For different reasons, a lot of well-known coaches have come under fire recently like Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson).
I wouldn’t expect USC to experience any issues: The main reason is Clay Helton has developed a reputation the past five seasons for letting players run the program, so there’s probably not much in that dept. to be upset about.
One year, JuJu Smith-Schuster talked about how training-camp practices were moved to evenings because the players told Helton it would too hot during the day. That’s not a bad thing to listen to the players, by the way.
The danger occurs when you refuse to take a player out of a game (like in 2017) and overrule the offensive coordinator who wanted to replace him for not listening and being disrespectful on the sideline. Or when a defensive linemen directed an expletive at an assistant coach who reprimanded him following a silly penalty in 2018 and nothing happened.
- Helton spoke to the San Jose Mercury News on Monday and said he would be supportive if players wanted to kneel during the national anthem.
“My job is to support them … They are hurting. And they want to be part of the change,” he said.
This is similar to remarks Helton made in 2017 regarding Colin Kaepernick.
The funny part of all this is USC goes to the locker room before the national anthem and doesn’t emerge until after it at games. So it’s a moot point.