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Opinion: With a coach’s arrest, USC is squandering its hard-earned reputation

To the editor: When I was growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s, USC had a reputation as a campus for rich kids who often didn’t have great academic success. Since then a lot has changed at USC; even a 4.0 grade point average doesn’t guarantee admission.

But USC now has money issues that speak to questionable values. (“USC assistant coach Tony Bland among 10 charged in college basketball corruption probe,” Sept. 26)

Does fundraising come before all else? Is it OK to accept bribes to recruit athletes? These undermining values malign the overwhelming majority of hardworking, high-achieving faculty, students and alumni. Witness the scandal involving the medical school dean, who was offered a five-year contract extension in large part because he was a superstar fundraiser despite the objection of faculty and staff over his behavior.

Now we have an assistant basketball coach, a great recruiter, who was arrested for allegedly soliciting and accepting bribes. Money issues once again are swirling around USC. I feel embarrassed and greatly disappointed that my alma mater is having these problems.

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Richard Z. Fond, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: So the USC athletic director is “shocked” by news that a USC basketball coach has been arrested in a corruption sting. Maybe he should subscribe to the Los Angeles Times to stay abreast of the troubles that all too often befall his beloved Troy.

Marcy Rothenberg, Porter Ranch

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