How much did USC lose in football revenue by keeping Clay Helton?
It’s a question that leads to speculation but you can put a dollar figure on it.
I hear USC estimates it lost $24 million in football revenue because of poor ticket sales, concessions, parking, etc. Was that worth keeping Helton around too long?
- I hear UCLA coach Chip Kelly wants a big, new contract and to keep defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro. I hear UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond is saying no to both.
Who blinks first? If I’m Jarmond, I fire Kelly after Jan. 15 when his $9 million buyout expires.
- Lincoln Riley has added Oklahoma assistants Jamar Cain (defensive ends, linebackers) and Brian Odom (linebackers). No. 1 staff in America?
- Earlier this week, I mentioned how Oregon seems intent on hiring recruiters as assistant coaches. Oregon is now trying to hire Drew Mehringer as the school’s tight end coach. He was National Recruiter of Year in 2019 according to Rivals.
- Clay Helton hired former USC safety Will Harris as defensive coordinator at Georgia Southern.
- One thing I don’t understand is how USC always says its 1970-71 basketball team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the AP poll. But it never mentions that team was 16-0 and ranked No. 1 in the UPI poll. That seems more relevant and prestigious.
- I also don’t understand why USC never recognized former football players Steve Riley or Mike Henry when they died this year. Or Bill Nelsen, Manfred Moore or Kenney Moore before that.
- Former USC tailback Anthony Davis will be at the Rose Bowl tomorrow as part of its latest Hall of Fame class. The other inductees are former Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Michigan linebacker Ron Simpkins.
FREEZING COLD TAKES
Kirk Herbstreit is pumping up Clay Helton. Brian Griese did too. Power protects power. #USC— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) November 24, 2019
- And now for some history:
This week I have spotlighted some Trojans who died in 2021. Here are a few more:
Tom Lovrich, a USC All-American pitcher, died on Oct. 1 at age 91. Lovrich might be best known for giving up a legendary home run to Mickey Mantle when USC played the Yankees at Bovard Field in 1951. The home run supposedly traveled 615 feet. Lovrich won 33 games at USC from 1950-52). He was an All-District and All-Conference first team selection in 1951 and 1952 and an All-American in 1952.
He was 10-2 with a 2.69 ERA in 1950. He was 12-5 with a 3.26 ERA and 69 strikeouts as a junior in 1951 and set a still-standing USC season record with 10 complete games for a USC team that went to the College World Series. In 1952, he went 11-2 with a 2.43 ERA and USC was conference champions. Lovrich, who went to San Pedro High School, served as the official game timer at USC men’s basketball games for more than 50 years.
Jim Fassel (6), Mike Holmgren (7), Jimmy Jones (8) and Bob Chandler (10) in 1969 USC football team photo.
Former USC QB and NFL coach Jim Fassel died in June of a heart attack. He was 71.
Fassel was the Trojans’ backup QB in 1969 but left USC after the season because he wanted to play and could not beat out Jimmy Jones. Fassel and his high school teammate, fullback Tom Fitzpatrick, left USC and went to Long Beach State.
Fassel played there in 1971. He threw a TD pass to Sam Dickerson in USC’s 48-6 victory over Northwestern in 1969.
Fassel completed 7 of 22 passes for 94 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in 1969. In 1966, Fassel led Anaheim High School to a 12-1 record, Sunset League title and place in the CIF 4-A championship game at the Coliseum.
Fassel obviously was best known as a coach. He was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 1997 while coaching the New York Giants. The Giants lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV in January 2001, after going 12-4 and winning the NFC East that season. Fassel was 58-53-1 overall with the Giants.
Former USC offensive lineman Chris Brown died April 26 after being found unconscious in a friend’s swimming pool during a party in Malibu. He was 24.
Brown attended Loyola High School in Los Angeles and enjoyed his best season in 2017, when he was All-Pac-12 honorable mention and the USC offensive lineman of the year. He played left guard that season.
Brown was the second recent offensive lineman to die in the past year. Max Tuerk died in June, 2020, from an enlarged heart. He was 26.
Former USC offensive lineman Dick Enright died in August at age 86. He had quite a coaching career, winning an L.A. City Section title at his alma mater, Gardena, in 1969; being head coach at Oregon from 1972-73 and winning a CIF-Southern Section title at Capistrano Valley in 1980.
- When I started out as a reporter, I covered some of his games at Capistrano Valley when his quarterback was Todd Marinovich. He was an intimidating figure but had the No. 1-ranked team in Orange County around that time.
- Enright resigned in 1987 after he was suspended for the remainder of the season and all of the 1988 season after he admitted he viewed videotape of an El Toro practice a few days before Capistrano Valley’s game against its archrival. A former El Toro player had secretly taped the practice and then shown it to Enright at his house.
- Enright lettered at USC in 1954-55 and was a member of the team that went to the 1955 Rose Bowl. Among his teammates were Jon Arnett and Marv Goux.
- Bob Kolf, a key figure in USC basketball in the 1950’s, died last December at age 91. He was a player and an influential coach.
Kolf was co-captain of the 1951 team that went 21-6 and won the Pacific Coast Conference Southern Division. He also played a season on the football and baseball teams.
His father, Bob Sr., was a legend at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he coached seven sports over a 45-year span (1923-67).
But Bob Jr. really made his mark at USC as an assistant coach to Forrest Twogood and freshman coach from 1957-61.
“He overshadowed Twogood,” said a friend of both men. “Everybody liked Bob. Twogie wasn’t that outgoing.”
Around 1961, a group of players had enough of Twogood and went to see athletic director Jess Hill. They wanted Twogood to be fired and Kolf to become the coach.
But this was an era when a player revolt could not be tolerated and Hill sided with Twogood, even though it probably was a smarter move to promote Kolf. So in 1961, Kolf resigned and entered private business. Twogood remained the coach and as I’ve written before hurt the program with his awful record of recruiting African-American players.