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USC football morning report: Spring conditioning

Quote of the day: "I think we're much better off this spring than we were a year ago from a conditioning standpoint."

     -- USC Coach Steve Sarkisian

In the Times:

Questions about USC? Email me at or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages in a weekly USC Now mailbag.


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McNair's attorneys seek dismissal of NCAA appeal, cite missing documents

The NCAA’s appeal in Todd McNair’s long-running defamation suit should be dismissed because the organization filed an “inadequate and incomplete record,” attorneys for the former USC running backs coach argued in a motion filed Thursday.

Earlier this week, the NCAA submitted nearly 500 pages of previously sealed documents to California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal. That left out about 200 pages of internal emails, deposition transcripts and other documents in the case related to sanctions against McNair and USC that had been sealed.

“Now, and with no effort to explain its about-face, the NCAA claims ‘never mind,’ apparently hoping that no one will notice,” the motion said, “[while] the NCAA attempts to proceed with its appeal based on an incomplete record that it earlier acknowledged would be fatal to meaningful appellate review.”

The omitted documents cataloged in Thursday’s motion include some of the inflammatory emails between members of the NCAA infractions committee that led Los...

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USC recruiting: Quarterback K.J. Costello commits to Stanford

USC must go back to the drawing board.

Santa Margarita High quarterback K.J. Costello announced his commitment to Stanford over Michigan and USC on Thursday.

“It was definitely a hard decision I made passing [USC] up,” said Costello, whose mother attended USC.

Costello, 6 feet 5 and 220 pounds, said playing for the Trojans was a childhood dream, but he decided on Stanford after learning more about its academics and team.

“I kind of see what the future holds as far as after football and everything that comes along with a Stanford degree,” he said.

Costello is the third quarterback in the 2016 class to turn down the Trojans.

Former Westlake High quarterback Malik Henry, who transferred to IMG Academy, committed to Florida State. Shea Patterson, from Shreveport, La., committed to Ole Miss.

USC has not offered scholarships to any other quarterbacks.

It is possible USC might not take a quarterback in the 2016 class after signing Ricky Town and Sam Darnold in 2015.

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USC quarterback Cody Kessler on the move and scrambling more


USC quarterback Cody Kessler hurt opposing defenses with his arm last season.

In 2015, he intends to do more with his legs.

The fifth-year senior, who passed for 39 touchdowns in 2014, is running with the ball more during spring workouts as he seeks to reduce sacks and give the Trojans another offensive weapon.

Kessler said that if he goes through his progressions and does not find an open receiver, he will be more inclined to scramble than throw the ball out of bounds.

"If it's not there and there's a lane, I'm going to take off," he said this week. "Even if it's only five, six, seven yards, it's better than throwing it away or taking a sack."

USC gave up 32 sacks last season. Kessler gained 100 yards rushing, but his net yardage because of sacks was minus 152 yards.

Coach Steve Sarkisian said he was encouraged by Kessler's scrambling.

"Cody's never going to be a runner where we're calling designed runs for him," Sarkisian said, "but if we can take advantage of some third and fours...

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USC football morning report: Recruit K.J. Costello to announce decision

Fact of the day: Santa Margarita High quarterback K.J. Costello will announce his college commitment Thursday. The 2016 recruit will choose among Michigan, Stanford and USC.

In The Times:

Around the Web:

Questions about USC? Email me at or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages in a weekly USC Now mailbag

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Cristian Quintero will lead Trojans at NCAA swimming championships

Cristian Quintero is going to be busy the next three days.

The USC senior could swim as many as 14 races at the NCAA championships in Iowa City, Iowa, where the Trojans will try to win their first national title since 1977.

The championships begin Thursday.

“He’s going to be the cornerstone for us,” USC Coach Dave Salo said.

Quintero, an applied math major who came to USC from Venezuela, will try to repeat the feat he accomplished at the Pac-12 Conference championships this month.

The 6-foot-5 Quintero, the defending NCAA champion in the 500-yard freestyle, won the 500-, 200- and 100-yard freestyle races to lead USC to its first men's title since 1979. Quintero became the first man in Pac-12 history to pull off the triple in the championship meet. He also anchored the winning 400-yard free and medley relays and the 800-yard free relay.

Quintero, 22, will compete in the 100, 200 and 500 and three relays at the NCAA championships.

Last year, he won the 500, was a part of the winning...

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