T.J. Simers

Why not take a stab at sportsmanship?

In a USC-UCLA week filled with swordplay after a season of coaches' misdeeds, athletic directors come off as hypocritical.

In the name of good sportsmanship, what's going on around here?

I don't know the gladiator or whatever USC calls the brute with the sword, but I believe he's a college kid.

And if you're a college kid like every other college kid and someone tells you not to do something, what do you do?

You do it.

If there is one thing we've always been able to count on from our younger generation it's defiance.

The whole college experience is pretty much built on it: protests, sit-ins, marches or whatever.

So now we have UCLA telling USC it cannot continue its tradition of sticking a sword into the ground.

As petty as some might consider it, it's just hard to believe Lane Kiffin doesn't have something to do with it.

But it was apparently important to UCLA, making a rule and attaching a punishment if violated. The Trojan band will not be allowed to perform at halftime if USC messes with UCLA's grass.

(I know there is a line there, but I don't intend to cross it.)

Why would UCLA think USC is suddenly going to start following the rules? I have UCLA fans telling me all the time USC never follows the rules.

As for one kid, like the gladiator, ruining it for everyone in the USC band, I can't imagine college kids listening to adult logic.

Arthur C. Bartner leads the USC band and he seems agreeable to the change in Trojan tradition, saying in a letter he doesn't want to ruin the Trojans' fan experience.

But he's an adult and he has to say things like that.

And truthfully, as USC alumni what would you find more entertaining? Sticking it to UCLA, or hearing the band in the background while standing in line to go to the bathroom?

At the very least I would like to see the USC gladiator strut out to the UCLA logo with one of those blow-up swords, a little deflated since that's also a Trojan tradition, and tap the grass.

All in the name of good sportsmanship, of course.

But come on, isn't this whole sword ruckus hypocritical with the adults from both schools sticking it to each other whenever they can?

In yet another bizarre twist, we have the athletic directors from both of our institutions of higher education insulting everyone's intelligence.

They released the following press release: "UCLA and USC urge fans attending next Saturday's football game to exercise sportsmanship" with both Dan Guerrero and Pat Haden weighing in.

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