It’s obviously important who USC hires as baseball coach. But if you look at the Texas schools, they have bigger coaching staffs and more resources than USC.
That will have to change if USC wants to become nationally prominent again no matter who gets hired.
Maybe USC can use some of that money it offered Brandon Sosna, who turned down a raise to go to the Detroit Lions, for the baseball program.
- USC forward Boubacar Coulibaly has transferred to Pepperdine.
- Did you know Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, graduated from USC in 2006?
- Ayden Owens-Delerme of Arkansas won the NCAA men’s decathalon title Thursday. He was a member of the USC track team in 2019 before he transferred because of coaching staff turnover and lack of training partners for the decathalon.
- Here is my favorite Brandon Sosna–Mike Bohn photo because it reminded me of this scene from Caddyshack.
I want a hamburger… no, a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake…
You’ll get nothing, and like it!
- And now for some history:
Leo McCarey is a graduate of the USC Law School. That makes him a Trojan.
Who is he?
McCarey was responsible for the teaming of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and guided the development of their characters.
But that barely scratches the surface of McCarey’s career: He directed “The Awful Truth,” (1937) considered by some to be the greatest screwball comedy ever made (McCarey won the first of his three Oscars with this film).
He also directed “Duck Soup,” (1933) considered the Marx Bros. best film.
If that doesn’t ring a bell, maybe you remember “Going My Way” (1944) or “The Bells of St. Mary’s” (1945) or “Love Affair” (1939) or “An Affair to Remember.” (1957).
He is one of only of eight directors who have won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (Orig/Adapted) Oscars.
French director Jean Renoir said “Leo McCarey understood people better than any other Hollywood director.”
And you can add him to the list I compiled recently of USC Trojans with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- You want to know a big difference between USC today and the past? In the old days, you could meet anyone and everyone knew each other.
In 1978, USC held a Walk-Jog-A-Thon to raise funds for a proposed stadium at Cromwell Field.
Baseball coach Rod Dedeaux participated as did Traveler.
What are the chances a typical USC student today ever met the baseball coach or Traveler?
- Although the Walk-A-Jog-A-Thon raised $250,000, USC never came up with the $2.5 million for a track stadium. That didn’t happen until 2001 following a $3.4 million donation from Katherine Loker, an heir to the Star Kist tuna fortune. She and her husband donated more than $30 million to USC.
- Who says it never rains in Southern California? Look at the conditions for the 1978 USC-Washington game. Those conditions favored the 19th-ranked Huskies but No. 5-ranked USC won, 28-10.
- Nothing to see here, just USC president John Hubbard on the sideline consoling injured center Brad Green during the 1978 USC-Arizona State game. This was the famous 20-7 loss where USC lost its top four centers and had six snaps fumbled.
- Hubbard once got a penalty at a USC-Hawaii game in 1979 for arguing with the refs on the sideline.
My favorite Hubbard story: A former USC athletic dept. official told me that after USC played Notre Dame in the early 1970’s, Hubbard flew back to Los Angeles on the team plane.
But then he disappeared for two weeks.
“They couldn’t find him,” the official said. “They eventually found him in Germany on a bender.”
A member of the Board of Trustees at the time told the USC official that Hubbard was warned to change his behavior after the incident or risk losing his job.
One of my favorite USC basketball teams was the 1978-79 Trojans, who won 20 games and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They upset No. 7-ranked Kansas and played Houston, Utah, Duke, Xavier, Maryland and Texas in non-conference games.
The Trojans played No. 2-seed DePaul in the NCAA Tournament, which featured Mark Aguirre, Curtis Watkins, Gary Garland and went to the Final Four.
Andy Enfield would be flat on his back passed out if he had to play those teams.
- The Trojans were led by Cliff Robinson, who averaged 18.8 points and 11.6 rebounds; Purvis Miller averaged 12.7 ppg and 6.7 rpg; Steve Smith 10.7 points and Don Carfino 10.6.
USC won its final seven regular-season games without the injured Robinson. He also missed the NCAA Tournament, which proved the difference after USC defeated Utah State, 86-67, in its first-round game at Pauley Pavilion.
Miller made 10 of 13 shots vs. DePaul and finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Carfino scored 20, but Watkins led DePaul with 27 points while Aguirre had 25. DePaul won, 89-78.
- The 1978 USC team was so good it’s easy to remember only that. But the USC-UCLA game matched the then-No. 5 Trojans vs. the No. 14 Bruins. USC won, 17-10.
- USC defensive lineman Ty Sperling was named Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Game after sacking Bruins quarterback Rick Bashore three times. USC threw only 10 passes and tailback Charles White became the leading rusher in Pac-10 history after he gained 145 yards in 33 carries.
- There are many great stories from the past and USC usually neglects to tell most of them.
Jack Hupp was the MVP and captain of the 1936 USC basketball team. He was a two-time (1935-36) All-Pacific Coast Conference Southern Division first team forward. He is also in the USC Hall of Fame.
You can see the USC basketball player on Hupp’s headstone in Marysvale, Utah. His wife, Emily Marie Bertelsen, is far better known as the actress Marie Windsor, whose best movies were probably “The Narrow Margin” (1952) and “The Killing.” (1956).
Vincent Price portrayed Oscar Wilde at USC in 1978 in the play “Diversions and Delights.”
Look at how pleasant Figueroa Blvd. looked in 1927 with the Automobile Club building and St. Vincent church. Both buildings are still there.