Letters: Readers shocked to find corruption in college sports in general and USC in particular
USC assistant basketball coach Tony Bland faces serious federal criminal charges for alleged corruption, bribery, and more.
On the bright side, he’s now a leading candidate to become dean of USC’s medical school.
West Los Angeles
There are several successful recruiting tactics used by college coaching staffs to sway potential recruits to their institution. However, more often than not, it is the actual recruiter themselves that athletes gravitate to when making a decision on which basketball program to play for.
Based on this week’s federal corruption fallout, and the unethical practices in all of amateur basketball, the award for the top recruiter in the nation should go to Ben Franklin.
I have only two words for the long and glorious history of USC athletics for skirting the rules and laws: Cheat on!
Will USC basketball coach Andy Enfield use the same excuse as Pete Carroll and claim he knew nothing?
Barry P. Resnick
Are we that naive to think that the paying of agents , coaches and players hasn’t been going on for years? The difference is that the FBI is now involved. Will the NCAA have enough guts to allow the feds to go after the Dukes, Kentuckys and UCLAs? Does anyone remember John Wooden’s close friend Sam Gilbert?
The one constant in this pile of unethical, scummy USC behavior isn’t the players or Tony Bland but clearly “President” C.L. Max Nikias, whose neck must be tied up in knots from straining to look the other way at virtually every incident that so badly scars the Trojan family.
Do all the powerful USC alumni really think no one notices and it’s just going to go away? They are rapidly becoming a complete joke in this town.
Jim B. Parsons
The NCAA has forced universities to waste millions of dollars to build compliance teams that will never be able to effectively monitor every coach, promoter, agent, runner, financial advisor, booster, shoe company executive, AAU organizer, student athlete, recruit or family member that might want to ignore NCAA rules for financial gain or other selfish reasons. The NCAA should either eliminate their outdated amateur rules or push for federal laws that make any violation a crime punishable by a harsh jail sentence. The latter, not NCAA sanctions, is the only thing that might change the current risk/reward equation for individuals who are considering breaking the rules.
So the FBI in all its power and glory finds it necessary to investigate college basketball. Where was the FBI when the banking and financial institutions brought the United States to the brink of ruin? How many arrests were made?
Baseball winds down
So Dave Roberts is upset that Yasiel Puig isn’t playing to win.
This is the same Roberts who insists on not only starting but moving up in the order Curtis Granderson, who not only can’t hit his weight but can’t hit the weight of the average eighth-grader. And he insists on pitching Pedro Baez, who, while he was once a great contributor, has lost it and now gives up home runs like he was flinging beads off a Mardi Gras float. Roberts also insists on giving playing time and at bats to guys who are never going to contribute in October.
So the manager isn’t managing to win and his players follow his leadership.
Doc, heal thyself.
Sluggers Reggie Jackson, Manny Ramirez, Dave Kingman, and a handful of others, needed special handling by their managers.
Yasiel Puig is also in this category and manager Dave Roberts doesn’t have a clue.
Look for one of them to be gone after the playoffs.
Dodgers’ playoff poetry:
Wood Yu send Kershaw to the Hill for a Game 7?
Some Maeda gone with Ryu instead.
The demise of the Angels’ playoff hopes can be traced to two statements made back in April. The first, Albert Pujols, when responding to a reporter’s question regarding the Angels’ slow start, said that he wasn’t concerned about the standings in April, he’s concerned with the standings in September. The second was Mike Scioscia’s comment that he needed to find ways to give his players rest.
Are you kidding? Any fan can tell you games won in April are games you don’t have to win in September. And a manager who expects so little grit and fortitude from his players that he’s looking for rest opportunities four weeks into the season? Look no further to understand the futility of the Angels’ season.
Mike Scioscia, questioning looks at umpire’s calls is not managing. Nor is leaving pitchers on the mound too long before relieving them.
Another year without a playoff win for the Angels. The Curse of Rex Hudler lives on!
Stop that, Bruins!
I have a question for Jim Mora. UCLA recruits three-star and four-star players, while San Diego State gets the leftovers. How do they hold the same Stanford team to 17 points that runs over UCLA for 58? How does every team seem to score at will against your defense? The answer is coaching, and neither the fans nor Under Armour will put up with it much longer. It is, quite frankly, embarrassing.
If that’s what a “maniacal” defense looks like, I’d hate to see a “milquetoast” one.
Oh wait, I just did.
So, ESPN has been laying off on-air talent. How clever of them to use Stanford’s announcing team for Saturday’s game. I don’t know what was worse, the blatent bias or the endless denigration of Josh Rosen.
After having to read all the raving about Josh Rosen for two weeks, you might want to examine how the game of football is played. The team also has to play this thing called defense. Clearly the team is not familiar with that. UCLA opened the season with two home games against a way overrated team and a perennial cupcake. They then go out on the road and give up 48 and 58 points. Josh Rosen does not play both ways. Welcome to your reality and another 4-8 season.
Also, please do not fire Jim Mora. He is very popular ... with USC fans.
Whew! For a moment there I saw a glimmer of hope, and then the Bruins played the way we have come to expect under JIm Mora. Honestly maybe it’s time to clear house. Losing three years ago to a USC team that had fired its head coach was embarrassing. Since then nothing has improved.
If you are satisfied with always being second best in L.A., then I guess you should be happy.
I typically enjoy Sam Farmer’s articles. However, for someone so strongly connected to the NFL, he should’ve done a better job finding QB “experts” to comment on his Friday story about Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen’s pro prospects. Jordan Palmer was a respectable choice, but Farmer failed miserably including Troy Aikman and Rick Neuheisel.
Aikman’s first comment: “I haven’t seen a lot of Sam Darnold, but I’ve seen Josh.” As a past UCLA QB, of course he’s only watched Rosen. Considering Aikman had an 0-2 record against USC and finished behind Rodney Peete in the Heisman ballot, why would Farmer expect Aikman to have anything constructive to say about a USC player?
Neuheisel’s first comment: “Darnold’s physical traits aren’t overly impressive.” Neuheisel’s ability to evaluate pro talent is highly suspect. He never had a single UCLA player drafted in the first round and actually didn’t have a played selected in the 2009 draft. Besides, as the Bruins’ head coach, Neuheisel had an 0-4 record against USC (1-6 if you include his Washington tenure) so obviously he has an axe to grind against the Trojans.
Rancho Santa Margarita
Bernie Casey wasn’t a Ram for very long, but his catch in the left corner of the peristyle end zone is etched in my memory. As a 10n-year-old I was at the Coliseum that day in 1967 with my dad and brother. The Rams were battling Vince Lombardi’s Packers, trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. With less than a minute left the Rams trailed and fans were exiting the stadium, defeated. Then came the miracle blocked punt by Tony Guillory, and it was Gabriel to Casey for the winning touchdown! We were so stoked, Dad took us back the following week to see the Rams blitz the Johnny Unitas Colts and win the Western Conference.
For the Oct. 8 game against Seattle, I would just love it if the Coliseum grounds crew acknowledged Casey and that great Rams era by painting his No. 25 on the spot where he caught that ball.
The Rams looked pretty good last week on Thursday night. Maybe they should play more games in their pajamas.
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