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

Did people suddenly forget the Holiday Bowl, which was barely four weeks ago?

I keep hearing how great things are happening at USC as if Iowa never beat USC, 49-24.

I’m actually concerned Kedon Slovis, the shining light of the football program, won”t make it past the Alabama game. Then what?

The biggest concern I have, though, is USC wins just enough games to retain Clay Helton, which I find more likely today than a month ago because Todd Orlando has to be better than Clancy Pendergast.

Imgagine if Helton comes back in 2021. That would mean three straight lackluster recruiting classes. Yikes.

  • That picture above is USC athletic director Mike Bohn firing up the student section before Thursday night’s basketball game.
  • Looks like USC will not have a recruiting dinner next week. A pro-Helton donor told me Wednesday there was no need because most recruits sign in December and nothing really happens in February these days. How about a dinner so Bohn can explain how recruiting went “dramatically better than anybody wants to admit.”
  • USC had a nice tribute to Kobe Bryant before the basketball game Thursday night with 24.8 seconds of silence. It also left a No. 24 and No. 2 jersey with flowers on two courtside seats to honor Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

The game itself was dreary. USC shot 37 percent and gave an extremely average Utah team every chance to win the game. If you read different somewhere, then you know they are sugar-coating the performance. On the plus side, the student section was nearly full.

  • A Pac-12 team will play Army in the Independence Bowl next season. Good luck!
  • Long-time USC administrator Ron Orr was fired two weeks ago. An athletic dept. employee, sympathetic to Orr, relayed this story to show one aspect of his job.

A couple years ago, a wealthy booster attended a USC game and was actually a guest in Lynn Swann’s suite.

The donor went down to the field to watch pre-game warm-ups with another guest. When Swann saw the donor, he yelled at him, used profanity and ordered him off the field. Swann told him to get back to the suite immediately.

The donor did not know he wasn’t allowed on the field and felt humilated.

The following week, Orr called the donor and apologized for Swann’s behavior. The donor said he wanted Swann to personally apologize.

“That’s not going to happen,” Orr said.

Orr’s job often involved smoothing over whatever slights Mike Garrett, Pat Haden or Swann committed to boosters.

  • Tom Selleck turned 75 on Wednesday. He was on the basketball team at USC, as shown in the picture below. His brother Bob, who was a year older, also attended USC and played baseball.

Although Tom became a famous actor, Bob was known as the more gregarious, humorous and outgoing Selleck. When USC played football games at the Coliseum, Bob would have Tom go stand by himself and wait for female students to gravitate toward him.

Once there was a group of co-eds, Bob and his friends would then join Tom.

Tom Selleck in 1966
  • Parry O’Brien, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the shot put, would have turned 88 this week, so it’s a good time to recognize him. How many USC athletes have adorned the cover of Time magazine?
Image result for parry o'brien

O’Brien and Mel Patton are two I know about.

  • Lou Ramirez, a USC graduate in 1951, died Thursday. He was 93. Ramirez watched his first USC game in 1938.

“I was 12 and I decided then I wanted to go to ‘SC,” Ramirez told the Los Angeles Times in 1993.

Ramirez was athletic director at Birmingham High School in Lake Balboa from 1955-1998. Among his students were actresses Sally Field and Cindy Williams. He was part of a generation of USC graduates that went into coaching at local high schools and influenced many students’ athletic careers. Many of these coaches were P.E. majors, which is no longer offered at USC.

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

  1. I could be wrong so don’t call me a bunch of childish names. I always thought the recruiting dinner was to welcome the incoming freshmen as a group, not a recruiting tool. If USC keeps flushing traditions down the toilet, there won’t be many traditions left. I cannot believe all the things they have stopped doing in the Helton era. And I can actually blame Helton for the traditions he has trashed, like winning and dominating football in the league.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. And probably Louis zamparini, and probably George Lucas, and probably Allison Felix, and probably frank gehry, and probably about 2 dozen others, I bet google knows

        Come on Scott

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Scott,
    We all know your “sources” are spotty at best, but who is saying great things are happening around USC football? Every column, tweet, or comment I read is the exact opposite. We are free falling and everyone knows it, and they know why.

    Also, last years recruiting class did have some big misses but it was not a poor recruiting class. With Bru and Steele, it would be near top 10ish. Not outstanding, but not poor. This year is worse than anyone would have imagined.

    Last thought, I totally agree with you on one more year of clay being a real possibility and nightmare scenario. If we play to a good level, 10 or 11 wins is a possibility. That would be enough to have the national media gloss over all of Clays faults and possibly provide fodder to keep him. But, this is Clay we are talking about, so 7-5 or 8-4 is what we will be.


    1. Not defending Scott or his sources, but it is possible that the “Bag o Sheet” delivered to Bohn’s office wears dark suits and answers to Michael…just sayin’

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Not trying to sell anything, just sayin

      Ooh, maybe I’m Dan Weber. I’m not, but he may read this board on occasion for a laugh.


    3. Not sure why he keeps his eyes closed all of the time, it’s strange. But he is certainly a better writer than Scott, and employed.

      I’m tired of hearing him complain about practices but never asking Clay about them, wish he would.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. If you’re saying Dan’s writing isn’t quite as filled with fear as his video performances, I agree with you….

      Liked by 1 person

    5. uh-oh…what’s wrong?
      people use a lot of sarcasm on this site…
      some things are sincere…
      don’t take things too seriously on these sites ,just relax…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am happy that the student section was nearly full at the basketball game last night. It’s a good sign. This team is good, but as we know, wildly inconsistent. I wish Enfield would stabilize them and head them in a steady upward trajectory. That would be even more fun. Seems both our revenue-generating teams have the same malady — who is going to show up to play? That is a coaching issue, which probably also has hints of the leadership of the athletic department which seems to be failing to establish a new identity and culture for the entire department. Bohn should have already established it, but it doesn’t “feel” that way. Oh well. Pro-Helton donor is an oxymoron. I’m not sure this administration has anymore direction other than promoting the antithesis of what athletics is about — competition and winning. I still see and hear a lack of the willingness to be tough and compete.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We were in trouble from the moment bohn started babbling about “it’s fight on… to victory, ya know, etc, etc”.

    Yeah no shit sherlock. Who the fuck is fighting on where the primary objective is defeat? Good gravy. Did you learn this from Claymond Helton? How many years left on your contract?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. There is no way the admin fires Helton regardless of the season progression. It would have occurred years prior.

    I am just hoping they do not renew yet again and have Helton for 5 more years thereafter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. so what is the bar for clay helton to remain? 9-3? 10-2? i just hope that the bar is not lowered to allow him to remain with an 8-4 season. even 9-3 should not be allowed.

    even if USC is a better team, it is very likely they lose to bama, oregon and notre dame. i think ASU will be the dark horse of the Pac 12 south and also beat SC. that leaves us back at 8-4, and vulnerable to 7-5 if there is another surprise upset.

    SC’s offense is going to be so dependent upon Slovis remaining intact for the season. the defense is a big question market right now. special teams are also not at all clear.

    lots of returning players means that this team could be very lethal on offense, if the o-line is decent. so many questions that it is impossible to predict where the team ends up.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. i spoke with some former players who say, like the older Selleck, they would wait for all the cheerleaders to gravitate around the wolfman (begging him to pose for the ubiquitous “cheerleader shot”) then the players would converge and try to throw their rap to the giggling gals.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Totally off subject, Charlie — but you really have to check out what the last starlet witness had to say about Harvey Weinstein….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. some of his cheerleader groupies made similar charges against the wolfman some yrs ago. he convincingly claimed he was just “marking his territory” as wolves do.



        Liked by 2 people

  8. Writing about the real glory days of SC athletics all the Olympic champions and world record holders that came out of SC track and field, and swimming too… I was fortunate enough to see many dual meets and invitationals in late 40’s and into 50’s and 60’s…
    I wonder of Tom Selleck still thinks about his SC days? I watched a lot of basketball games even into the 70’s…never saw him play…sure is a fine actor.
    Thanks for the memories wolfie

    Liked by 2 people

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