The coaching malfeasance that defined USC for years is still haunting the program.
A couple years ago, I railed about all the players being brought from Texas from the Lone Star State-centric coaching staff. Not because they were from Texas but because so many were second-tier players. And now look:
Offensive lineman Ty Buchanan. Gone. Offensive lineman Casey Collier. Gone. Wide receiver Jake Smith. Gone. Wide receiver Joseph Manjack. Gone.
One of the good ones from Texas (Brandon Campbell) left too when the running backs room got too crowded with transfers.
Clay Helton left a mess. And it’s why I said it hurt for Mike Bohn to wait so long to fire him. The program stagnated because recruits didn’t want to come,
Lincoln Riley is trying to transform the entire roster overnight. The hard part will be with linemen, not the skill positions. Riley’s had 36 players leave since he got hired. And with Buchanan leaving Thursday, he might not be done. Helton left Riley a rusty battleship, not a nuclear-powered submarine.
- USC guard Boogie Ellis has scrubbed his Instagram of all photos and unfollowed everyone. Is that a sign he is leaving USC?
- You know it’s bad when Andy Enfield scheduled meetings with the players next week and three of them entered the transfer portal this week.
- The trial of former USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic was postponed until Monday after U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani, tested positive for COVID-19.
- Willow Bay, the former NBA Inside Stuff host, was reappointed by Carol Folt to a second term as dean of the Annenberg School of Communication. A term is five years.
- Earlier this week, the L.A. Times ran a story on Rick Caruso and mentioned how the Daily Trojan had a sign in its newsroom that counted the days since a scandal.
Well, here’s the sign:
- The L.A. Times Festival of Books on April 23-24 at USC will feature Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Terry Crews, Eric Dickerson, David Duchovny, Ziggy Marley, Janelle Monae and Kelly Rowland among others.
- For the students, this Saturday is the return of the Springfest concert at the Coliseum after a two-year break. The headliner is Dominic Fike. Who? If you watch Euphoria, you know.
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The above Daily Trojan story got me hot this week because it was so blatantly wrong. You can’t claim someone went to games for 30 straight years when they missed several games in 2020. His streak is over.
Giles Pellerin went to every game from 1925-1998 (797 straight games). There was no asterisk or fake statements attached to his streak. And his brother, Oliver, went to 637 straight games from 1945-2001.
- And now for some history:
Nothing like a beautiful color photo from the past. I believe this is the 1970 USC-Stanford game, featuring Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett, All-American John Vella (75) and All-American Willie Hall (83). Vella was a defensive tackle but got switched to offensive tackle in 1971 and became an All-American.
- Here’s a pocket schedule from the 1971-72 basketball season. And that looks like Ron Riley getting one of his many rebounds. He averaged 13.7 rebounds per game in his three-year career.
- Here’s Mike Garrett running the ball against Wyoming in 1965 in the final game of the season. The quarterback is Troy Winslow.
“That Garrett looks like he’s running in three directions at the same time,” Minnesota QB John Hankinson said after facing USC in the season-opener that year.
How good was USC in 1979? The Playboy All-American team featured Anthony Munoz (77); Brad Budde (71); Charles White (12) and Coach John Robinson.
I want Lincoln Riley to get these jackets for the coaches just like in 1949.
If you want to know who all these coaches are, I listed them all in this post.
RESTAURANTS OF THE WEEK
Pann’s restaurant in Westchester, founded in 1958.
Phoenix Bakery in Los Angeles, founded in 1938. No, it’s not a restaurant but it’s an insitution.
Neptune’s Net in Malibu, founded in 1956.
The Dresden in Los Angeles, founded in 1954.
La Barca in Los Angeles, founded in 1975. If you went to USC, you definitely went here.