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

The big day is finally here for Caleb Williams to announce his decision on which school he will play for next season.

Right?

Williams can’t possibly go past today, which is the final day to enroll in classes at USC and participate in spring practice. Right? There can’t be some type of waiver he could get to extend the deadline. Right?

  • A couple months ago, a high school coach suggested to me that USC assistant coach Donte Williams encouraged some recruits to commit with the understanding they aren’t really committed. The purpose: To generate recruiting buzz for USC, especially when it was a tough time for the Trojans last fall.

What was the evidence? The coach said it happened to one of his players.

Well, when Class of 2023 tailback Johnny Thompson of Oaks Christian decommitted on Thursday night, it kind of raised some questions. Thompson committed three months ago. USC was his first scholarship offer. It was a low point for the program and he was the first 2023 player to commit since Clay Helton got fired.

Thompson visited Oregon earlier this month and seemed excited about the Ducks. He thanked Williams in his announcement and just like that, was re-opening his recruitment after a short-lived commitment.

  • USC linebacker Kaulana Makaula has entered the transfer portal. He played in three games last season. This looks like one of those Lincoln Riley cleaning-up-the-roster decisions.
  • Is it me or does it feel like it is taking forever for USC and UCLA to play each other in basketball?
  • USC has two players selected for the McDonald’s All-American game: Forward Kijani Wright will play in the boys’ game while point guard Aaliyah Gayles plays in the girls game.
  • A former member of the USC Board of Trustees told me this week that they wrote USC out of their will. It was a decision that will cost USC $100 million, the ex-trustee said.
  • Shaun Cody is opening a pizza place in Covina.
  • The Pac-12 is having a post-season softball tournament. You can count USC out, because it doesn’t have a softball team, like Colorado and Washington State. USC doesn’t have/want to dedicate land for a softball field. So instead it has lacrosse.
  • And now for some history:

Here is a picture of USC assistant coach Bill Fisk in 1954. I’m running this photo for a few reasons. If you thought fashion was drab in those days, look at that amazing tie. I’ll show some other assistants just as sartorially resplendent in future weeks. I wonder if Zachary All would approve?

The other reason I ran this picuture is that Fisk was a true Trojan. He played left end at USC from 1937-39 after graduating from Alhambra High School. About six years later, baseball star Ralph Kiner graduated from Alhambra and eventually opened a sporting goods store across from the high school with fellow major-leaguer Max West.

But I digress . . .

Fisk was the most inspirational player of the 1939 national championship USC team. He played in two Rose Bowls. He then was an assistant at USC from 1949-56.

His son, Bill Fisk Jr., played at USC from 1962-64 and was an All-American offensive guard in 1964. He played on the 1962 national championship team after graduating from San Gabriel High School.

Fisk Jr. was an assistant coach at Mt. San Antonio College from 1966-87 and head coach from 1987-2004. His 2002 team went 12-0 and was crowned national champions.

Another son, Bob Fisk, played end at USC in 1960.

Like I said, true Trojans.

  • Former USC defensive back Jeff Fisher was named head coach of the USFL’s Michigan Panthers.

So it’s time to break out the pictures from when Fisher played for the Rams. The Reseda Rams.

Fisher is No. 83 in the wonderful 1970 color photo above. The Reseda Rams were Valley Conference champions of the Mity-Mite Division. And you gotta love the coaches in ties. Photos courtesy of Rick Brown.

  • This helmet was worn by USC great Jon Arnett in 1956. It was one of the few years in the 1950’s when the Trojans had numerals on the helmets.

The story I’ve been told is Arnett donated the helmet to an Orange County sports museum, which is now closed and for some reason selling it instead of giving it back to Arnett’s family.

  • Here is a paperback cover for the 1954 edition of Sports Review Football with a colorized USC-UCLA game photo.

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

  1. “A former member of the USC Board of Trustees told me this week that they wrote USC out of their will. It was a decision that will cost USC $100 million, the ex-trustee said”

    Was it Wayne Hughes, who was pushed out due to his age?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Agreed. Love to see him playing in the Big Ten or the SEC…
        #HeDeservesIt..
        #[HaveFunCaleb]
        Note: I will take all this back if it turns out that none of this is on Caleb — and Folt & Bohn are the geniuses behind all this delay. It’s an ugly thought but we should be thinking it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Odds and Ends:

    If players today had limited face guards like back in the 1950s they probably would not be so inclined to throw their bodies at opposing players as if they were Kamikaze suiciders.

    Looks like Williams will not be committing today, so he will be ineligible to practice in Spring ball. This should endear him to his possible future teammates.

    And what does Dart now do?– If Dart decides to return, Williams could still come to SC for the 2022 season. I doubt Dart would take that risk.

    SC losing again to Stanford will not take away the excitement of the upcoming SC-sucla matches. Well, maybe just a little.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, USC/UCLA coming up. Hopefully the second loss to Stanford communicated to Enfield something about his group’s penchant for falling apart when pressed by a physical team with slightly above average talent. How are they gonna handle superior talent?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “Is it me or does it feel like it is taking forever for USC and UCLA to play each other in basketball?”
    Sounds like a present day item from Allan Malamud’s ‘Notes on a Scorecard’. It’s true and well done, Scott!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great story about Bill Fisk of Alhambra High School (AHS) Had some great teams in
      that era, won the CIF football championship in 1939. I remember shopping at Max West sporting goods on Main Street in Alhambra. It was packed to the roof with high quality baseball equipment. Max would not permit parents to buy their kids junk or anything that did not fit them perfectly. Good memories.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The 100% graduation rate for MBB in 2021 is the most impressive accomplishment for Enfield – the ultimate result, especially if you also win games

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Translation: The courses Enfield’s personally teaching in physics and chemistry are paying off….
        #It’sOnlyInBasketballThatHeHasProblems

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 100% is impossible with Daddy’s boy leaving early. He counts in the numbers. Toejam Math. Dumbass………….

        Like

  4. Caleb Williams notwithstanding, a really special post, Mr. Wolf.
    Thank you for all you do to return us to a time when the university was run and attended by people we could admire.
    The vastly overcompensated Carol Folt should buy that Jon Arnett helmet and return it to his family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t see why ASU coaches have to resign just cuz they’re caught paying recruits to come to their school.
      I like it better when a school [say, USC for instance] is punished severely cuz someone not on the coaching staff & totally outside the school pays a player to hire him as his agent when he goes pro.
      #That’sAMoreJustOutcome

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I’d love to hear Ed explain why Penn State, after turning the other way on a 20 year pattern of pedophilia, received much less, than a USC player’s stepdad getting free rent. The latter is roughly comparable IMHO to Michael Jordan getting free golf lessons – which he admits – at UNC because he was Michael Jordan – no NCAA action against UNC. SMDH.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Many of the unfortunate folks at Penn State WERE turned the other way…literally ..
        #[MostlyInTheShowers]….
        #LuckilyForPennState,TheNCAATurnedTheOtherWayToo…
        #TheyHadBiggerFishToFry…
        #LikeStoppingPeteFromOvertakingTheSEC’sDynasty

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, 67. Every pyramid has to have a bottom rung. It’s no disgrace to be at the very, very bottom of the hierarchy, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly. No one should look down on the bruins for the way they play sports…..or act or talk or look.
        #It’sNotTheirFault..
        #They’reDoingTheBestTheyCan

        Liked by 1 person

      1. ucla looking much better with that W over AZ. Let’s see what happens in a few nights. Will we see those buzzer beater daggers from 3 territory that have become de rigeur in westwood’s losses to USC?

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Say, MG and ’67, I don’t like French champagne, too dry, but California’s version of champagne, Mumm’s Napa Cuvee, blue label (not black label) is tastier and half the price at $20.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “All of them Frenchy wine growers are coming to California! Maybe dirt is better here, or maybe taxes even higher in that France place? Or maybe the Frenchy wine fellas are tired of working with the Frenchy fellas picking the grapes? They want cigarette breaks every hour! smdh” – Ed G.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Big, Big News:
    Mike Farrell is reporting that there are now 16 schools in the running for Caleb Williams —they include USC, Georgia, Wisconsin, Miami, LSU, Mississippi, UCLA, Etc., etc., etc….
    #ThisMayLookConfusing…
    #..ButMikeBohnAnnounced”Today’sDevelopmentsAreVeryPositive!”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. FWIW, another USC site was claiming the difficult and delicate nature of the NIL may have caused delay with Caleb signing in the dotted-f’n-line.
    Something about how SC has to approve all the likeness’ and how USC name is used, even down to get the cardinal & gold, coloring on point.
    Or maybe I’m just forwarding a bunch of disinformation because it makes me feel better about this long-distance, GD, relationship with Caleb & Lincoln.
    Take it FWIW.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. IF —from now on —it really takes 43 lawyers working overtime to pave the way for a recruit to sign “on the dotted line”, fans are gonna lose interest real fast….

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Special priviledges for 1 football player is not fair to the rest of the team. Caleb Williams thinks he is already a superstar, and does not need spring practice. If that’s the case drop college football from your choices Caleb, and just sign an NFL contract right now and see how far that takes you. I have a feeling he never attended classes at Oklahoma just like Billy Sims, Stanley Wilson and some of the other Sooners.

    If I am Lincoln Riley I go with another QB in the Portal if Caleb does not sign today. At USC he must attend classes, and participate in Spring Ball, or look elsewhere. I have a feeling he majored in Basket Weaving at OU, and his credits won’t transfer nor will his grades.

    You make the call Lincoln Riley……..don’t let Caleb run your program.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s time, I think, to invoke a rule against idle talk about a quarterback who has been playing hard to get and seemingly not interested in anything other than jerking Lincoln Riley’s chain (with apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda)
    We don’t talk about Caleb no,no,no
    We don’t talk about Caleb, but
    We were getting recruits, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky,
    Caleb walks in with a mischievous grin
    and then the games begin,
    He’s telling the stories not I
    We don’t talk about Caleb no,no,no,
    We don’t talk about Caleb
    We grew to live in love with Caleb, stuttering or stumbling
    All we hear is him sort of mumbling and mumbling
    We associate him with the sound of sifting sand.
    A seven-foot frame tats along his back
    When he calls your name
    And he all just fades way back
    Yeah he sees or team
    and feasts on our screams
    We don’t talk about Caleb no,no,no

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The “false GT” is gonna be pleased with this —Caleb’s dad just announced “no signing until the Arizona audit report is released.”

    Like

  12. When will you bozos quit whining over Reggie “who baked my bacon” Bush’s NCAA punishment? The AH knew the score and lied about it. The SUCC FB program still hasn’t recovered from Bushes’ calculated, duplicitous behavior. Clown U FB programs black eye hasn’t healed – no pun intended.

    Like

      1. PT, you’re ad nauseam.

        Never forget, Coach Wooden never had to hire a recruits Ta-Ta to get a commitment or two.

        #SUCC on.

        Like

    1. Didn’t Harrick, to curry favor, let Garry McKnight’s dog-shit son walk-on, hoping to “wink-wink” push Mater Dei players to fUcla?

      Like

  13. OWNS —What in the world are you talking about that USC still has not recovered from the Bush fiasco……….USC has appeared in more than 1 Rose Bowl since Bush left USC. I will agree they are still recovering from the Helton fiasco

    How many Official Rose Bowl games on New Years day has UCLA appeared in since Terry Donahue left UCLA. in fact any Major Bowl game. ZERO………….RIP -UCLA FOOTBALL.

    This is the problem with UCLA Football- playing in the empty Rose Bowl Stadium between September thru December is meaningless. Why pay rent for an empty stadium, and pay a fat Coach over 4 million bucks if there is no fan interest in the program other than you. UCLA Football wants to be a winner in football, and the real reason they haven’t is because no one cares. The City of Pasadena should give UCLA the boot as a tenant and fill it with homeless people which are mostly UCLA alumni anyway this way our taxpayer money is put to a good use instead of paying rent for a dead football program.

    DING…….DING OWNS——–STICK TO BASKETBALL UCLA HAS A CHANCE THERE ……….

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Let’s see the Rose Bowl has a capacity of close to 90,000 people use to be 105,000 I believe.

    Waste of taxpayer money giving UCLA money to rent an empty stadium of UCLA football fans or pay a football coach 4 mil to eat cheeseburgers . Minus the visiting team fans UCLA probably has 20,000- 25,000 so called fans who attend games while at the same time watching the USC game which is more important either on their cell phones or like OWNS checking into a USC football site rather than UCLA Bruin football.com for updates. The loyalty to UCLA does not exist even with their own fans. Loyalty to UCLA is rooting for their team 1 time every 7 years when they are lucky enough to beat SC while the program is down otherwise it’s stay at home every Saturday in the fall, and watch the USC game on TV.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Every single UCLA football fan needs to be there in person to see what happens to their team on November 19th…
      #ItWon’tBePretty…
      #ButItWillBeHistoric

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Last time ucla played a Lincoln Riley team, it was 35-7 midway thru the second quarter.

        #AndOwnsPredictedAuclaVictory
        #AndThatOklahomaWouldScoreLessThan20
        #Ouch!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe Owns meant “Oklahoma won’t score more than 20 ….in the first 3 minutes.”
        #MaybeHeWasJustBeingVague…
        #[WeProbablyShouldaPinnedHimDownMore]

        Like

    2. During the fall, I see USC shirts on Sunday following a win or loss on Saturday. Bruin shirts only if they happen to have won the day before. They are as fair weather as they come!!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Most Bruin fans can’t afford the gas, parking, price, and admission to the game so that’s why UCLA gave away tickets for free this season. OWN calls our Coliseum and old/ancient building which is true, but at least the rent is paid in full for the fans that attend USC games, and the football program is not close to bankruptcy and in favor of raising the taxes in California to feed starving Bruin alumni who majored in sociology, and still believe Angela Davis rather thanshould be our next President rather than Kamala Harris who has more experience.

    Like

    1. Crap TOMMY BOY you are FOS! I mean that sincerely. FYI 8-Ball, on Feb. 3, the crumbling mausoleum will host a NASCAR race – WTF!

      #Anything for a buck SUCC.

      Like

      1. Sad that we get people to pay for attendance, when even for the LSU game last season SUCLA had to give away tickets not only to their students, but to any So Cal HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS who would attend their game and hopefully root for them! LMAO

        Liked by 2 people

  16. USC State Media getting strong-armed again by USC … “oh, I’m so afraid to to ask probing questions about Caleb Williams’ recruitment. Mike Bohn might not like me anymore. I’ll just sit here and tweet about bullshit and hope nobody notices.” Same thing as what extended Clay Helton for two years. What a bunch of pussies!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Best post of the year, Charles. What’s preventing the chicken shit L. A. press from asking “what the hell is going on with the Caleb deal?” It’s the end of the business day and no news….and everybody’s acting pretty fucking incurious.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Just a reminder what a incompetent POS Mike Bohn was for 2+ years. Then he fires Clay Helton 2 games into the season. He goes from whiffing on Matt Campbell on Saturday night to lucking into Lincoln Riley on Sunday afternoon (who wouldn’t have been available if he’d won the night before). Otherwise, USC would have Kalen DeBoer as its coach now.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The Riley deal was Athletic Director-proof. Riley wanted it and he told Bohn so. Bohn’s contribution was saying “is this kooky or what?”
        The Caleb deal could be sealed right now if Bohn knew what he was doing.
        #ButHe’sCheckingWithMommyEvery15Minutes….
        #…AndMommyKeepsSayingNo

        Liked by 2 people

      1. There is no tampering once a player enters the portal. Next recruiting dead period is January 31 – February 28, 2022. Doesn’t apply to transfers.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. UPDATE- CALEB WILLIAMS

    Caleb Williams has agreed to play for USC on Saturday’s, but will not have to move to Los Angeles or ever attend a class while getting paid to play football by the Trojans. USC will use Lincoln Riley’s private jet to transport Caleb to and from all football games.

    Lincoln Riley has agreed to allow Caleb to attend all team meetings and practices remotely via zoom as well. All live appearances by Caleb will be for all home and road football games only.

    Essentially, Caleb will be be like Traveler, and only make in person appearances on Saturdays kind of like Uncle Fester Clay Helton.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad your sense of chivalry caused you to skip over Caleb’s demands concerning Carol and the Cleopatra outfit….

      Like

  18. Hey fellas. Recalled that Side Show Caleb had his last day to register for the spring semester. Didn’t happen huh? Seems some had it all pent up, what was going to justify everything, fix your life, give you that needed “win”, reason to say “Take that!” Other supporters are observing, noting what’s what.

    No matter if Side Show signs, he’s now exposed that there’s a new self centered culture. Air Pigeon poop falling on the glory of Heritage Hall as we enter a decade of this experiment, now under the chubby cheeked hustler from the Texas western plains.

    OU fans grumbled about Read’em Riley going out of his way to be extra “Woke” but they knew it was all part of the grift, he wasn’t sincere. Wasn’t sincere any more than laughing with Bohn’s awkward laugh and getting $10 mil from this new lick without winning one playoff game. Be exciting with the offense , be media friendly, admin friendly, be close but not quite there…

    But what do I know? Harrell knows what he’s doing, Helton knows what he’s doing, Riley knows what he’s doing… And I think they do or did: that’s them and their buddies taking USC for a few hundred mil. A coach is a businessman, and a businessman wants a stable place to make a 50, 100 million dollars. The quickest way to lose a job and trash your career is winning a NC unless you can do a Nick Saban.

    Just chatter, no hard feelings. Enjoy the show.

    Like

  19. Crumbling building? The Coliseum is a monument, a huge part of LA history. UCLA has no history in football that is the problem, and the reason you are on a USC blog wishing you had something to read that is interesting on the UCLA site which has a bunch of former Sociology majors wishing they had gone to a private school not funded by the State of California taxpayers.

    Last time I checked the Rose Bowl is almost as old as the Coliseum. UCLA can’t afford their own stadium because you the people don’t attend the games, and spend their time on the USC site.Other than some rich history on New Years day there is no history for UCLA games at the Rose Bowl including 0 national championship. Truely- UCLA is SUCLA…….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well not quite MG, the RB is consistently named the best FB venue in America. Curiously, the crumbling mausoleum is never mentioned in a best FB venue list.

        However, it was recently established that LA’s largest rat population resides in and around the crumbling mausoleum. There are also loud whispers that a hot dog at SUCC’s edifice is actually a rat dog.

        #Enjoy the NASCAR race FEB. 3
        #Anything for buck SUCC.

        Like

    1. Carol will get all upset that Coach McDonald put photos of O. J. and Reggie up….
      #”HowManyTimesDoIHaveToTellHimThatTheyDon’tExist?!”

      Liked by 1 person

  20. And so another supposed deadline comes and passes.

    Do you feel the enthusiasm by the football authorities at one particular university
    in Cal-eb{bing].

    This guy obviously lied to his coach, lied to his best friend on the Oklahoma team, and now his reputation with his future employer, the NFL, will probably cost him millions because teams will not want to take a chance with this guy.

    That is assuming he is of NFL-grade. He only played half a season and lost 2 games, so the jury is out on his abilities as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re probably right, John (I think your name is seared into Ed’s head, btw). But there is another explanation for the delayed announcement —and it’s name is “Carol.” Maybe our nutty prez is afraid something untoward occurred in the recruiting of Caleb Williams. Maybe Lincoln made a promise or used a word that rubs Carol the wrong way. Maybe Carol has found a new situation beyond Urban Meyer that she thinks is “radioactive.” I think we should consider this a possibility.
      In the meantime –this is “Not Friday” —it’s time for a whole fresh round of rumors and innuendo. I’m ready and raring to go!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Let’s not get all “Oklahoma” and start burying CW with supposition, etc.
      Either CW is a major Prima Donna or as MG stated, this may have more to do with Folt, Bohn, et al.

      Hoping this over NIL and they are using the old “measure twice, cut once.”

      If it’s because he’s a Prima Donna…then Fck him!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Carol Folt, without a doubt, self-congratulated herself on her decision to disallow Urban Meyer the SC football coach throne when later the poor guy imploded in the NFL. “See, I am Carol Folt who has not one fault”

    But you really think she has a say in who the football coach recruits?– This Williams character is only 18 so how much trouble could he have gotten into in his short life?

    And I am glad someone is “ready and raring to go” because I just flamed out yesterday with Williams deciding to pass up Spring ball.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My take, John:
      If Carol perceives a hint of a trace of a possibility of legal problems associated with Caleb coming to USC, yes, she would get her mini-skirted ass involved in recruiting….

      Liked by 1 person

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