Carroll says Trojans to wear home jerseys

Klein is a Times staff writer.

USC Coach Pete Carroll is so intent on restoring a colorful tradition to the crosstown rivalry with UCLA, he is willing to give up two timeouts to do it.

Carroll said on Monday that the Trojans would wear cardinal jerseys on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, violating an NCAA rule that requires visiting teams to wear white jerseys.

The last time the Trojans and the Bruins both wore home jerseys was in 1982 when the schools shared the Coliseum.


“I just thought it was a really cool tradition,” Carroll said. “The spectacle of it.”

Carroll said he wanted to restore the tradition with a surprise move early in his tenure, but thought better of it.

He does not regard it as a sign of disrespect to UCLA and said he is not concerned that the Trojans could be adversely affected by losing a timeout in each half.

“I don’t care about it right now,” he said. “I think it’s the fun thing to do, and I think the fans will appreciate it over time.”

Carroll said he had discussed restoring the tradition with former Bruins coach Karl Dorrell and with first-year Coach Rick Neuheisel.

“It’s exciting,” Neuheisel said. “I think wearing the home jerseys is a great tradition.”

USC might avoid the loss of timeouts if the NCAA changes the rule before the game.

Tom Hansen, commissioner of the Pacific 10 Conference, said USC’s request had been forwarded to Rogers Redding, secretary of the NCAA football rules committee and that he expected to have a decision by today.

The issue was presented to a different rules committee secretary last year at the request of Oregon State, and it was rejected, Hansen said.

Kiffin reaction

Carroll and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian were thrilled that former Trojans assistant Lane Kiffin was introduced as the new coach at Tennessee.

“He’ll do a great job,” Sarkisian said. “He’ll put together a tremendous staff and recruit like crazy.

“He’ll get those guys turned around quickly.”

Said Carroll: “He knows what he’s doing. He knows how to get this done. . . . I think you’re going to see how bright he is and how capable he is.”

Quick kicks

Butch Lewis will start at right tackle in place of injured Nick Howell, offensive line coach Pat Ruel said. Howell suffered a high ankle sprain against Notre Dame. . . . Fullback Stanley Havili did not practice and wore a protective boot on his right foot because of an ankle sprain suffered against the Fighting Irish. Havili said he sprained both ankles at the end of a long pass play but would practice Wednesday and play against UCLA. . . . Kicker David Buehler was selected as the Pac-10’s special teams player of the week. Buehler kicked a 35-yard field goal, converted all five of his conversion attempts and four of his seven kickoffs went for touchbacks Saturday.