When USC athletic director Mike Bohn told Paul Finebaum it was unfortunate how California and West Coast schools were portrayed in wanting to play football, he has a point.
People tend to downgrade what comes from the Pac-12 nationally. The problem is flawed messengers.
When Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott talks, observers see a guy who never seems to lead on an issue, whether it’s the College Football Playoff expansion or getting his network on DirecTV. Conversely, when SEC commissioner Greg Sankey speaks, people respect him and listen.
The same problem exists when Clay Helton says something. There are even people at USC who know Helton and are skeptical he really wants to play Alabama. No wonder the public doubts what comes out of his mouth. Whatever Helton says get discounted because he has such little credibility.
- Why did Jack Sears transfer to Boise State? I hear the culture was a big reason. Sears preferred going to a winning program over finding a struggling program at a Power 5 Conference.
Now what is JT Daniels going to do?
- Former Georgetown basketball player Mac McClung wants to play guard at his next destination.
“He wants to go somewhere where he can play the ‘one’ and where he’s going to be taught how to make decisions,” his high school coach, Scott Vermillion, told the Daily Memphian.
Taught how to make decisions? At USC? The Trojans barely run an offense under Andy Enfield.
- I’m hearing that whether Reggie Bush is allowed to return to USC is a decision that will be made by Carol Folt, not Bohn.
And now some history:
- Sometimes, good players fell into USC’s lap. Wide receiver Calvin Sweeney transferred to USC after UC Riverside dropped football in 1976. Sweeney, who had 15 brothers and sisters, was also recruited by Kentucky to play basketball but wanted to be a football player.
Sweeney played two years at USC (1977-78) and then got drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played from 1979-87 and was on a Super Bowl championship team. When Lynn Swann was USC athletic director, ex-players from that era used to tell me that when Sweeney got drafted by the Steelers, it was believed Swann would take him under his wing.
But Swann was reportedly aloof and it was actually John Stallworth who assumed a mentor’s role and became friends with Sweeney.
- A reader asked me this week after reading about former USC basketball coach Forrest Twogood’s awful record regarding integration, if I knew anything about John McKay’s attitude during the 1960’s?
One year, a USC assistant coach asked McKay, “How many black players can we take?”
McKay responded, “How good are they?”
- Last week, I mentioned that John Wayne was so happy to be admitted to the Skull and Dagger Honor Society in the 1960’s, he went to the initiation ceremony and dinner. The initiation involved walking blindfolded up through the tower of the Bovard Administration Building.
When former USC president Norman Topping had to walk up the tower, he yanked off his blindfold and tossed it aside. Wayne never went to the annual dinner in ensuing years but would always send a check to buy two tickets and asked they be given to a needy student.