Letters to Sports: Fire on? USC’s coaching woes go beyond Alex Grinch

USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, left, stands next to coach Lincoln Riley.
USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, left, stands next to coach Lincoln Riley during a 52-42 loss to Washington at the Coliseum on Nov. 4. Riley fired Grinch a day after the loss.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
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At last, coach Lincoln Riley has shown some leadership in letting go Alex Grinch. Hopefully, this will lead to other USC defensive coaches being shown the door. Fire On!

David Marshall
Santa Monica


Dancing on the (employment) grave of Alex Grinch? You’re a mean one, Mr. Plaschke!


Richard Turnage


The failure of USC’s football program to develop a first-rate defensive unit has many factors. Yes, Grinch did not do a good job. However, trying to build a defense with transfer portal kids is complicated. Some of the athletes are disgruntled and others are underachievers. Regardless, putting all the pieces together was Grinch’s job and he failed miserably.

Mike Anderson
Sherman Oaks


Has anyone stopped to consider that perhaps the players just aren’t that good? Maybe the head coach should focus on recruiting/hiring better players on the defensive side of the field. Just a thought.

John Lalley
Los Osos



What’s the deal with Riley? He had a perfect opportunity to replace Grinch after the disaster of last season. By keeping Grinch, he squandered the potential of this team (and Caleb Williams) from having a truly memorable season. I am absolutely not impressed with Riley’s performance to date. It would be no big loss for him to move on to the NFL.

Sherwyn Drucker


Bruin ruin

In 1990, Morrissey released his classic song: “November Spawned a Monster.” Who could have predicted it would become the theme song for the annual November collapse of Chip Kelly’s UCLA football teams?

Nick Rose
Newport Coast


Bring back Justin Turner

In addition to skills on the field, the Dodgers have shown that character counts to them. Now that Justin Turner (23 HRs and 96 RBIs in 2023) has declined his 2024 option with the Red Sox, hopefully they can sign the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award winner.


Ken Feldman


Southpaw patrol

I haven’t seen anyone else mention this, but the Dodgers need a left-handed starter — like Blake Snell. All they have are righties. Not good. Clayton Kershaw may or may not be back, but he won’t be available all year in any case. Calling all southpaws!

Mike Schaller
Temple City


Slow starts

Why are people surprised by the Lakers’ start so far? If Steven Adams wasn’t hurt in the playoffs the Lakers lose to the Grizzlies in the first round and nobody is calling them a championship contender. They’ll probably win 44 to 47 games (and that might be too generous). The over/under on how many games LeBron James and Anthony Davis will miss this season is at 50. Which side are you betting on?

Mike Lorraine
Simi Valley



Kevin Durant said it and I hope coach Darvin Ham and the Lakers are listening: “The momentum changed when they started knocking down threes.“ THANK YOU!!!

This has been the Lakers Achilles’ heel for most of last season and the beginning of this one. If you’re the Lakers, I’m sure you prefer 12 for 27 made threes in a win over the Suns compared to seven for 25 in a devastating loss to Houston. The Lakers can play great defense all they want and score in the paint till the cows come home, but if they can’t be even an average three-point shooting team they’re going to struggle to win.

Rick Solomon
Lake Balboa


The Clippers have point guards Russell Westbrook and James Harden starting and playing together. Are two point guards with wildly divergent styles one too many?

Richard Raffalow
Valley Glen


What the Halo?

Ron Washington fits the top two criteria for an Arte Moreno managerial candidate. He comes cheap and he’s the only experienced major league manager on the face of the Earth who is desperate enough to accept a two-year contract.

Ron Yukelson
San Luis Obispo


Jealous much?

Bill Dwyre had a fine commentary about Bobby Knight, but his explanation for Knight’s antipathy toward John Wooden (somehow relating it to Knight’s concern about Pete Newell’s legacy) is convoluted and unconvincing. There is much more obvious explanation: simple jealousy. Knight realized that he would never get the recognition, respect and reverence that Wooden received.

Mark Fisher


Thank you Bill Dwyre for calling out the bully that Bobby Knight was after some articles had been written assuming that he was a nice guy. Year after year of watching his tirades on the court. How can you not like John Wooden, who taught human kindness and humility?


Bob Martinez


Remind Bill Dwyre of what we learned early on: If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything. Especially if that person is deceased.

Tom Scheerer


Can’t fool us

Some innovators at the NBA undoubtedly spent a lot of time and money creating an in-season tournament called … “The NBA In-Season Tournament.”

Maybe “Games with Unnecessary Meaning in an Attempt to Jazz Up the Beginning of the Regular Season with New Courts and an Extra Trophy” was already taken.


Steve Ross


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