USC Sports

Letters: Not the season USC fans had in mind

Which of the following is the worst?

A. A hapless coach leading a group of very talented USC football players to a 7-5 record and the Cow Chip Bowl.

B. A hopeless coach who sprints 40 yards down the sidelines to call timeout just before his team appears to score a touchdown that they don’t get back.

C. A clueless coach who, when short yardage is needed for a first down or touchdown, repeatedly calls for a run directly at a Heisman Trophy candidate.

D. A witless coach who, when he does call a play on forth and goal other than a try up the middle, has the ball thrown to a player who has caught fewer passes in a season than several of the other players on the field catch in a single game.

E. The worst TV sports broadcaster in history mumbling, stumbling and bumbling regarding the SC fiasco on national television.

F. All of the above.

In the immortal words of Karl Rove, “All the results aren’t in yet. It’s just too close to call.”

Steve Bass



Monte Kiffin resigned to save his son’s job. Lane Kiffin should have resigned to save USC’s program.

Sol Bialeck

Van Nuys


Despite the interceptions and some miscues, freshman Max Wittek found his rhythm, displayed remarkable resolve under pressure, and played more than “good enough” to defeat Notre Dame. Unfortunately, his coach was not equal to the task.

Rick Solomon

Lake Balboa


Imagine my surprise when reading last Monday’s “Immaturity costs USC” article and finding it was about the basketball team.

Ralph Martinez



The dismal 2012 USC season is the product of many things, including the lack of proper coaching, inadequate game preparation, total inability to adjust game plans on the fly, lack of a shred of tactical creativity, apparent lack of ability to motivate and or discipline players and last but not least, a season full of consistent bonehead play-calling on both sides of the ball.

How could such a performance and complete misuse of resources deserve anything but immediate dismissal? Retaining Lane Kiffin in 2013 is tantamount to rewarding failure. Does anyone really believe things will change with Kiffin in charge in 2013? It is time for Kiffin to turn in the keys and make room for a real head coach. Jack Del Rio, anyone?

Robert J. Gagliano

Palos Verdes


I thought Lane Kiffin was supposed to be an offensive genius. Has he convinced himself he is so brilliant that he doesn’t even need to look at game film? His brilliant plan with first and goal is to adopt the plan that failed for Stanford? Is there an expiration date on that 150% job guarantee?

Lee Aydelotte

Huntington Beach


Pat Haden was quoted as saying, “Coaches live and die with wins, but athletic directors look at everything.”

Does Mr. Haden look at the possibility of declining football revenues that subsidize all USC sports, more 7-5 seasons with second-tier payout bowl appearances, a half-empty ‘90s-era-like Coliseum, and losing to Notre Dame and UCLA in the same season? If this happens, I wonder how long USC President Nikias will be 150% committed to his athletic director?

John Brunel

Tustin Ranch


Against Notre Dame, Lane Kiffin showed the nation what Trojans fans and alumni had been witnessing all season: He is not head coach material. He is a great recruiter and a good offensive mind but he is not ready for big boy football. At the end of the game, Lane practically ran out the clock with his horrible play-calling and clock management. As in the previous 11 games, he could not make second-half adjustments. He was outcoached in almost all of the games this season, even some of the games he won.

Willis Barton

Los Angeles


After the Notre Dame victory, I feel compelled to write and express my dissatisfaction. It’s one thing to be a disgruntled USC fan, but couldn’t you find one thing positive to print about the Fighting Irish? Your articles made it sound like their 12-0 record was pure luck and that they really don’t deserve their No. 1 ranking.

Elizabeth Rath

Newport Beach


Great to see the new BCS playoff system working so well. Alabama and Georgia in one semifinal, Notre Dame in the other. Just not sure who Notre Dame is playing.

Mer Valdez

Long Beach

Taking over

T.J. Simers once again embarrassed himself and his newspaper with his conduct at Jim Mora’s news conference after UCLA’s loss to Stanford last week. He thinks he is cute and edgy, but trying to take over the event because he didn’t get the answer he wanted was simply childish. You don’t get your own news conference, T.J. Nobody would be interested.

Alan Abajian

Alta Loma

Not gentle on Ben

I’m not saying Ben Howland is a bad coach, but maybe, just maybe, Howland is not the best man to head the prestigious UCLA program. It’s obvious that Ben is not recruiting the proper player to fit his unique coaching style. Or that players, once they enroll at UCLA, find Howland’s methods, to say the least, odd or peculiar.

Al DaRodda

Los Angeles


While I respect Coach Ben Howland a great deal, I cannot help but wonder why veteran and good players like Tyler Lamb and, now, Josh Smith, are departing. Are the players leaving simply because they are being outplayed by the newcomers? Or is there something else going on?

Lewis Redding



I’m so tired of Ben Howland’s, dull, unimaginative and vanilla offense. With the talented players that he currently has, his offense reminds me of someone who has a Maserati or souped-up Porsche, and drives 50 mph in the slow lane.

Michael Gesas

Beverly Hills


I am intrigued by Coach Howland’s assessment that his players are talented but not athletic. As an emeritus faculty member in the department of surgery at UCLA, should I propose that we recruit surgeons who are talented but cannot operate?

Jesse E. Thompson

Los Angeles


After Cal Poly SLO’s recent victory at UCLA, shouldn’t the arena be renamed Poly Pavilion?

Joseph Gutierrez

Cambria, Calif.


Now that Josh Smith has left the UCLA basketball team , he can do what he has always wanted to do — enter the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, or be an offensive tackle on the football team.

Charlie Mortimer



Moving John Wooden’s memorial seat may be strange, but Pauley is basically a new arena. Moving the student section from midcourt so the TV cameras focus on empty seats so expensive no one who could afford them would ever show up for a 9 p.m. game against Cal State Northridge is a travesty.

Rich Holland

Aliso Viejo

And, these guys

After watching the Lakers sleepwalk through a dismal effort in Tuesday night’s contest with the Pacers, I was given to think that they probably didn’t give their last coach enough of a chance. I am talking about Bernie Bickerstaff, of course.

Bud Chapman



I’m struggling to understand whom to root for in this first month of Lakers basketball. An owner that cared would not have hired then fired Mike Brown, then dangled Phil Jackson only to hire Mike D’Antoni. Everyone talks about offense. Princeton or triangle or pick-and-roll, it seems irrelevant if no one defends. Every first quarter is a buffet for opposing teams. Gasol is sad, Nash is hurt, Kobe is old, World Peace is older, they have no chemistry. Dr. Buss has lost his way, and so have the Lakers.

Marcelo Barreiro

Manhattan Beach


Pau Gasol has the class to take the public tongue lashing by D’Antoni like a true professional. Too bad D’Antoni doesn’t have the professionalism or class to have issued it privately.

Dawn Sharp



If Pau Gasol really wants to adapt to the new up-tempo offense, I can suggest one sure-fire way to drop five or six seconds off his time in getting downcourt on the fastbreak: Stop staring at the referees after a shot attempt and just run the floor.

Bill Langley

Studio City


Will someone please give Rick Barry’s telephone number to Dwight Howard?

Richard Raffalow

Valley Glen


Without question, Marvin Mlller elevated baseball players from what many considered servitude. Players were, in fact, subject to the whim of owners for some time.

Let’s be totally honest. He’s also a big part of why it costs approximately $400 for a family of four to enjoy reasonably good seats at a ballgame and why you can shoot a cannon though many stadiums. When dogs like Vernon Wells receive $24 million annually and barely hit their weight, that’s over the top.

Please admit that’s part of the picture. Next you’ll be granting sainthood to Donald Fehr.

Art Ansoorian



I was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of my friend and broadcast colleague David Courtney. As the PA voice of several sports teams, he was the ultimate professional and will be missed by so many.

I imagine a scene where St. Peter is making the introduction right about now, and God saying to David, “So, you’re the gentleman who sounds just like me....”

Richard Turnage



The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

Mail: Sports Viewpoint

Los Angeles Times

202 W. 1st St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fax: (213) 237-4322


Go beyond the scoreboard

Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.