Let’s see how smoothly things are going around USC at the moment during a normally quiet time of year.
- USC is still apparently conducting its investigation into swim coach Jeremy Kipp, who allegedly kicked a water bottle into the face of a swimmer. If you read the comments of this story, there are many other incidents involving Kipp.
- A football imposter, Joshua Pryor, says he strolled into the McKay Center several times through the front entrance. A natural question is, “What about the COVID-19 protocols that were supposed to be in place during this period?”
When Pryor said he saw Helton playing on the golf simulator under Heritage Hall, it used to be where to find Pat Haden and Lynn Swann when they were the athletic director.
Another take: The football team knew Pryor was an imposter and said nothing. Is that another sign of disrespect felt toward Clay Helton?
The imposter does his first interview on a podcast co-hosted by a USC reserve QB!
- USC does not have a women’s basketball coach and two players have left the program. This has not created any sense of urgency within the administration to hire a coach.
- The athletic dept. now has become Cincinnati West with five employees from the University of Cincinnati.
- A member of the Board of Trustees admitted football has been overshadowed by other scandals: “The last couple years have seen a lot of changes and turmoil. Maybe that puts something like football on the backburner. Maybe 10 years ago, there would have been oxygen to put football under a microscope.”
Other than that, it’s going pretty good!
- USC basketball announced its team awards Thursday and Evan Mobley was named MVP. He was also named the best defensive player. Tahj Eaddy was most improved while Isaiah Mobley won “underclassman who made an impact through example.” Isaiah White won the 110 percent effort award.
- ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay did a mock draft with Kedon Slovis as the No. 2 pick. I realize quarterbacks have an inflated value but doesn’t Slovis have a lot to prove in 2021? When even people at USC complain about his athleticism, that’s a small red flag, I think.
- A friend sent me some items that had this charcoal painting of the Bush Push by artist Dave Hobrecht. The image is printed on everything from coffee mugs to coasters. Luckily, Hobrecht did not erase me from the play!
- And now for some history:
This is quite a photo from 1940 that features some big-time coaches to celebrate the film, “Knute Rockne All-American.”
On the far left, is former USC All-American Jesse Hibbs, who was assistant director for the movie and later became a director himself. Next to Hibbs is Amos Alonzo Stagg from College of the Pacific; then Glenn “Pop” Warner of Stanford; actor Pat O’Brien; Jim Spaulding of UCLA; Howard Jones of USC and Lloyd Bacon, who directed the film.
- I got a lot of feedback last week when I wrote about Gypsy Boots. So here’s a couple more tidbits: In the 1950’s, he opened Gypsy Boots Health Hut on Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles and drew celebrities like Red Buttons, Eddie Albert and Tina Louise.
He also made more than 25 appearances on the Steve Allen Show. USC players also visited the Health Hut and one day Boots started throwing passes in the parking lot and claimed he threw 50-to-60-yard passes. The players asked him to the following game.
- John McKay wanted to lower expectations after USC defeated Alabama, 42-21.
“We were worried about Alabama (before the game), and we said that if we played well against Alabama, we should have a good team,” McKay said at the Football Writer’s Luncheon two days after the victory. “Now we’ve played very well against Alabama, and now I’ll retract my statement.”
Here’s another example of how much the world has changed. In 1958, it was a big deal when USC agreed to broadcast its football games on radio station KNX-AM. That’s athletic director Jess Hill (left) and KNX general manager Fred Ruegg celebrating the deal.
“Chick Hearn, regarded by many as one of the best sports announcers in the business, will again do the play-by-play action of seven of the games. Times columnist Braven Dyer will do the color commentary,” an announcement said.
Nowadays, USC signs with low-rated KABC-AM and there’s barely a peep, let alone a photo.
- Can you identify these two USC tailbacks from 1994? I will have the answer in the USC newsletter on Friday.