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

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.

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

  1. I’ve never heard Clay Helton acknowledge the Alabama game during any interviews, or tweets, which is a clear indication that he doesn’t want to play them. And if Mike Bohn knows anything about football, then he already knows the outcome, and is probably looking forward to the massacre, so he can prove a point to Carol Folt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. In fact, the last time Clay Helton referenced Alabama is when (thinking he was gonna be fired and not have to face them) he cowardly voted them 13th in the Coaches’ Poll……..

      Liked by 1 person

    1. SC will never beat Alabama with Gomer as the head coach. They’re not physically or mentally tough enough to compete with a team like that, let alone win it. That’s a direct result of coaching. It’s as simple as that.

      What a f##king joke.


      1. Clay Helton is going into his 5th season as head coach, and that’s more then enough time to build a decent program at a school like USC. They don’t even look like a team that has laid a foundation for greatness, more like something to compete in the Mountain West Conference. Graham Harrell’s finesse offense will beat mediocre teams, and produce lots of statistics for quarterbacks, and receivers. And that seems to appease the new type of west coast fans, who have low expectations. Like former Trojans great, Marcus Allen said, “ That offense is for entertainment only “


      2. Breaking News! J. T. Daniels announced this morning that he, too, is headed to Boise State…..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. On that last drive Matt Barkley, who was playing injured, showed his best stuff … and Joe McKnight played as well as any of the USC great tailbacks….

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s impressive that Sweeney got recruited to play basketball at one of the all – time great basketball programs, Kentucky.

    Even more so that he turned them down to play football at one of the all – time greatest football programs, USC.



    Liked by 2 people

  3. i’m surprised that i dont see anyone talking about UCLA hiring the Boston College AD with close ties to Urban Meyer. UCLA made a great hire of a future superstar AD.

    If Urban gets hired at UCLA, which is not unlikely, it will be the death knell for USC.

    Folt will need to quarantine herself for a long time if UM is hired at UCLA. Didnt she hire body guards after keeping Clay?


  4. About McKay and black players, I have mentioned that I met him because his son played in Pop Warner football in West Covina. My parents were active in the league and my father installed a sound system at the field where the games were played. (As I remember it was Cortez Park). I was sitting in the stands near John McKay and my brother was playing in the game ahead of mine. My parents were USC alumni and told McKay that someday my brother would be heading to his program. McKay said, “he’d better start working on his tan now then.”


  5. That’s pretty funny.

    There is no SEC without Nick Saban.
    Finebaum is real but he won’t say that out loud because he values his job.
    Greg Sankey?
    Get the f*** out of here with that garbage. Nick Saban picked the SEC up and carried it on his back.


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