There’s nothing unusual about fans being fickle over who should at start at quarterback. It’s pretty normal. Coaches, however, are usually supposed to be above that type of flip-flopping behavior.
That is why I was surprised when I spoke to member of USC’s coaching staff recently. When the quarterback position came up, the coach said, “JT Daniels could have stayed and been the starter. He would have played at some point.”
Kedon Slovis struggled at different points last season but the remark surprised me. Daniels left USC because he knew he wasn’t going to start. But a coach thought he could?
Of course, this takes into account Slovis struggled and Daniels ended the season as Georgia’s starter. I’m still skeptical he would have gotten the chance because Graham Harrell was enamored with Slovis.
But it shows Daniels had some support below Helton and Harrell.
- So Tennessee reportedly pursued USC defensive coordinator Todd Orlando? Wonder who Coach Bohn would have hired to replace Orlando if he left?
- Speaking of Orlando, he should be ashamed of himself for letting the hype dept. allow him to say this about new incoming linebacker Raesjon Davis: “We just picked up the next Butkus Award winner, Raesjon Davis.” Does that mean Davis will win the award as a true freshmen? You just can’t suck up enough to recruits if you are a USC coach these days.
- USC will have 14 mid-year enrollees from its recruiting class.
- Alabama has had ESPN’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class six of the past nine years. How dominating are the Crimson Tide? It signed more Top 10 players from Texas than the University of Texas. And more blue-chip players from Florida than the University of Florida.
- I hear former USC assistant coach Tony Bland has been volunteering at a local high school.
- USC opens baseball season on Feb. 19 against Loyola-Marymount.
- USC sold cardboard cutouts for Saturday’s game vs. UCLA at the Galen Center for $50. It limited it to 500. Think it sold that many? There wouldn’t have been an empty seat Saturday under normal conditions.
And now for some history:
- Did you ever hear about the protest and altercation that took place at the groundbreaking of Heritage Hall in 1969?
It happened before the Homecoming game vs. Georgia Tech. A group of about 12 students marched by Alumni Park with signs that said things like, “Where does USC rank in academics?” “$2,300,000 for academics?????,” (the cost of Heritage Hall) and “USC puts its money where its jock is.”
At some point, a group of former alumni, including ex-football players got involved. Everett Brown, who played in the late 1920’s, was accused of throwing a punch at a student, who then put Brown in a headlock. Leon Clarke, who played in the 1950’s and then with the Rams, reportedly elbowed a female student in the back and hit her mouth with his arm.
About 500 students attended a hearing the following Tuesday at Hancock Auditorium. The same day, 150 students marched into school president Norman Topping’s office to demand the firing of the head of the campus police and dean of students along with an apology for not doing a better job protecting the students. The students were also upset that USC was a dry campus at the time but the alumni were drinking that morning at an official university gathering.
This sounds like one of the craziest days in USC history. There were more than 300 people who showed up at a protest at a noon Tommy Trojan that challenged the university’s economic priorities.
Another 200 showed up for an athletic dept. rally the same day with Marv Goux and athletes.
“Football is not king, we are a part of the curriculum,” Goux said. “I can think of nothing else that brings students, faculty and alums together more than a Saturday afternoon game.”
- I often think about how things are viewed differently today because of cell phones and social media. In 1985, USC lost to Stanford, 86-65, at Maples Pavilion. After the bad loss, instead of going to the team bus, Coach Stan Morrison made the team go on the court and start doing lay-up and shooting drills.
I was with Mal Florence, the legendary sports writer from the Los Angeles Times. We watched the post-game practice for a few minutes and then left. It was a foot note to whatever was written about the game.
If that happened today, it would have been recorded on cell phones, put on twitter and talked about for several days.