If USC needs to hire anything right now, it might be a human resources director.
There never seems to be a lack of openings to fill and they seemed to get filled the way they usually do in coaching circles: Connections.
The one key, however, is not a connection to Clay Helton, who has limited ties.
USC is interviewing Texas director of recruiting Bryan Carrington today. He worked at Texas with USC defensive coaches Todd Orlando and Sean Naivar.
It sounds like USC wants Carrington to fill one of the coaching analyst spots that opened this week. On a three-year deal! As usual, Helton seems like a bystander on this one.
- Earlier this week, former USC graduate assistant Prentice Gill, now coaching wide receivers at Arizona State, turned down a three-year contract to be the Trojans’ tight ends coach.
Gill coached at USC from 2016-18, so you could argue he is a Helton hire. But I’ve heard it was other people in the McKay Center who recommended Gill to Mike Bohn and Co., not Helton.
The recommendations are obviously coming from people not named Clay Helton.
- It would be fun to hear these job conversations where three-year deals are offered. “Don’t worry about Helton, we’ll keep you if there is a coaching change.”
- College football is clearly a different game right now with all the players in the transfer portal. But I’m not sure how some people can make bold proclamations about how those transfers will impact the team?
Two of USC’s transfers (defenstive tackle Ishmael Sopsher, safety Xavion Alford) were not exactly getting playing time at their previous schools. So they may contribute. Or they may not.
The other two transfers (wide receiver K.D. Nixon, tailback Keaontay Ingram) are proven performers. That is different. But to make blanket statements about the transfer class is ridiculous.
- I feel like a big error the past two years was the way USC utilized tailback Markese Stepp, who transferred to Nebraska. But a USC coach told me in order for Stepp to play more, he needs to improve his pass protection. That is possibly more important than running the ball when you play in the Air Raid, I guess.
- Everyone told me how great USC cornerbacks played last season, which I felt was a generous assessment. Here’s an interesting Pro Football Focus chart on that:
Top-Graded Returning Pac-12 Cornerbacks per PFF— SportsPac12 (@SportsPac12) January 28, 2021
80.6—Trent McDuffie, Washington
80.2—Chase Lucas, ASU
77.6—Mekhi Blackmon, Colorado
76.8—Kyler Gordon, Washington
75.5—Jaylen Watson, WSU
73.7—Christian Roland-Wallace, Arizona
71.8—Jamal Hill, Oregon
- I could comment on the awfulness of this item USC sells but the outrageous price is too hard to ignore. A “skort” for $115? Excuse me, reduced to $79.99.
- And now for some history:
- This is the view of a USC basketball game at the Shrine Auditorium in 1947. One of the “unique” aspects of games was that in some seats, there was an obstructed view that meant you couldn’t see both baskets.
“The Shrine Auditorium is entirely inadequate for intercollegiate games,” USC athletic director Willis O. Hunter said in 1947. It would not be until 1959 that the Sports Arena opened. Prior to that, USC also played home games at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.
- Here’s a photo of athletic director Jess Hill showing there was not enough room for trophies when the athletic dept. was in the Student Union Building. The photo was supposed to show the need for the proposed $1.5 million Heritage Hall building that was opened in 1971.
But Heritage Hall quickly became too small too. Last year, I wrote that I would tell some horror stories about this.
When I was a student, a friend and I took a wrong turn one day at Heritage Hall and walked into a storage cubby hole. There were at least 50 NCAA and conference trophies strewn about and full of dust that had not been touched in years. They were unwanted. I’m pretty sure some are in the picture above. We were shocked because of the lack of concern for the school’s athletic history.
Someone could have taken a few trophies and no one would notice. I doubt USC even knows where they are today.
- It turned out to not be a unique occurrence. When USC renovated Heritage Hall about 10 years ago, an Orange Bowl Trophy sat in an open-air storage area next to the swimming pool. There were other trophies in the same area.
- Around this time, I heard Nike had donated a pair of famous USC football cleats to the athletic dept. for display. Nike eventually asked for the shoes back but they couldn’t be found because they were lost during the renovation. A lot of things just got thrown into trash bins during the renovation.