Letters to Sports: A Charles White and USC reunion? Many hope so

Charles White poses in front of a swimming pool.
Charles White is suffering from Stage 2 dementia and living in an assisted care facility.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The lead article in last Sunday’s Sports section concerns former USC football star Charles White and his battle with mental illness. The same issue reveals that two current members of the UCLA football team have left the team citing problems with mental illness. Football is America’s most popular sport, yet it is the only one of the top five — baseball, basketball, tennis and swimming are the other four — that injures so many of its participants, both physically and mentally. Why isn’t someone blowing the whistle on this travesty?

Skip Nevell
Los Angeles



Wonderful article about Charles White. A while ago, I responded to a USC email about the school forming a diverse group of 15 to discuss USC athletics. Among other questions, who was my favorite Trojan football player? I stated Charles White. Enough said.

David Marshall
Santa Monica


Lincoln Riley has done everything possible to signify he’s eager to return USC to its winning ways, which includes embracing former players who created this legacy he inherited. Charles White is statistically the greatest tailback in Trojan history, and he sits comfortably atop the conference’s all-time rushing leaders with career records that might not ever be broken. It stands to reason he’ll be warmly welcomed back into the fold by the time this letter is printed.

It’s been said the road to success is paved with mistakes well handled. Keep Fighting On, Charlie.

Steve Ross


Former USC Heisman winner Charles White is suffering from Stage 2 dementia and living in an assisted care facility. He still hopes for a USC reunion.

July 17, 2022


Thank you to The Times and Bill Plaschke for the article on USC great Charles White.

I don’t know about the current USC administration, but among longtime fans and alumni Charles White is far from forgotten.

As a USC student in the late 1970s, I had a front-row (well, actually fourth-row) seat to enjoy No. 12’s on-field exploits. This culminated in the 1980 Rose Bowl, where White put a talented but struggling team on his shoulders and led a last minute 83-yard drive, all on the ground. His somersault into the end zone for the game-winning TD remains an iconic moment.

My thoughts go out to him and his family as he battles the heartbreaking condition brought about by playing the game he loved.

Pete Skacan
Manhattan Beach



As I looked at the Sports section last Sunday, I saw a red USC shirt and I thought, “Oh no. Another Trojan story in The Times.” Upon a closer look — with my glasses — I recognized an old football nemesis in Charles White of San Fernando High. Back in 1975 versus my team, Van Nuys High, Charles ran for 213 yards and three touchdowns in only five carries.

In the spring, I watched from the track as he won the 330 low hurdles for the Mid-Valley League title, only to be visibly angry because a hurdler from Birmingham dared to challenge him, finishing in second, yet too close for Charles’ liking.

I disliked him as a Trojan (I’m a Bruin) but loved him as a Ram.

Great article. I hope SC does the right thing.

Gary Grayson

Stadium woes

We stopped going to Dodger Stadium years ago. It’s a beautiful place to watch baseball, but everything else sucks. The problems that Drew Pomerance described can all be fixed, but Dodger ownership doesn’t care how long it takes you to get to the stadium, how filthy the restrooms are, or that the concession areas experience a shortage of condiments. All they care about is filling the 56,000 seats at every game with fans who are willing to pay the outrageous prices for their seats, their parking fees and their food. It’s all very sad. We so miss the O’Malley ownership and when they cared about the average guy who could take his family to a baseball game at Dodger Stadium.


Joseph Petrotta


I have been a Dodgers fan since I was very young. My love for the Dodgers has continued, but my love of getting to Dodger Stadium and navigating parking, etc. (as Drew Pomerance indicated in the article) is gone. Five years ago we went to a Saturday game, leaving two hours before the 4 p.m. start. Once we got off the freeway we waited one hour to get into the parking lot. We still go to Dodger games every year but have found Petco Park easier to access. It takes a little over an hour to get there, we walk to the stadium from our hotel and enjoy better, less expensive seats and wonderful food.

Vicky McGavack
Huntington Beach

Fans chant for slugger Juan Soto, but the Dodgers need to target starting pitcher Luis Castillo at the trade deadline.

July 22, 2022

Fan support

Mookie Betts asking for more Black people to attend Major League Baseball games is a timely and noble request. However, since the current rate of Black players in MLB stands at just 7.4%, it would seem more needs to be done.

To accomplish this request, maybe MLB, the players’ association and its current Black players should take this as a challenge and support Betts’ request.


More Black players on the field would certainly assist in putting more Black fans in the stands.

David Hardison

The Dodgers star’s airbrushed T-shirt, reading “We Need more Black People at the Stadium,” came from South-Central L.A. streetwear brand Bricks & Wood.

July 20, 2022

Exit penalty?

Instead of complaining about UCLA leaving the Pac-12 Conference and asking for explanations, Gov. Gavin Newsom should be thanking UCLA for all of the decades it has been in the conference bringing in millions of revenue to help support year after year of crummy California Bears programs.

Robert Torres
Redondo Beach


UCLA and USC have been subsidizing the other members of the Pac-12 by accepting an equal share of media payouts despite earning proportionally more of those revenues than their conference brethren. With the two schools leaving to join the Big Ten, it is being suggested that UCLA owes its sister school UC Berkeley a Pac-12 “exit fee” to replace the subsidy UCLA has voluntarily been providing it for years. UCLA decides to stop the gravy train and it should be penalized? I guess no good deed goes unpunished.


Gerry Swider
Sherman Oaks

How sweep it wasn’t

So you have a 75-inch front-page story on how to promote track and field before the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles? Gee, I don’t know. Maybe you could give more than one line in Newswire (sorry, the Day in Sports) to the U.S. sweep of the 100 meters in the World Athletics Championships up the coast in Eugene?

Steve Horn


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