USC Morning Buzz: Let Me Tell You What Is Missing With Clay Helton

The Athletic did a lengthy piece on what the Pac-12 must do to become relevant in college football.

Tucked inside the story is this quote:

“I think Clay Helton is a hell of a guy,” said a Pac-12 assistant coach. “I don’t think he’s the guy for that place, and the fans know it, the high school players know it. He’s a good guy, but something’s missing.”

Let me help: Helton doesn’t have the know-how, the gravitas, the nouse, the leadership to run a any football program, let alone one the size of USC.

Example A: When three of the four team captains asked Helton in 2018 to keep Jack Sears as the starting QB over JT Daniels, Helton said, “My hands are tied.”

Would Nick Saban say that?

Example B: Helton has fired 14 assistant coaches since he took over at USC.

Where else does a coach get to blame everyone but himself for poor performances?

Example C: He can’t even get the players to dress alike for games.

There’s a lot missing and USC needs to do something about it.

Instead, Mike Bohn gave a mealy-mouthed answer that ignored Helton when asked why he stood by the embattled coach.

“It wasn’t really about taking an existing model,” he said. “It was looking for opportunities that fit us where we maybe had some opportunities to recruit some wonderful staff members that want to be part of the great USC tradition. It’s staff, it’s graphics, it’s videos, it’s academic support personnel, it’s recruiting staff, it’s evaluation — it’s a little bit of everything. And so we worked to build a comprehensive support base to help our coaches, and ultimately support athletes.”

So Bohn is too embarrassed to say why he kept Helton? Because he had no choice and Carol Folt wouldn’t let him make a change!

46 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Let Me Tell You What Is Missing With Clay Helton

  1. I don’t know who is a bigger used car salesman Bohn, Helton, or Kiffin!
    Between the 3 of them. Well at least we know kiffin wasn’t some sock puppet for the University like the other 2, even though he wasn’t perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Let Me Tell You What Is Missing With Clay Helton”

      Umm, a brain

      Clueless Clay needs to pull his head out of his ass and resign.


  2. Another problem with Helton is that he runs a soft program. Soft practices, soft offense (Air Raid) and a soft defense.

    For USC fans who remember when USC fielded tough teams and players, watching Helton field soft passing league teams is truly an embarrassment. The fact that Helton doesn’t even know that shows he has no sense of USC’s football history.



    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hate to say this, but the last 2 weeks here at “Inside USC” has been anything but. Scottie, your blog is the tops, but maybe you can impersonate the homeless guy, sneak in, and post some content about spring practices?


      Liked by 3 people

      1. Great minds think alike. I was talking to Scott yesterday and he was telling me how much he’d love it if you, Pudly or me could steal him a Trojan uniform….he said he’d take it from there.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Somehow, methinks the uniform number 00 would be appropriate for the Blogger to sneak in wearing.



        Liked by 2 people

      1. All schools suffer turnover. Look at georgia the last few years, or go back two years and you’ll notice that the Heisman winner was a kid who transferred out of columbus. Agendas and truth may begin journeys together…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. …and Justin Fields left UGA for the opportunity at OSU.
        …and Jalen Hurts left Bama for an opportunity at OU.

        And so it goes in CFB and MBB.
        I watched a few UGA games and saw the same QB footwork mistakes made by JT Daniels during a bizarre COVID SEC year.

        Let’s see if JT is the star in 2021.
        Leave us not forget how brilliant TRUE FRESHMAN Slovis was in 2019.
        Kurt Warner had the kid prepped. It remains to be seen if Slovis improves with the present set of coaches……

        Liked by 3 people

      3. According to sources…Linemen, Ford and Rodriguez went to Clay Helton to ask if Jaxon Dart can be the starting QB instead of Slovis. They are tired of blocking for a QB that can’t move. Helton replied “my hands are tied” In other news, Jaxon Dart told his girlfriends during the tour of the Mormon temple in Santa Monica that if he doesn’t start this fall he is transferring to Utah State!


    2. Wait a second Pisley, you syphilitic infection, the last time UCLA beat SUCC, JT was throwing Int’s directly to the Bruin secondary.

      I don’t recall you whining when Slovis took the #1 QB slot or when JT xfer’d.

      #UCLA 7 – SUCC WP 6
      #whycan’tIfindtheSUCCsoftballteaminthePac-12standing? Just asking for a friend


      1. I didn’t whine. You finally got something right. Sorta, because implying I’m whining now is as far from the truth as you can be. Simply pointing out to wolf, who always campaigned against JT and for Sears, that even now JT is starting and Sears is watching. If you had a brain you’d have figured it out…


    3. LOL!

      pudly76 shit stain fudge packer has been on this site and others for years trying to tell people how Clueless Clay has done a really good job of coaching up his players.

      Shit stain pudly used to break out a list of all Trojans who played for Helton and made it onto an NFL team. As if any Trojan players made it to the NFL because of Helton’s coaching.





  3. Not impressed with Mike Bohn AT ALL.
    USC hired a “tin man” politician as an Athletic Director.
    In regards to Clay Helton it is like he is saying he is rebuilding a 1965 Mustang with all new parts except for one thing he forgot to mention that he is replacing the transmission (Clay Helton) which will essentially get the car (football program) up and running at full speed once again.

    Replacing parts and pieces of the athletic program is not enough. If USC wants to restore their football heritage it starts with replacing the Head Coach. You cannot win in college football without a great Head Coach. If the Athletic Director cannot make this decision, and get this done it is time to also replace the Athletic Director. To me Clay Helton, and Mike Bone are not the right fit for USC.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 2 things occur to me. (1) You’re 100% right. (2) We’re (me, you and the rest of the guys) 100% powerless to do anything but watch this charade.
      Some of the lamer folks at this site think the fact we’re scoffing at the team’s social justice meeting(s) cuz we hate social justice. Just hate it so, so much. What they are too lame to get is we know the same phonies who run our athletic program are the ones spewing all the social justice talk. Nothing good will ever come from empty talk —and that’s all Folt, Bohn and Helton


    2. I understand the impatience, but it doesnt mean that Bohn is not the right AD. The problem is with Folt/Caruso.

      I think that Bohn will be able to get rid of Clay either this year or next, before the contract ends. Then we can judge Bohn on who he hires.

      All of the hires during the Bohn era – Stiner as S&C, Orlando as DC, So’Oto and Williams and Navair on the defensive side of the ball – were good hires, probably the best possible with Clay as HC. McGuire is probably the only guy they could get for the offensive line, since they needed air raid experience and the gig might be a one-year deal if Harrell is canned after this year.

      The core problem at SC football is now the air raid offense. The 2022 defensive recruiting might be among the top 3 in the country, which is a huge stop forward from the recent past.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Jason Whitlock made a very insightful comment some time ago, which was that (NFL) football games were a live TV show and the fans in the stands were the studio audience. The same thing applies to college football as well.

    TPTB at USC need to understand that if they want people to engage with USC football, they need to put an entertaining product on the field, and part of the definition of “entertaining” is winning in dominant fashion and doing it with swagger. Jerry Buss understood this, and that’s why the Showtime era Lakers were the hottest ticket in town. Whatever else you might think about Pete Carroll, he understood that too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Please let me know what Mike Bone has accomplished at USC thus far. Hiring Assistant Football Coaches, Hi-Tech Marketing Staff Members is not what will turn this Football Program around.
    He is a politician/used car salesman not a leader. If you think he is the right guy for this job so be it, but what I have seen so far is not very impressive.. He should be standing up to Carol Folt, and th Board of Trustees and saying “Change is Needed Now” or I resign. He might be a good fit at Kansas, or Iowa but not USC.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pudly, you’re one of those Rah-Rah’s who if someone took a piece of dog crap and spray-painted it cardinal and gold and stamped an interlocking “SC” logo on it, you’d eat it and lick your fingers and ask for seconds. Just as long as it was cardinal and gold, and had “SC” stamped on it, of course. You whine about any SC partisan who dares to criticize the program, the administration and coaching. It’s the trademark standard of a seven-layer bean dip-eating Rah-Rah.

        It’s OK and actually good to criticize something we all care about and love, that being the university, the football program and demanding something better. Stop being such a whiny Rah-Rah and defending anything SC, when it is clear it’s a crap product on the field with crap coaching and crap management. Raise your standards and demand better. As I’ve said before, you’re either a progressive lib with no standards or someone new to understanding the game of college football.


      2. You’re just a sickles wonder who uses the same euphemisms over and over again. Truth be told, it doesn’t bother me a bit that my kids live better than you, are better educated than you and have more toys than you can even imagine. So take you’re inflated opinion of yourself and suck on it for a while…
        You are nothing to me, your opinion means nothing to me. And your daddy was right. You shoulda been no more than a stain on the sheets, rather than a loud mouthed embarrassment to your family.


    1. tommyd– Let me let you in on a little secret. If Bohn were the kind of guy who could stand up to Folt he wouldn’t have gotten the job. Bohn is there cuz he’s impotent. [Even HE didn’t realize quite HOW impotent till they proved it to him —repeatedly —in his first month on the job. He knows now]. What you see at USC is a collection of second rate phonies being managed & bossed around by a bunch of first rate phonies.


  6. He’s here because USC didnt want to look bad paying a $20 million buyout while trying to settle the gynogolgist case, to avoid being viewed as putting football over the victims. Now that the lawsuit is behind USC, and the buyout is lower, I imagine a change will come at the first opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The “opportunity” you speak of should come in a place called South Bend….


  7. Bottom line has Clay Helton produced the results to justify his 4 million dollar salary? The answer is no. The revenue for the football program is significantly down due to lack of interest.

    Bone is adding staff during a tough period for the football program. He should be cutting salaries not expanding the staff in the athletic department, and that starts with Clay Helton who’s salary level is based on competing for national championships not Pac 12 South titles, and he is not doing that either. If you are at the top of the pay scale for college football coaches you must win now, and win big it’s that simple.

    Most companies cut salaries when business is down, and they don’t wait for a better tomorrow while continuing to pay inflated salaries that don’t match up with the results, and actual revenue coming in. USC, is basically telling Helton he is doing a good job by either not letting him go, or at least cutting his salary due to the loss in revenue within the athletic department.
    Poor management—-starts with Carol Folt, and Mike Bone.

    I think USC deserves better leadership. Bone, is one of the highest paid AD’s in the country, and he was hired to get something done, and fix the problems. If he cannot get that done due to his hands being tied that tells me we hired the wrong guy. His fix some of the parts management style will not work until you rebuild the entire engine starting at the top -Clay Helton.

    If USC now has lower expectations for the football program then they should not be paying 4 million for a football coach. Is USC still USC, or we now happy to be competing with Colorado, Washington State, and the other smaller market programs throughout the country who are not competing for national championships , and who are happy being Pac 12 South and North contenders year after year while paying their head football coaches half of what Helton makes.


  8. When three of the four team captains asked Helton in 2018 to keep Jack Sears as the starting QB over JT Daniels, Helton said, “My hands are tied.”

    C.L. Max Nikias is probably calling plays as well as filling out the starting roster.


  9. Bottom Line: Bone should tell Helton based on your 4 million dollar salary your Target for 2021 is 12-0. If you don’t meet that expectation you will be terminated or you must expect a sizeable reduction in salary. We will evaluate your status at the halfway point in the season which means USC must be 6-0 or a change will be made.

    Bone needs to put more pressure on Helton. It appears the Head Football Coach at USC is paid on what the others accomplished including Mckay, Robinson, and Carroll. The free ride is over you either perform now, or will be terminated or re-assigned another fund raising position within the athletic department.


  10. Let’s answer the question: Is USC still a national power in football or just one of 11 other teams competing for a championship just on the West Coast on an annual basis?

    If the President and AD are content with just competing to be a champion on the West Coast then why are we paying 4 million for a below average football coach the same goes with UCLA. Sure, Haden and Swann goofed up by overpaying a coach who was not qualified for the position, but I think it is just as stupid retaining him. and letting him fill up his bank account and drain the university until his contract runs out without performing.

    Please no more long term contracts with buy out clauses it is not fair to the players, fans, and boosters to have a lame duck coach who is on the hot seat every year with no ultimatum to win now or be gone. Clay Helton has a super deal from the university, but has not performed to expectations for this program. Don Clark, Ted Tollner, Paul Hackett, and Larry Smith were let go immediately after poor seasons despite having contracts in place because we had an aggressive athletic directions in place at the time who had the immediate attention of the President, and Board of Trustees. It appears this is obviously not the case with Mike Bone who prefers to always say yes to everyone including the President at SC.


    1. Actually, I think that Clark resigned (unthinkable today with the huge buyout clauses). He went to work in the family business, Prudential Overall Supply. IIRC, he was a resident of Huntington Beach or Fountain Valley.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sgt. Joe Friday —I accidentally saw 11 seconds of one of the episodes of your show last night….


  11. Bone should be the AD at Wichita State, or Washington State not USC. He’s a farm boy trying to make it in the big city.

    If the glove does not fit with Helton and Bone you must move on. We need an aggressive football coach and AD that will not take a no answer from President Folt. Football is important at USC as is the revenue. We don’t a couple of “wimps” who really don’t care of the program has success as long as they get paid.
    Helton should be removed immediately, and if we need to keep him on contract transfer him over to fundraising dept so he can work with the angry boosters until his contract expires.

    Bone, needs to realize another poor football season with revenue below expectations, and he too could lose his job.


  12. “I think Clay Helton is a hell of a guy,” said a Pac-12 ( nameless) assistant coach. “I don’t think he’s the guy for that place, and the fans know it, the high school players know it. He’s a good guy, but something’s missing.”
    Something that is missing is an Athletic Director who isn’t in over his head. Honestly I don’t think Haden, Swann or Bohn have a clue about running an athletic department. Just having the title isn’t enough, in 1880 there was a guy in San Francisco who called himself, “Norton I, Emperor of the United States” however, he never collected a penny in taxes, and if he’s in the history books he’s labeled as a crazy man.
    Speaking of History, for the first time that I can remember I agree with tebowobama. He said Helton hasn’t got a brain. He’s right if you magnified Helton’s brain 1,000 times and placed at the end of a tebowobama NASA theory sentence, nobody would pause while reading because they wouldn’t see the point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RT,
      I’m undoubtedly the only one who feels this way….but…I think tebow is actually too smart to believe the NASA la-la crap he’s been publishing…


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