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Win Sark's Seats: Colorado

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Congratulations to Keenan Z. who won Steve Sarkisian's seats to the USC vs. Arizona State game at the Coliseum.

As a reminder, Sark is giving away midfield seats, VIP parking and VIP tailgate passes to every home game this season.  Fans will have to enter each week to be eligible for that week's prize.

Click here to enter!

This week's prize package is for the October 18 home game against Colorado.  Please enter by June 15.

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Nunis Inducted Into Academic Hall

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Former USC football player Dick Nunis became the third Trojan ever inducted into the Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame at a ceremony this week in Orlando.  Nunis, who graduated from USC in 1954, went on to become president of Walt Disney Attractions in 1980 and chairman in 1991 earning a reputation as Walt Disney's right-hand man.

Nunis joins USC legends Pat Haden and John Naber in the distinguished 127-member Hall of Fame which was created in 1988.  On the football field, Nunis was a rising talent grabbing six interceptions as a sophomore before suffering a career-ending neck injury in the 1952 Crosstown Rivalry.

"My injury, at the time, seemed a real tragedy," Nunis recounted. "It turned out to be the best accident of my life."

Below is the 2014 class starting with Nunis on the far left followed by Bentley soccer star Terry Carleton, Cal gymnast Dr. Sigall Bell, Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks and Virginia tailback Tiki Barber.
 
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History Is All Around Us

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USC has jokingly been called the "University of Summer Construction" by some as new buildings seem to pop up with regularity this time of year.  But the neighborhood next to which the University Park Campus is located, the West Adams district, is known for its historic architecture.

In a cool photo spread published by Slate.com entitled "Uncovering Los Angeles' Forgotten Neighborhood", several unique local houses and buildings dating back more than a century are profiled. 

And of course, Hollywood has used many of the historic homes as sets for feature films including the recently released comedy Neighbors starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, which turned the 1907 Craftsman (below) into a frat house.

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Lee's New Look

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USC alum Marqise Lee made his debut in teal at the NFL Rookie Premiere at the LA Memorial Coliseum on May 31, 2014.  Here is a first look at the newest Jacksonville Jaguars receiver...


End of NCAA Sanctions

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The NCAA sanctions imposed on USC football, men's basketball and women's tennis in 2010 are officially over.

Click here for the LA Times look at the effect of the sanctions on USC athletics.

USC Athletic Director Pat Haden:

Haden-Heritage-PC.jpg"Today is a significant day for USC Athletics.  That is because yesterday was the final day of the NCAA's four-year probation imposed on our football, men's basketball and women's tennis teams.

"These past four years have been trying ones for those programs as they navigated many issues related to the NCAA sanctions.  Our football team, in particular, was hit with severe penalties that created unusual hardships for our players, coaches, staff and fans.  Despite those penalties, during the past four seasons our football team produced a pair of 10-win seasons, our men's basketball team had a 19-win season with a trip to the NCAA tournament and our women's tennis team twice won the Pac-12 championship while advancing to the NCAA tourney all four years.  Indications point to promising futures for each program, as each has recruited extremely well.

"All of us in the USC athletic department want to extend our sincere appreciation to our fans and donors for their continued support during our probation years.  We know it has not been easy for them, but the unwavering support of the Trojan Family is what makes USC the special place it is.  No program in the country could have endured the past four years the way USC has;  the Trojan Family has been a key part of that.  Not only have all of our teams excelled on the field of play more often than not these past four years, but we have been able to construct state-of-the-art facilities for them, including the McKay Center, Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Merle Norman Stadium and a renovated Heritage Hall.

"Although our probation has ended, challenges remain because of the lingering effects of the sanctions.  And we also must remain diligent when it comes to rules compliance.  As a reminder, we have another year remaining in the five-year window of repeat violator status;  another major violation could bring even more severe hardships.

"Moving forward, we are revising policies now that some limitations imposed on us by the NCAA are lifted, in particular those regarding public access at football and men's basketball games, practices and travel.  But we can only do so if there is a continued vigilance and compliance with NCAA rules by all parties.  The NCAA-imposed access restrictions were certainly challenging for us and our fans, but the policies we developed to deal with those restrictions have become models with our peers throughout the country.

"Again, I want to personally thank our players, coaches, staff and athletic compliance office for the amazing attitude and performance they have exhibited these past four years, and thank our fans for the overwhelming support we needed to get through these difficult times.  As we look forward to an incredibly bright future in USC Athletics, let us all continue to Fight On!"

USC Vice President for Athletic Compliance Dave Roberts:

"I am pleased to report that on June 9, 2014, USC successfully completed the four-year period of probation imposed by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in 2010.  

"During its probation, USC provided, and the COI approved and accepted, annual reports detailing its compliance with each of the sanctions imposed on USC, as well as the programs and policies implemented to ensure future compliance with NCAA rules and regulations.  

"Although some sanctions were difficult and burdensome to implement and monitor, there were some benefits and results that were noted not only by USC, but also by other institutions and conferences (e.g., football game sideline access).

"USC will continue its pursuit of excellence, academically and athletically, in accordance with the rules of the NCAA, Pac-12 and USC.  We look forward to maintaining our position as a leader in intercollegiate athletics."

Fox Sports U

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The LA Kings are one win away from the Stanley Cup, and some USC students had a hand in igniting the fever as part of Fox Sports University, a unique partnership between the Marshall School of Business and Fox Sports West. 

Fox Sports University provides a real-world marketing experience for students, which in this case revolved around generating excitement for ice hockey in sunny Southern California.  USC marketing students were tasked with creating a fresh campaign focused on marrying the traditions of hockey with the sensibilities of Los Angeles.

The student groups each presented a full-scale marketing campaign and the winning team's concepts would go on to help fuel creative for the final promo spot that aired on Fox Sports West.  And, when the Kings and Anaheim Ducks met in the playoffs, the marketing assignment was taken to the next level as the students created a digital fan photo contest.

Here is a cool feature on the program including the winning spot:


Rowing All-American

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USC women's rowing junior Krisztina Gyimes was selected to the CRCA All-American First Team.  Gyimes is now a two-time All-American and the 13th in program history.

Click here for the complete team.

Gyimes has occupied the seventh seat in the varsity eight since her arrival on campus last year. Immediately, she helped the Women of Troy win the 2013 Jessop-Whittier Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic and was a key member of the eight that hoisted the cup for a fourth straight year this April. She has been instrumental in USC's success this season in the top boat with one of the best ergometer times on the squad.

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Trojans Collect Curtis Cup

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USC women's golf All-Americans Annie Park and Kyung Kim led Team USA to a 13-7 victory over Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup. Both Park and Kim were 3-1 in the match play format which is similar to the Ryder Cup.

Click here for the complete recap.

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Three More MLB Draftees

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Following Wyatt Strahan, who was selected in the third round Thursday, Nigel Nootbaar, Kevin Swick and Bob Wheatley were all picked in the 2014 MLB Draft on Friday.  Nootbaar was grabbed by the Orioles in the 12th round, while Swick went to the White Sox in the 22nd round and Wheatley was tabbed by the Blue Jays in the 26th round.

Click here for the complete stories.

Like Strahan, Nootbaar is a junior, so he will have a decision to make between turning pro or finishing up four years at USC.  Swick and Wheatley have maximized their eligibility.

Nootbaar had a 2.81 ERA in nine appearances this season.
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Early Eye on Fearsome Foursome

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Phil Steele selected USC junior DL Leonard Williams and WR Nelson Agholor for his Preseason All-American team.  Senior LB Hayes Pullard made the second team, while sophomore S Su'a Cravens is on the fourth team.

Williams was an All-American last season, while Agholor earned second team as a punt returner.  Pullard and Cravens are former Freshman All-Americans.

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