From the desk of the A.D.


This is another installment in an occasional series, "From the Desk of the A.D." It 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. 

By Mike Garrett
USC Athletic Director

--This morning, I attended the Trojan Family Celebration in Bovard Auditorium honoring Steven and Kathryn Sample.  President Sample, who is retiring this summer, leaves behind an incredible legacy.  From an athletic director's standpoint, he has been a gem to work for.  He has been an advocate of our athletic department throughout his tenure and he has supported our cause faithfully.  He has been with us as a loyal Trojan in victory and defeat, and he has helped raise the athletic department to unparalleled heights.  During his 19-year presidency, our athletic program has thrived on the field (winning 22 national championships and producing scores of All-Americans and Olympians), in the classroom (two Rhodes Scholars, a USC valedictorian, a dozen NCAA Post-Graduate Scholars and eight Academic All-Americans), financially (with record fundraising levels) and facilities-wise (including the Galen Center).  Steve and Kathryn, thank you.  We wish you the best and we hope to see you at many USC athletic events in the future.
--Our academic year is coming to a close, with final exams about to begin.  We're looking forward to the university's annual Commencement ceremony a week from Friday and, with it, the graduation of many Trojan student-athletes.  It's a time of mixed feelings, as we're saddened to see these outstanding young people leave the university but we are genuinely excited for them as they step into their promising future.  Most importantly, it is a time of great pride;  the university, the athletic department, their families and all Trojan fans are so proud of each of these great Trojans.  It's important for us to recognize not only what they accomplished athletically while at USC, but the superior work they have done in the classroom.  There will be 109 student-athletes eligible to march at next week's Commencement (that includes not only the current spring semester graduates but those from last fall's and this summer's semesters, along with a handful of former Trojan student-athletes who returned to the university to complete their degree requirements).  Two of them Jon Hackett of the men's volleyball team and women's swimmer Kristina Rigterink have been invited to the university's prestigious Senior Recognition Awards Ceremony next Thursday.  They will be presented with either The Order of Troy or The Order of the Laurel and the Palm, which are bestowed upon a select few graduating seniors who have demonstrated extraordinary service and commitment to our campus community.  Then, later that day, the athletic department will host its inaugural Graduation Celebration for our student-athletes at Heritage Hall.  We will present our annual awards to our top seniors (the Trojaneer Diamond Award, Gimble Award and Willis O. Hunter Award).  We are expecting a nice turnout for this special reception and ceremony.  It's our way of saying congratulations, best wishes and thank you.
--Speaking of academics, I thought you'd be interested in the following statistics.  We have about 600 student-athletes at USC presently.  Last fall, nearly half of them (287) achieved a 3.0 grade point average, including 14 with a perfect 4.0.  Some 117 made the university's Dean's List.  Our department's average GPA approached 3.0.  We take pride in recruiting students who are achievers both academically and athletically.  Once they arrive at USC, we provide them with all the tools that they need to succeed, whether that be with some of the best coaches in the world or with our highly-regarded Student Athlete Academic Services department.
--I heard that last Saturday's Spring Football Game at the Coliseum was a fun day for our fans, allowing them a sneak peak at the 2010 Trojans.  I say "heard" because I wasn't there.  I decided to go across town and take in the day-long USC-UCLA dual meet in track and field.  It is one of the great sporting events in college athletics.  And it was a historic day for our Trojans.  We won both the men's and women's meets in dominating fashion, sweeping the Bruins for the second year in a row and the first time ever in Westwood.  I can't tell you how proud I am of Coach Ron Allice, his staff and his athletes.  To say that I enjoyed myself sitting in those stands, well, I think you know how I feel about that.
--Last Saturday's track success, coupled with our women's rowers beating the Bruins that morning, clinched the Crosstown Gauntlet.  That means we keep that spectacular trophy in the lobby of Heritage Hall for a third consecutive year.  Before this three-year run, neither school had ever repeated as champion.  I can tell you this:  every single coach, athlete and administrator at USC keeps close tabs on the year-long competition with our crosstown rival...and I guarantee you the same happens at UCLA.  So we take great delight in claiming the Crosstown Gauntlet.  I know our fans feel the same way.  What is particularly special about this award is that it is competed across the board in all of our sports, so each team here did its part in winning this year's battle.
--May marks the start of our annual USC Coaches Tour, featuring Lane Kiffin and Kevin O'Neill.  The tour makes seven stops throughout California in May and June.  It's always a fun evening, sharing a dinner with Trojan friends and fans and listening to both coaches talk about their teams.  This will be the first tour for both Lane and Kevin, so come out, welcome them and meet them.  More information is on
--I get asked daily about when we'll be hearing from the NCAA regarding its findings in the pending investigation.  I don't have an answer;  the NCAA will release the results when its committee members have concluded their work.  We hope it is soon.


Appreciate the continued updates, thank you Mr.Garrett.

Dear Mr. Garrett:

I have written a book "Famous Personalities with Sports Backgrounds" and would like to get a picture of John Wayne and/or Ward Bond in their USC football uniforms to be used for the cover of my book. Can you give me some direction on how I might achieve this? Thanks.

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