Letters to Sports: Readers react to USC hiring Lincoln Riley, some not so favorably
USC put its coaching search into overdrive, from 0 to 60 in nothing flat, swapping out a clunky old jalopy for a shiny turbocharged Lincoln, and now the Trojans are living the life of Riley.
Sorry, Pac-12, them’s the breaks.
USC has been plagued recently by scandals such as a drug-using dean in its medical school, a gynecologist sexually assaulting women in student health, accepting bribes in the athletic admissions department, and accusations of bribes in its school of social work. The board and president of USC need to pay more attention to running an academic university than to who coaches the football team.
Michael E. Mahler
Nebraska was a top five team in the country for decades until it jumped from the Big 12 to the Big 10, where it struggles to maintain a winning record. Lincoln Riley jumps ship and abandons his team just before Oklahoma joins the SEC, where it will be tough and they will struggle to be a top 25 team. That’s not the kind of loyalty and integrity of a person I get excited about to turn a hot mess of a USC program around. What’s the over-under until he jumps again for the Rams head coaching job? I give it two years. His past informs his future.
On Page B3 of Monday’s Times is a photograph of a vintage Cadillac cruising down Hollywood Boulevard as part of the Hollywood Christmas Parade. The license plate exclaims “SCRULES.” On Page 1 of the same day’s Sports section is a blaring headline proclaiming that fact that USC has just hired perhaps the premier young football coach in American, Lincoln Riley. Is this just a coincidence or an omen?!
As a lifelong Bruins fan my confidence was challenged when I heard the trumpets of joy that Lincoln Riley was anointed as the new GOAT at USC. Acolyte after acolyte piled on such praise that I thought USC had spirited away coach Bud Wilkinson from his current high position, rather than a mere mortal like Lincoln Riley. But then Bill Plaschke shouted his praise over even the trumpets and my confidence was not only restored but strengthened.
No mere mortal can defeat the indestructible force of the Plaschke curse.
Thank you, Bill Dwyre. Instead of gushing like an infatuated schoolboy about the hire of a new coach at USC, as did another saccharine-laced Times columnist, he pulled away the rented curtain to show the true visage of the coaching carousel in college football today, where the path to greed and personal glory leaves behind a sad trail of betrayed student-athletes.
The Blue Crew
A tip of the cap to Andrew Friedman for staying out of the bidding for Max Scherzer and Corey Seager. Nearly one half of a billion dollars was paid out to a 37-year old hurler whose arm died on him late in the Dodgers playoff run and a very good, yet injury prone player who was not going to play shortstop on this ballclub. There is no other description of this madness except to say it is obscene.
Some of the best quotes in sports all have to do with winning. “Just win, baby.” “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” And “Hello! You play to win the game.”
Apparently that doesn’t hold true with today’s athletes. It’s all about, “Show me the money.” There’s no loyalty in baseball. They don’t care about what team they play for as long as they get paid. And they end up going from the penthouse to the outhouse as far as their new teams and how they finish in the standings.
What’s the matter with the Dodgers? For a mere half a billion dollars they too could have signed a pitcher on his last legs who quit on them and an injury-prone shortstop who can’t field his position or refrain from swinging at any pitch low and away.
This year’s playoff loss to the Atlanta Braves is insignificant next to the Dodgers’ loss of Corey Seager.
In his “A Letter to Baseball Fans,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred states, “Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League players.”
This is a lie. This is a decision that was made when, if cooler heads had prevailed, an agreement could have been reached to play under the existing collective bargaining agreement until such time as a deal is reached. To state that MLB was “forced” to institute a lockout is akin to saying, “I was forced to shoot myself in the foot.”
“Patently absurd” are the words that come to mind in consideration of the labor unrest in Major League Baseball, which has manifested itself in a lockout, another slap in the face to us fans.
Let us see how talented the team owners and players are at taking another wrecking ball to this great sport as they did within the labor strife of 1994, from which a recovery was slow and incomplete. I have great faith that they can inflict significant new damage, to demonstrate again that the fans come last!
Peters Township, Pa.
As much as baseball has always been my favorite sport and I’m also a longtime season-ticket holder, I will not shed one tear if this new work stoppage causes loss of games.
Players and owners may be underestimating the power of their fans.
Matters at Mater Dei
The disgusting coverup, lies, obfuscation and hazing practices described in the lawsuit against Mater Dei High, which were the subject of Bill Plaschke’s recent column, are abominable and should be met with swift and appropriate discipline if true.
The school president’s call for trust and patience rings hollow. The investigation and appropriate disciplinary measures should have been concluded long ago.
It is a sad commentary that winning at all costs appears to be the real mission of the school from the top down.
Mater Dei High, such a nice, private Catholic school infected with many things already exposed about the church going back decades. Lies, coverups, allegations of assault and arrogance. And for what? Championships? I wonder what Jesus would say?
Plaschke’s column on Mater Dei is just the tip of the iceberg. I have coached over 40 years, 16 at the high school level. The mixture of public schools with private schools that recruit players in all sports is a huge cultural problem. Of course their concept of civility and fairness is nonexistent … they have the best players! And everyone, especially the CIF Southern Section, looks the other way and pretends there is an equal playing field. It is this kind of nonsense that develops the “I got mine” atmosphere. Exactly what are they attempting to teach?
The excellent article by Bill Plaschke ends with a very telling quote from coach Bruce Rollinson. “I just won a CIF championship,” he said. Not we just won, or our kids or our school or our program just won. I just won a CIF championship. Say no more, coach. You’ve just told us all we need to know about the culture of Mater Dei.
Kevin P. Smith
Bill Plaschke’s article about Mater Dei was quite an eye-opener and made me disgusted. Catholics are taught to honor human life, not destroy. No championship is worth the hazing this young man allegedly was made to endure. It is time to stand up for what is right. Rev. Walter Jenkins needs to fire coach Rollinson and the athletic director.
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