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

There’s a weird dynamic some feel at USC when it comes to the running of the football program.

Although Mike Bohn is the athletic director, his No. 2, Brandon Sosna, is viewed as the “general manager” of the football program.

“He’s the one who hires and fires people,” a source said. “He’s got his little clique of (football support staff) people he talks to in the McKay Center and they seem to make the decisions. Most people don’t hear a word from him.”

You can see that in different ways. When USC recently offered the tight ends job to Arizona State wide receivers coach Prentice Gill, he was obviously recommended via the clique to Sosna. The same when assistant coach Donte Williams was hired last year.

Sometimes, Bohn/Sosna rely on their own experience. When USC needed a strength coach, it hired Robert Stiner, who was at Cincinnati in 2017, where Bohn and Sosna worked.

You notice who is missing from this? Clay Helton.

“A lot of people are trying to set themselves up as being necessary even if there is a coaching change, which they expect at some point,” the source said. “They want to make sure they are viewed favorably by the general manager (Sosna).”

  • Will Johnson, a five-star cornerback from Grosse Point, Mich., will announce his college choice on Feb. 28. His final three schools are Michigan, Ohio State and USC.
  • Wayne Nunnely, who coached the running backs at USC in 1991-92 and then returned in 2001 under Pete Carroll, died this week. He was 68. Nunnely, who graduated from Monrovia High School, was head coach at UNLV from 1986-89.
  • Former USC defensive lineman Wes Horton is an assistant coach at his alma mater, Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks.
  • USC has had the daughters of sports announcers Joe Buck, Jim Nantz and Hannah Storm attend the university in recent years.
  • It’s been nearly three years since former USC volleyball coach Mick Haley filed an age discrimination and harassment case against the athletic dept. An arbitration hearing is scheduled for October.

And now for some history:

  • Ben Lardizabel had quite a lengthy career. He played in 1945 and the 1946 Rose Bowl. Then his next appearance in a USC game was in 1956. He also played in 1957. He was 31-32 years old and believed to be the oldest Trojan to play football. His college career was interrupted because of naval service.

Lardizabel was an All-City offensive lineman in 1944 at Manual Arts High School.

  • Who was the youngest player? Hard to say but I came across a 1945 roster that showed linemen Andy Anderson and Larry Frantz were 16 years old. Neither player lettered that season.
  • Let’s take a brief visit back to 1969.
USC QB Jimmy Jones drops back to pass in the 1969 Crosstown Rivalry
  • If quarterback Jimmy Jones or tailback Clarence Davis were Big Men on Campus in 1969, Roberta Crescenti (above) was certainly a Big Woman on Campus. She was Fullerton College Homecoming Queen in 1967, then transferred to USC and was Helen of Troy in 1969, in addition to being an early USC song girl.
  • The 1965 “Helen of Troy” was Cathy Crosby (white dress), who as an actress became known as Cathy Lee Crosby. She was the first “independent” Helen of Troy at USC, meaning she did not belong to a sorority.

Ironically, in 1975 she played Helen of Troy in an episode of “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.” Crosby, who was a tennis player, also played at Wimbledon twice between 1967-70.

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

  1. Cronyism is not a bad thing if the coach knows the game. A person you know is better to have on staff than someone you just met. Lying to get a job isn’t a new thing so it’s better to hire the devil you know than the angel you have just met. I’m sure Helton assured Haden he knew football (What wasn’t said was that it was in the Biblical sense)
    Where this doesn’t work is the head coaching position. I’m sure Pat knew Helton from work, and may have even been a victim of platitudes from clueless Clay, but I’m pretty sure Haden didn’t realize what a sidelines hat stand Helton really was. Reality is Clay was Kiffin’s yes man. If Haden had handled Orgeron better this fact would have come to light. Kiffin and Sark set Clay up with talent, and Helton was wearing dead headphones on the sidelines. They probably assured him they were earmuffs to drown out the crowd noise.
    I don’t blame SC for coaching around Helton these days, I just hope it bears fruit soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey hey cocksucking Trumptard! How’s that handsome wife of yours?😂😂😂😂 you stupid faggot. #halfhippiehalfredneck

      Like

      1. I suppose you fire up your iPhone once in while so you can rile the Trojans a bit. I imagine you even think you’re funny.
        But in this day and age posting something in a public forum is a two edged sword. Just knowing how to find your email isn’t enough anymore. These days a person armed with your email address and your homophobic words, your death wish rants and your plain language, could ruin you. Cancel culture can do a lot of damage including loss of work. Do you think you’ll remain employed once the grocery store you represent reads the words you post?
        Food for thought for now because I’d hate to post a threat. But on the internet nothing remains hidden if you know where to look.
        I once changed my posting name because another poster addressed me by my first (unposted) name. Nothing is hidden.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Who’s this guy and why did we hire him???

        Expanding our support staff with some top flight people.

        Like

      3. FU is just embittered because he was held back in kindergarten—five times!! Still a record for California. Of course, by the fifth time he dominated the boards in basketball. By the way, FU, did you get the beer…come on, need to get a move on. Chop-chop.

        Like

      1. No one seems to read your prior posts pointing out that Fickell signed a MASSIVE contract extension. In all probability, a BIg 12, Big 10, or SEC school WILL pickup his contract. USC will not. I’m looking elsewhere.

        Maybe the guy at Iowa State?

        Liked by 4 people

  2. That 1969 photo might be the one in which Jones throws to Sam Dickerson in the corner of the end zone for the winning score. RIP, Sam.

    Regarding Fickell’s buyout, the Cincy AD structured Fickell’s contract much better than Swann structured Helton’s. It seems that Clay gets full salary. Fickell’s buyout is just a fraction of his lifetime contract.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Look at how Jimmy is holding the ball. No QB is allowed to wing it like that any longer. Irrespective, looks like he’s ready to launch it.

      I still recall that corner of the end zone catch by Dickerson!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. The Helton deal seems to be —
      Bohn: “We love your slavish, groveling demeanor so how’s about you let us completely emasculate you by stripping you of all coaching duties in exchange for your not making a Sark-like stink when we abruptly cut you loose mid season?….”
      Clay: “Wow! What’s the catch?”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No sh*t eight ball; Andyain’twinning is the only Pac-12 coach who hasn’t lost a critical player during the season and hasn’t played a top 25 team.

        Like

      2. Ah….so you mean that your guys are wimps who can’t hold up? Hmmm, is that what you’re saying? That sow is a bunch of little sissy boys who cry if they break a cuticle and miss games?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m hoping that one day Just Owns can visit the Wizard of Oz & ask for a brain. Get your panties on and do the research necessary prior to typing a ridiculous post. USC basketball lost Ethan for 6weeks and a couple of our losses can be attributed to his absence. I have been a long suffering USC basketball fan since 1975- & right now I’m on a magic carpet ride. Thanks Enfield! Your constant insults are truly embarrassing to your reputation. Your laundry is as dirty as ours is in football. Sam Gilbert was the reason why John Wooden was so successful not that ridiculous “Pyramid- (That is when “Fake News started “) “ China-Gate” The President of the United States needs to rescue 3 players of UCLA basketball is truly the worst example of misconduct in NCAA history. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. What a great photo of Jones, You see all the linemen destroying uglies pass rush. You see Jones by himself with all of the linemen around him but he is looking downfield for a bomb. Look at his hand holding the ball. His hand is cocked and ready to go. Great photo.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Mr. DeRozan was a very nice man. I spoke to him several times and he had plans for his son and his money. He wanted his son to purchase apts. When he first started with Toronto, Mr. DeRozan said his son only bought a Camero. He said he kept the rest of his signing bonus and other money. May God Bless him and allow him into heaven.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah –I love this interview. What a cool, smart guy Jimmy is. One of our unsung USC greats.
      #LovedItWhenHePutUp28PointsOnNotreDame….
      #…InThe1stHalf!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Back in the day, both coaches and the media were different. After the ’66 debacle at South Bend, the LA Times lead sports story was something like:

        “USC made lots of mistakes, not the least of which was showing up. To show you how bad things were its mascot quit in the third quarter.”

        Guessing it was Jim Murray… golden age of journalism.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yup…and the coaches all carried big sticks. They loved “poking the bear”, so to speak. Not so subtle put downs between rivals, I loved it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. 67,
        That loss was the best thing that ever happened to Coach McKay. He would regularly kick their ass after that. [I wish someone from the future could have told him that after the game—he looked as defeated as I’ve ever seen him while being interviewed]……
        #AraPaid!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Pudly —McKay was the master of the after- game snark (when it came to UCLA or Notre Dame). I remember him saying that Donahue’s or Vermeil’s handshake felt like putting his hand into a bucket of freezing cold water.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. the coaching rivalries – McKay-Prothro, McKay-Parseghian, McKay-Woody Hayes, were a big part of the game rivalries. Take a breath before you compare those to Clay-Chip.

        Liked by 4 people

      6. McKay on Ralston: “They have no class. I’d like to beat them 2,000 to nothing.”

        Do you remember after that quote, the Stanford Daily had a cartoon that has USC leading 1992-0 after scoring a TD, and McKay tells Haden to go for 2… whoever drew that up was a comedic genius…

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Even if times were normal, it would have been half-full. They could have saved Wasserman a lot of money by realistically building an event center a fraction of the current size.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Someday soon (when California’s Secretary of State is forced to put them in receivership) UCLa will regret every penny they’ve wasted on sports….
        #TheExperimentThatFailed

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well you have to admit the it does serve its purpose when the sow septic system is backed up…a perfect collection basin for the stinky stuff…😝🤪

        Liked by 3 people

      3. If it wasn’t for Wasserman and Aikman, the plug would have been pulled already, and their 80 yard practice field would be built over with dorm rooms.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I’m having so much fun with this thread… so much fun, in fact, I feel Owns’ words about ‘pride cometh before the fall’ need to be UNsaid…..
        #…..SoI’mOfficiallyUN-SayingThem….
        #…[Whew!NowWe’reFreeToContinue]….

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Back in the day (60s, 70s), ucla and michigan were the only two public very high performing academic universities (not counting Ohio State, Texas, etc. from that era) that also had consistently high performing athletics programs all the way around (football, hoops, track, etc.) ucla has lost that. Not crapping on them, just the way that university has evolved over the years. Big mistake to have moved out to the Rose Bowl, because it limits student attendance. And they kept on Guerrero way too long, the chronic string of coaching failures was on his watch.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Ha! Exactly —the bruin version of wine and cheese. [Actually, that’s the former version —- now it’s 4 creme filled do-nuts and a big glass of half and half milk per coaching staff member….only 1300 times U.S. recommended daily saturated fat intake]….

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I could be called a dirty old man but it is never to late to study history…..especially when pictures of Roberta C. are posted.
    Finally got that A I always wanted.
    Oh no……the wife just got home……I’am running for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. In addition to the sportcasters and their USC daughters mentioned by the blogger, Al Michaels had a daughter attend and I believe both of Keith Jackson’s daughters are Trojans.

    #USCAndCoedsGoTogetherHandInHand

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey Blogger,

    You gotta find a better term than “Big Woman On Campus.” Not sure a coed would want to be known by that term.

    #MostPopularGirlOnCampus

    #TheFairestLadyTrojanOfThemAll

    #Isn’tItUCLAWhereSororityPledgesHaveTheirExcessWeightCircledInMarker?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just rent,

      your thug U aka ruinville aka ugly softball team for the sissy’s of westweird lost to the University of San Fransisco basball team in the opener whild USC is 2-0.

      Like

  7. sosna is very analytical, so his decisions are based mostly on statistics and information. not a bad thing.

    stiner was a very good hire. young, but had the right experience. the previous connections are what allowed Bohn/Sosna to convince him to come to SC. I’m pretty sure that they promised him he would stay at SC even if Clay is fired. My guess is that they already have a plan to fire Clay and hire Fickell next year. the only question is what happens with GH.

    selling any talented coach on moving to SC is difficult right now, after all, everyone assumes Clay is a lame duck HC and will be fired.

    I think that alot of fans are underappreciating how the changes to the defensive coaches and S&C are going to positively impact the team this year. The defensive staff is excellent and going to put together a top 20 defense this year. Offense is the only real issue left. This year is the decision year on GH and the air raid, or maybe a modified version of the air raid by GH.

    The positives around SC football are clear. New Pac-12 leader, excellent recruiting, quality defense being created. I think Bohn/Sosna have a very clear plan of how to move forward and the rest of the plan is in place in the next 2 years.

    Bohn gets more power/trust every year and that means he will be able to demand that he is allowed to fire Helton and bring in his buddy Fickell.

    Like

  8. U idiot, aka fu,

    It is one thing to act like a jerk, but it is another thing to threaten somebody by cutting their throat. You have said it twice. Don’t say it a third time or cops will be showing up at your door and asking why you are threathing bodily harm. You might end up in jail.

    Like

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