Slovis, etc. will be top 10 in 2020. Hopefully J.T. sticks around as a backup. If we can grab a smart, enthusiastic d-coordinator, we’ll be in very good shape. Harrell was adding 20 points to 2018’s output by the final third of the season (exactly how long Mike Leach predicted it would take). If we can shave 5 or 6 points off what we were giving up under Clancy, we’ll win the Pac 12.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Precisely.
        If you understand this, MG, then a smart, young DC understands it.

        I also agree with you that a Rose Bowl berth is a distinct possibility, though USC in September will need to beat Stanford in Palo, Utah in SLC, and will likely need to beat UW in LA in October.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one interesting article esp. allegations of USC having a ‘VIP’ list of applicants based on their ‘donations’ – all tied to Lori laughlin’s legal team attempting to have the DOJ open up .

    part of it here:

    “At trial, Giannulli and Loughlin will help establish their innocence by showing that they understood both sets of payments to be legitimate donations and did not understand or intend that either set of payments would be used to directly or indirectly bribe Heinel,” their motion reads.

    The government has argued that payments from wealthy parents to Singer produced a classic quid pro quo, with the payments serving as bribes to get their children into elite universities.

    To counter, the couple’s attorneys say they need “any statements by Singer as to what he precisely told his clients” about the use of their funds. They also say they need statements detailing what USC knew of Singer’s operation, arguing that if they did know about the operation but accepted money anyway then the university was not bribed or defrauded.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Alv –This is a tricky case. The government is going to have to prove that the defendants got the university to do what it otherwise wouldn’t have done absent fraud. It’s going to be weird if the defendants can show that the university was not only not bothered by the process by which defendants’ kids got accepted —but tacitly accepted it, defendants walk…..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mike per the entire article –

        “The couple’s legal team asked for “all information” concerning Singer’s representations to his clients regarding payments to USC as well as information about “USC’s knowledge of Singer’s operation.” In particular, they singled out Federal Bureau of Investigation reports, known as “302 reports,” that detail statements and interview notes taken during the college admissions investigation.

        Attorneys, led by Sean Berkowitz, say the documents would prove the central argument of Loughlin, Giannulli and other parents charged in the “Varsity Blues” case who have maintained their innocence — that they made “legitimate donations” to a nonprofit led by Singer, not bribes.

        “The Government’s theory in this case is that Giannulli and Loughlin knowingly bribed a rogue USC administrator in order to secure their daughters’ admission to the university,” the new motion reads. “But the Government appears to be concealing exculpatory evidence that helps show that both Defendants believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself — for legitimate, university-approved purposes — or to other legitimate charitable causes.

        “The Government’s failure to disclose this information is unacceptable, and this Court should put a stop to it.” ”

        Mike, much as I hate the way Helton was retained I have to admit this may be the very reason that USC’s attention is here rather than football. This is the last major defendant and the one who has fought the hardest against the charges. Even if the Laughlin and her husband fail I don’t believe the feds will be able to hold back if only because we all believe Laughlin and her husband are goners. So for them go down swinging but also go down with EVERYONE seeing what was: claimed, alleged, by all parties. Haden has no culpability per that LA Times article back in Sept. but what is interesting is what exactly is that monster Heinel and that pig Singer claiming and what can be marginally deemed as ‘plausible’ specific to who in the athletic department knew what.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Alv — I don’t really know what the “intent” requirements are in this case. I presume the government has to show defendants had “specific intent” to defraud the university. If —due to provable misrepresentations made to them by those they relied on —defendants didn’t believe they were doing anything wrong, they might beat this. The problem for the defendants is that they were personally involved in so much subterfuge it’s going to be hard to convince a jury they didn’t know exactly what was going on. [This probably isn’t the law anymore —cuz it was such bullshit —but back in the day you could negate the specific intent requirement by arguing that you had an irrational but good faith belief that you were following the appropriate laws and regulations. It would help defendants if they could go that route —but I don’t believe present jury instructions allow it].

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I understand Mike but you know ‘high profile’ cases tend to ‘dent’ the all-powerful ‘state’ if only because they draw eyes to the proceedings, esp. the 4th estate. You probably are right that this will not be allowed but if anyone is hoping this is ‘DOA’ it’s USC.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There is something about this situation that really bugs me and no one is talking about it. Everyone at HH claiming Donna Heinel acted alone. Perhaps she did and perhaps she didn’t. What bugs me is any good auditor would have been suspicious of the donations she was bringing in. Basic auditing teaches that you look for a variety of things including:

    1. Single-person handling large amounts of money. Highly unlikely two employees would get involved in a wrongful act(s).
    2. That person remaining in the same position for an extended time period. It’s common accounting practice guidelines to rotate employees for this exact reason.
    3. “Smell Test” – In this case: Why would anyone donate a large amount and not want further involvement in USC athletics (i.e. support groups, tickets, etc).
    4. Lack of operational procedures. The AD should be reviewing these donations to insure it’s “clean money” and also to possibly pursue the some donor(s) for additional money.
    5. Repetitive numbers – Very suspicious to keep seeing one person bringing in the same donation amounts. Should have compared against other fundraisers to see if they were bringing in like amounts.
    6. Random test – generally, an auditor will pick 10 invoices and 10 vendor invoices and call each to verify their validity. In our case, AD should have randomly called a few to verify (and say thank you!!).
    7. Review of possible donor list. These amounts don’t just fall into anyone’s lap. Typically, it’s weeks, if not months, of discussion. During that time, there had to have been fundraising meetings at which possible donors are discussed. Where’s Heinel’s list and who ran the meetings..if there were any.

    Where is Lopes in all of this. His glorified title is COO and CFO. He should have had checks-and-balances in place and at a very minimum should have conducted an annual audit. At the very least, he is derelict of duty if not an accessory to the crime. Shocking that he didn’t get fired on the same day as Heinel. My guess is she gets two years in prison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lopes didn’t get fired yet because “he knows too much.”

      Lopes is culpable but do you think USC wants to fire the one guy who had direct day to day operational control over the athletic department who would then run to the FBI to spill on everything?



      Liked by 1 person

  6. Agree with SC Fan Boy… what competent, effective football assistant coach – with any ambition whatsoever – would sign-up to serve on the SS Heltanic?

    Seriously. This means of course we’re all going to be ‘treated’ to another season of defensive screw-ups, and special teams blunders and penalties galore.

    Helturd can’t fire these clowns, they’re on the payroll until Helturd is given his walking papers.

    We’ll all need to enjoy the ride into the sewer, it going to be long and stinky.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If I were an assistant I’d sign up. No accountability. Easy days. Lots of days off.
    All the ice cream you can eat. No way your boss gets fired no matter what he does. Playing in a league full of pansy teams.
    With a bunch of bureaucratic cash driven dolts who don’t know a football from a baseball.
    Playing at night hiding any mistakes to national media.
    Whats not to like.


  8. Is SC going to play the following players in the Bowl game?
    Marquese Steep
    Kyle Ford
    Bru McCoy
    Jason Rodriguez
    Jacob Lichtenstein
    Kenan Christon


  9. If Helton feels he needs to ‘save’ his closest staff guys [Baxter, Pendergast], then Mr. $3.6* million per year must not have winning football games very high on his list of priorities.

    * Or more?


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