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From the Desk of the A.D.

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The second in an occasional series, "From the Desk of the A.D." allows you to hear directly from USC athletic director Mike Garrett, who gives you his thoughts on several topical and hot-button subjects for the Trojans and college sports. 


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By Mike Garrett
USC Athletic Director



As we reach the middle of March, football's Spring Practice is getting closer, but let's not forget that many more other exciting things are going on with USC athletics in the meantime.

On Wednesday last week, our men's tennis team beat UCLA in Westwood for the first time since 1991, our women's golf team won the Bruin Wave Invitational and the men's swimming team won its first relay title since 2002 when it won the 800-yard free relay at the Pac-10 Swimming Championships.

And that was just on Wednesday.

So many great things are happening for the Trojans right now. Here are my thoughts on recent happenings in the latest "From the Desk of the A.D." blog entry:

  • The women's basketball team has been fighting uphill all season. They've been short on bodies and faced many challenges, but they've exceeded all expectations. I'm so excited to see them play this weekend in the Pac-10 Tournament at the Galen Center, and I can't wait for next year. We're in the hunt now, and we will be even more so in the coming years.

  • This was a tough season for our men's basketball team, but I'm so proud of how the coaches and players fought resiliently even when faced with the worst odds. It was a team made up of a potpourri of people, but they exhibited great character, defense and coaching and -- pardon the cliché -- they showed us all what it truly means to "fight on." This program will be in the mix and among the top basketball teams in the country next season, and I believe forever and ever into the future.

  • In the next year or so, USC will become a big-time basketball school. I have no doubt about it. We have the two best coaches -- Kevin O'Neill and Michael Cooper -- we've ever had at one time in our history. We're striving to make USC a basketball school as well as a football school, and we want to make the complete statement. The first step to becoming a basketball powerhouse will be this weekend in the Pac-10 Women's Tournament, so jump on the bandwagon now or it'll be too late. Without hesitation, I can say we'll be selling out games at the Galen Center for both men's and women's basketball in the next year or two. And in two seasons, it's going to be nearly impossible to get a ticket to watch a basketball game at the Galen Center. I'm excited to see it happen, and I hope you are too.

  • On another topic, lately there has been a rash of arrests and student-athlete disciplinary problems at schools around the Pac-10 and country. It's very unfortunate and disheartening to see this happen to young people at other schools, but it also creates a good teachable moment for our student-athletes. We continue to stress basic values in our athletic department, such as class attendance, preparing for exams and representing the university in the best way. For our student-athletes, they know the type of behavior we're reading about won't be tolerated here. At other schools, I'm guessing the athletes think there will be some type of negotiations with the standards and rules of maintaining good character. At USC, it's non-negotiable. As I say, you're either a Trojan or you're not. You've got to act like it all the time, or you're showing you don't want to be here. In my book, there is no middle ground with this stuff.

  • My first week in social media -- writing a blog and tweeting on my new Twitter page -- has been really fun and exciting. I love hearing your feedback and responses, and thank you for your support in this new venture. Please keep sending in your thoughts and questions, and I'll do my best to answer your inquiries on this blog and my Twitter.

  • At the moment, we're competing for national championships in women's water polo, men's and women's tennis, with both swimming teams and with both track and field squads, and don't be surprised if the men's volleyball or the golf teams make a title run. It's an exciting time at USC. But by far, the most important sport for us right now is women's basketball with the Pac-10 Tournament coming up. We need your support. Get on the bandwagon now before it's too late!

4 Comments

Great addition of "From the Desk of the A.D.". I could really feel your passion for USC and all of it's athletics. Keep up the great work and "Fight On"!

Still no mention of whether or not football practices will be open to the public as they have been in previous years. We would love to see that continue, but if not, come on out and tell us all what to expect and why.

I'm waiting to hear something on the sad state of the baseball program and what he plans on doing about it (if anything)! That topic seems to be curiously missing from Garrett's comments??

Good BPO site to find projects.

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