Letters: It’s no Holiday season for Clay Helton and USC

USC coach Clay Helton.
(Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Hey Bill Plaschke, here’s an idea: Since they “so love” Southern California, how about the Oregon Ducks recruit USC President Carol Folt and athletic director Mike Bohn? I know they are too smart to recruit USC’s stellar head football coach, but at least this would be a start.

Michael Dragotto

Los Angeles


As Bill Plaschke points out, the center of the college football, West Coast universe has shifted to Oregon and the Northern states. Well, there is nothing wrong with that. Good luck to them, it’s great to see a Pac-12 team whip up on a Big Ten team.

As Plaschke says, some day the center of the recruiting universe will shift back to Southern California, with all of our surf and turf, sand and sun, pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, commerce, employment, centers of technology, and population.


Maybe the kids that leave to play in Oregon should just stay up there the rest of their lives, raise their families there, and enjoy their trouble-free existence. We have plenty of people to enjoy our “troubles” down in So Cal.

Chet Chebegia

San Marcos


Well, it now appears that Clay Helton has fired every assistant coach that worked for him as little as two years ago. A complete overhaul of the program, except for one minor aspect … the head coach.

It is clear that a few Band-Aids will not fix what is wrong with the USC football program. It requires a complete overhaul in its entire approach to everything. Only with an entirely new culture that emphasizes toughness, discipline, physicality and fundamentals will USC ever be able to return to the upper echelon of college football.

Drew Pomerance

Woodland Hills


Clay Helton can fire anyone he wants and it will not change anything. Anyone who knows college football realizes a team’s success is based on the success or failure of their recruiting efforts. Under Helton’s leadership, USC is in line to have its poorest recruiting year in school history.

This embarrassing failure will ensure that USC has no chance of competing for a national title and will be at best a contender for a weak Pac-12 South title. It is truly amazing that all year Helton has stated his team was going to be very special by season’s end and he actually said after being demolished by Iowa that the team was “on the cusp of greatness.”

Get ready, Trojans fans, for another year of disappointment and as long as Helton remains as the head coach, the top high school players in Southern California will be going elsewhere.


Bruce Olson



I have just finished reading Mr. Plaschke’s column bemoaning the outcome of the Holiday Bowl. As would be expected, he laid all the blame for the Trojans’ loss on coach Helton. To which I say, “get off it!” Helton will be around for another year, so why not give him a chance?

Is it not possible that the Trojans were just up against a better and healthier team, and a different coach wouldn’t have made any difference? And let’s face it, a big-name coach is really better for mainly one thing. And that is to bring in big bucks. And that may not be bad, as long as the university remembers that its main duty is to educate. Even to educate their athletes.

I have been a USC rooter for 80 or more years and will continue to be, come what may.

John Kelly

San Luis Obispo


Paul Hackett was a nice guy, too. And, seriously, do the Trojans have a strength and conditioning program?

Jack Von Bulow

Temple City

Not a terrific idea

Clearly, the Chargers need to attract their fans to the stadium so that they do not play 16 away games a year. (I was a season ticket-holder their first year in Carson and saw the away phenomenon firsthand). But, are Los Angeles fans so unsophisticated and starstruck that an 80-year-old Tom Brady will attract 30,000 people in powder blue and yellow to Inglewood?

Oh, wait, starstruck Angelenos; of course it will work.

Andrew E Rubin

Los Angeles


Before Arash Markazi gets everyone’s false hopes up, the chance of Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots for the Chargers is about 1 in 10 million. It just isn’t going to happen. Yes, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath all ended up on different teams when their careers wound down, but Brady’s case is different.


As far as owner Robert Kraft is concerned, Brady is nothing less than his own son and he will do everything in his power to keep him on his team. Brady isn’t going anywhere.

Charles Reilly

Manhattan Beach

Still a Wizardly wonder

As we turn the page on the decade in sports, let’s not forget John Wooden, who left us on June 4, 2010. Coach John was the reason many of us became staunch sports fans, and you can make the case that he was the greatest coach in any sport. Has anyone else ever won 38 consecutive do-or-die tournament games?

Fred Wallin

Westlake Village


A sports decade retrospective that begins by recalling the death of coach Wooden, then goes on to give UCLA terse, grudging, and minimalist mention for the balance of the piece. Is there a more fitting summary for the tepid tenure of the Dan Guerrero era at Westwood’s Morgan Center? I think not.

Blaise Jackson (UCLA ‘82)


True blue feelings

All the gnashing of teeth over the 106-win Dodgers and their quiet winter is ridiculous. They have four pitchers under 25 who look like the future. Anybody see the late movement on Dustin May’s ball, or Tony Gonsolin’s composure alongside Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Kenta Maeda and Julio Urias?


The only trade where the Dodgers may lose one of those pitchers is for Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor, and that may require two other front-line players. Catching Washington, which had the best second half in the majors last year, in a five-game series with their pitching staff was just unlucky. Fans need to catch their breath.

Dean Downing

Huntington Beach

It’s the thought that counts

The Dodgers’ decade through the eyes of Oprah Winfrey: You get a World Series championship; you get a World Series championship; you get a NL division title; you get a Cy Young Award nominee pitcher; and courtesy of the ownership group, the fans get a big foam finger.

Mario Valvo



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