Letters: If USC coach can stay, it would be a feat of Clay

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2018, file photo, Southern California head coach Clay Helton leads his team o
USC coach Clay Helton is under fire.
(Timothy J. Gonzalez / Associated Press)

After reading Clay Helton’s take on his job status, it is obvious that he is either in denial, clueless, or an incredibly good liar. And if he seriously believes that there is nothing wrong with the USC football program, we can add delusional to the list. He may very well be a wonderful guy, as everyone is quick to point out, but the team does not need a “good ol’ boy” running the ship. They need a proven and effective leader, a coach who will do just that, “coach,” and develop the talent on the team. It’s not happening and he needs to go. (Maybe take Lynn Swann with him).

Robert Hallett




Would someone please tell Clay Helton that having your boss publicly state that your job is safe actually means start reserving the U-Haul?

William David Stone

Beverly Hills



Kudos to Dylan Hernandez for his on-the-money diagnosis of the USC football program. USC should change its moniker to Triple U — undisciplined, underachieving and ugly football. They should be trying to recruit two- and three-star athletes that really want to play football and not the prima donnas they have now. Let’s clean house going forward. I can wait for the turnaround but not this charade.

Louis Stratford

Huntington Beach


After the disgraceful loss to Cal, I propose a new definition of USC: UnSportsmanlike Conduct!

Sam Abrams

Hermosa Beach



Let’s talk about senior citizens. No, not the usual kind, but the football kind. Coaches always want seniors — they’re proven, know the ropes, act as coaches on the field, etc. But after watching the USC-Cal game, I wonder. USC seniors seemed to turn certain victory into defeat.

Consider a game-changing hike into the end zone, a taunting penalty removing any chance for end-game heroics, a sideline dust-up causing teammates to turn on each other as evidence that a senior discount may be costly.

Ralph Martinez



As permanent head coach, Clay Helton’s record against Power Five opponents without Sam Darnold is 4-9 with six double-digit losses. Under his uneven and oft-bumbling leadership — which manifests on the field in a stunning dearth of physicality, discipline and player development — USC is plumbing depths of national irrelevance not seen since the dreaded Hackett era. Yet even now, after receiving an effusive vote of confidence from his boss, it appears the athletic administration has stubbornly misconstrued consistency with mediocrity.

If better days are ahead, as Helton defiantly asserts, it won’t be until there’s a new head coach. Will the last person leaving the Coliseum please turn out the lights?

Steve Ross


Beverly Hills


Watching Clay Helton’s interview after the loss to Cal, I was shocked to hear him say that “he has seen other programs across the country win league championships and then have an off season, sometimes you just have a season that doesn’t go your way”. Funny, but I can’t remember the last time Alabama, Ohio State, or Clemson’s record was 5-5.

Tom Holty

Dana Point


In the Nov. 9 sports section, it was said of JT Daniels: “At Mater Dei, there’s the Mother Mary, and JT is Jesus.” Apparently, USC did not know that JT Daniels was Jesus; otherwise they certainly would’ve let him call his own plays.  

David Waldowski

Laguna Woods


Whenever Cal beats USC, two facts are obvious: 1) Trojan football has a serious problem; and 2) Cal’s about to lose its head football coach.

Konrad Moore

San Diego

Song sung Blue

Regarding Bill Plaschke’s column on the fans’ worrying that the Dodgers “plan” not to go over the luxury tax will doom the team to failure. Hogwash.

Dodger fans, sorry, you do not have a god-given right to having ownership spend a bajillion dollars to try to buy a championship even if such a strategy worked (which it usually doesn’t). This ownership team has brought the city six division titles in a row. What other team in any sport has that kind of streak (other than the Harlem Globetrotters)? None, I think. Playoffs, especially in baseball, are a crap shoot; being in the game is the key, winning is often a result of chance.

Stop whining, Dodgers fans, with a less savvy management group you could have a huge payroll, the best player in baseball, and a sub-.500 team. Just ask the other L.A. team.

Andrew Rubin

Los Angeles


I just got an email from my office administrator saying that a missing glove had been found. The first thing that came to mind was, it must be Yasmani Grandal’s.

Ken Feldman

Los Angeles


Last off season the Dodgers sat idle as the Miami Marlins practically gave away their all-star outfield. If Giancarlo Stanton or NL MVP Christian Yelich had been roaming our outfield we might be the ones celebrating a championship instead of the Red Sox. The Dodgers need to stop hoarding prospects and trade 20-year-old catcher Keibert Ruiz for the Marlins J.T. Realmuto, maybe the best catcher in the majors today. Realmuto has already told the Marlins he will not re-sign with them when his current contract expires.

But then again, the thought of controlling Ruiz for the next few years at a minimum salary might be too much of a hurdle for Andrew Friedman to overcome, despite his and ownership’s promise they will do everything they can to get the Dodgers a World Series victory now. Everything, that is, except blow by the sacred luxury tax threshold that most likely kept us from winning last year.

Allan Kandel

Los Angeles

King and his court

Without two games essentially saved by the newly acquired Tyson Chandler, the Lakers probably would have the same start with or without LeBron James. In some ways the development of the kids seems arrested in deference to “the King” on the court.

Notice also that all the free agents supposedly ticketed for L.A are coming to settle with new teams (Butler, Leonard, George, etc.) Since the Big Three with Bosh and Wade, no mega-star seems to want to play with LeBron. Coincidence? Perhaps not....

Bob Goldstone

Corona del Mar

Loving Maradona

As a lifelong soccer fan, I was delighted to see an article on the legendary Diego Maradona. My excitement and reverence soon made way for a sense of sadness to know that the once magical legs are limping and once volatile tongue mumbling. The beginning sentence doesn’t justify his real status as a player; he was not just the greatest player of his time but of all time possibly right behind Pele.

Janev Veetil

Simi Valley

Shots on goal?

The Kings’ “Enough is enough” campaign to protest shooting carnage in America is a joke. There is only one way to prevent mass shootings: strictly control the sale and possession of guns and ammunition. And the only way to do this is to vote out of office Republican presidents, congresspeople and state legislators who are controlled by the National Rifle Assn. and vote for the economic needs of the NRA and gun manufacturers rather than the safety of all Americans. “Enough is enough” is not nearly enough.

Bob Lentz



It makes perfect sense that the Kings are now the worst team in the NHL; there’s only room for but one King in the house.

Marty Foster

San Francisco

It’s the coaching

Sam Farmers’s article illustrating the lack of NFL interest in current UCLA and USC football players is troubling. Both teams have had top-20 recruiting classes for the past five years but have seemingly failed to develop their talent. In my opinion this is a coaching issue, and the coaching staffs at both schools need to be held accountable.

MIke Anderson

Sherman Oaks

Quick hits

The No.1 NFL play of the week occurred after the Rams’ game Sunday, when Andrew Whitworth donated his entire game check to victims of the horrific tragedies that occurred last week in California.

Alan Meersand

Manhattan Beach


Andrew Whitworth donates his game check to the Borderline shooting victims. The Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell turns down $70 million to play football. Who’s out of touch with reality?

Dave Eng

Thousand Oaks


Given the Raiders’ inability to throw the long pass, they should be known as “Raiders of the Lost Arc.”

Ian Bardin

Redondo Beach

So close

I’ve enjoyed your retrospective stories about the UCLA-USC football rivalry, but did you have to mention the 1998 Bruins? I still have Edgerrin James nightmares to this day!

Jack Wolf



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