June 2010 Archives
The Trojans will practice every day, except Aug. 9-15-19-22-27, leading up to their Sept. 2 game at Hawaii.
If you have a suggestion for a non-football question for future pop culture quiz videos, tweet it to us at www.twitter.com/USCRipsIt. If your question makes the cut, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.
On Sunday (June 27), top-seeded Ross/Kessy defeated Rachel Scott and Elaine Youngs, 21-16, 21-13, in the final of the AVP Belmar Open. It was the pair's third tournament win in June, coming on the heels of victories at Huntington Beach and last weekend at Virginia Beach.
Ross/Kessy also have FIVB tourney wins in Shanghai and Rome this year to earn a No. 1 world ranking.
Ross and Kessy next travel to Stavanger, Norway, for an FIVB competition this weekend (they've won there in 2007 and 2009) and then will compete in the AVP Hermosa Beach Open on July 16-18.
On Monday, Butler will also be looking to answer your questions, when he joins us for a live chat. Ready your questions and check back at 2 p.m. PST to kick off the week with some Trojan Football talk.
In 2012, USC will host three NCAA Championships: men's volleyball in the Galen Center in early May; men's golf at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades from May 29 to June 3; and men's water polo in the McDonald's Swim Stadium in late November.
In 2013, USC will host the NCAA women's water polo championship in the McDonald's Swim Stadium in mid-May.
USC's Galen Center also will be the site of an NCAA women's volleyball regional competition in early December of 2013.
USC is also hosting the Pac-10 men's and women's track and field championships at Loker Track Stadium in May of 2012.
Check back tomorrow at 3 p.m. for the first live chat with a member of the Trojan men's basketball squad.
"Project Trojan: Strength & Conditioning" shows how the Trojan footballers continue to grow this summer under the leadership of new strength and conditioning coach Aaron Ausmus. Hear from players and coaches about how different this past spring was with the new coaching staff, and how the team will move on after hearing the news of the NCAA sanctions.
Click on the highlighted titles above to enjoy both of these episodes.
This year's Futures game is July 11 in Anaheim, featuring the U.S. versus the World teams composed of 25-man rosters.
Green is batting .320 with five home runs and 30 RBI for the Stockton Ports of the California League, the Single A affiliate for the Oakland Athletics.
The Trojan pair are on quite a roll right now, as their two recent AVP wins came on the heels of FIVB wins in Shanghai and Rome to boost their world ranking to No. 1.
Ross and Kessy are off to New Jersey this weekend for the AVP Belmar Open, then return to Southern California for the AVP Hermosa Beach Open on July 16-18.
Former USC All-American Jennifer Song won her pro golf debut. This past weekend, the 20-year-old set a tournament scoring record en route to winning the Tate & Lyle Players Championship, a Duramed FUTURES Tour event.
Song, the 2010 Pac-10 Golfer of the Year, helped the Women of Troy finish second (by just one stroke) at the recent NCAA Championship.
The Nagurski Award goes to the nation's top defensive player, while the Outland Trophy is for the nation's best lineman.
Senior center Kristofer O'Dowd sat down with RipsIt the other day to talk football, his summer activities and appearing in Playboy Magazine (for his Playboy All-American award, of course). Here's the Q&A with the Tucson, Ariz. native:
RipsIt: Thanks for coming in today Kristofer. Now, this is your last summer at USC - have you been doing anything special, outside of taking classes and participating in workouts?
Kristofer O'Dowd: It hasn't really hit me yet that it's my last summer here. I'm going through the same things I've been going through since my freshman year - taking a couple classes, hanging with the fellas. I work out in the mornings with the offensive line, helping build the chemistry all the way up until fall ball. It's my senior year, so I've just been a lot more focused on getting my body right and doing what I need to do to be successful going into fall camp so I can carry that throughout the season.
RipsIt: You're also graduating early at the end of the fall semester (however, Kristofer will walk with the rest of his fellow graduates in the spring 2011 ceremony). From an academic standpoint, how does it feel to have all the hard work pay off?
KO: Yeah, it was a tough time my first couple of years. I did a lot of school because I knew I wanted to graduate early and I thought about doing a master's program. My freshman year I didn't really expect to start (O'Dowd started three of the first four games and appeared in seven games total as a true freshman), so that added an extra level of difficulty. Coming into the fall this year, I'm only taking two classes, so I can really focus on football, and then after the season I can leave with a degree and really make Mom and Dad happy.
RipsIt: What have your summer workouts looked like so far?
KO: We're the big fellas, so we're the first workout group. We're (in the weight room) at 6:30 or 7 a.m. working out, trying to build the unit, trying to get better from where we were in the Spring. Pretty much just getting each other right for the season because that's the most important thing.
RipsIt: As one of the team's senior members, both literally and figuratively, how have you pushed and mentored your O-line teammates?
KO: We have a lot of leaders on the team. As one of them, I put myself in a position to pull other players into our workout group. (Senior) Butch (Lewis) is my boy, and as seniors this year we're trying to do big things. Working out with him and combining our passion really gives us a drive, and it's fun to have someone like him to relate to.
RipsIt: With several members of the offensive line gaining experience this past spring due to injuries and having to face a tough defensive line, how do you feel like they have progressed?
KO: We're definitely one of the toughest offensive lines just because we were running only six to seven guys all spring. It was unfortunate that a bunch of the older guys got injured, but that happens all the time during the season, so it just calls on the younger guys to step up. A lot of them wouldn't be in the position they are now if the older guys hadn't been hurt. I'm really proud of them because even though it was a little rough in the beginning, by the end we were really gelling, and when you get that with the first, second and third team guys that's pretty special. When fall comes, there's definitely going to be a lot of competition - more so than if everyone had stayed healthy in the spring.
RipsIt: Shifting away from the gridiron a bit - we're at the height of the NBA playoffs right now, and the Lakers' road to the finals went through Arizona. You're from Tucson - were you pulling for the Suns or the Lakers in the last series?
KO: Well since I'm from Tucson, not Phoenix, I'm not really a Suns fan. Being out here in L.A. for the last four years, you get brought into the realm of the local sports by living down the street from Dodger Stadium and the Staples Center. With USC being one of the major L.A. football attractions, you feel more a part of the local sports loyalties.
RipsIt: Earlier this month you were elected to your second straight Playboy All-American squad, but they stopped throwing parties for the players three years ago. What's up with that?
KO: It's kind of a bummer, but it's still great to be recognized in Playboy Magazine, so I really can't be too upset.
RipsIt: On a more serious note, when the NCAA ruling came out last week, Matt Barkley referenced Jake Olsen as a source of perspective on the matter. What have you drawn upon to maintain a positive attitude?
KO: It's one game. It's disappointing that we're not going to have the opportunity to show what we have at the end of the season after playing 13 games by being rewarded with a bowl game. But if you think about it, that one game won't really change anything in the big picture of your life. My last home game is against Notre Dame and my last collegiate game is at the Rose Bowl (against UCLA), and that's pretty special as it is. I'm not complaining at all, so don't be surprised when you see the Trojans come out this year and giving it their all in those 13 games.
RipsIt: Some of your teammates from last year are now in the NFL. Who are you most looking forward to see play on Sundays?
KO: My boy, C-Boogie, Charles Brown. I was so jacked up to see him go to the Saints. It's a great place for him. It's so crazy to look back a year ago and they're all next to you, and then they transition to the next level and you can say "hey, I played with that guy." I can't wait for that opportunity when it comes.
RipsIt: Have you kept in touch with Charles or any other of your former teammates?
KO: I keep in touch with a bunch of the guys - Nick Howell with the Titans, Rey Maualuga, Kaluka Maiava, we're all good friends. It's crazy because once they get to that level, they'll always have respect for the players who went to SC and appreciate the relationships they built while they were here.
RipsIt: One way to keep in touch is on Twitter (follow Kristofer here)...
KO: I have to get more followers than Barkley. I want an offensive lineman to be more popular than the quarterback (laughs).
RipsIt: I believe former Trojans Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing are also competing to see who can get more followers. You might have to put out some stakes to beat out Barkley.
KO: Oh, if you put steaks out there, I'll eat 'em (laughs).
RipsIt: So you use Twitter to stay in touch with fans, friends and family?
KO: Yeah, it's cool to see what they're doing on the day-to-day. It gives them an idea of what I'm doing here in LA. If you have an interesting question or comment, let me know and I'll hit you back.
RipsIt: And to wrap-up, what are you most looking forward to this upcoming season?
KO: The upcoming season. Senior year. There's nothing better than that. I can't wait to finish out my career as a Trojan and go out guns a-blazin, because that's what's going to happen.
The committee agreed to postpone a ban on a 13th game until the 2011 USC football season.
USC's Senior Vice President for Administration, Todd Dickey, said: "We want to thank the Committee for granting this relief; it recognizes the serious financial impacts game cancellation would have had to the University and State of Hawaii as well as the fans and supporters of USC who have already made travel arrangements."
By Stephanie Graves
Last night was the first of seven spirit rallies that take place during the summer as part of USC's Freshman Orienation Program. The Trojan Marching Band, Song Girls, Feature Twirlers and Spirit Leaders take a moment the first night of the program to orient the incoming freshman about the spirit and tradition of the university.
After a long day, Special Teams Coach John Baxter decided to wander outside Heritage to listen to the band when Associate Director/Arranger Tony Fox had an idea...and a microphone. So the new coach took a moment to address the new students.
"I'm a special teams coach," bellowed Baxter. "I get guys to run 60 miles an hour into each other and like it. I always tell my players: Be the hammer. Not the nail."
He then continued to teach the over 300 new freshman the call-and-response he uses with his players at practice:
"BE THE HAMMER!"
After three rounds and a "fight on" he handed the students back over to the auspices of the band directors and continued with the rest of night. One thing is certain:
It may not be a lesson the new freshman will ever use, but it certainly will be one they will never forget.
Sanchez, a product of USC and Mission Viejo High School, led the Jets to the AFC Conference Championship game vs. Indianapolis last year. As a rookie quarterback in 2009, Sanchez started 15 games for New York and threw for 2,444 yards and 12 touchdowns.
"Mark is certainly a deserving honoree," said Tom Johnson, President of the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation (OCYSF). "He had an amazing rookie year with the Jets in 2009. Mark joins a long list of prestigious athletes we have honored in the past and we are grateful for his participation."
Since 1971, the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation has enjoyed a proud tradition of celebrating the accomplishments of sports figures as a means of raising funds for boys and girls in the Orange County, CA community. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated well over a $1 million dollars to youth sports in the county. This includes scholarships to college bound scholar-athletes, field trips and improvements to local sports facilities.
Sanchez becomes the first pro football player honored by OCYSF since Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams great and Hall-of-Famer Jackie Slater was honored in 1997.
Tickets for this year's banquet are now available. For more information about this year's banquet or to purchase tickets, please go to www.ocysf.org or call 714-815-3885.
Kevin O'Neill Responds to NCAA Ruling:
Matt Barkley Responds to NCAA Ruling:
A Conference Medal is awarded annually to each Pac-10 member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
The Tom Hansen Conference Medal winners will be honored at the State Farm Pride of the Pac-10 Breakfast held in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Pac-10 Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments next March
It was created in "diptych" style. Even though it stands alone as its very own 22-inch by 34-inch panorama poster, it is designed to be cut in half.
The left side, featuring new head coach Lane Kiffin, was distributed at the USC Spring Football Game. The right side, with action shots of Matt Barkley, Ronald Johnson, Jurrell Casey, Malcolm Smith and Allen Bradford, will be released in September.
Trojans fans can now order a special uncut version of the combined posters here. The cost is $10, with a limited edition version (100 copies) signed by Kiffin available for $20.
This marks the second consecutive year that O'Dowd has made the Playboy squad.
USC has landed more players on the Playboy pre-season All-American team than any other school. Since Playboy first picked a team in 1957, there have been 74 Trojan selections (plus 2 Coaches of the Year and 1 Scholar-Athlete). That's in excess of 20 more than anybody else.
According to the study, two of the three highest paid attendances at single-day sporting events in 2009 were the USC-Penn State Rose Bowl game (tops at 93,293) and the USC-Stanford football game in the Coliseum (third at 90,071).
And it was the pair's third win in the past 30 days, with FIVB wins in Shanghai and Rome also on their resume. No wonder they currently are the world's No. 1 ranked team.
Coach Wooden, of course, proved to be a challenging opponent for numerous Trojan teams. But whether you wore Cardinal and Gold or Blue and Gold, you realized that he was much more than just a coach. His life lessons were applicable to all, no matter one's allegiance.
It's a sad day, indeed.
Llewellyn, who founded college basketball's Wooden Award, participated in three sports (football, track and basketball) while a student at USC.
He was a well-loved institution at the LAAC, where he held positions from director of athletics to senior vice president.
Included are details about the alumni host hotels (with special USC rates), pep rallies and other events surrounding each game.
USC's 2010 road schedule: Sept. 2 at Hawaii, Sept. 18 at Minnesota, Sept. 25 at Washington State, Oct. 9 at Stanford, Nov. 13 at Arizona and Nov. 20 at Oregon State. The Dec. 4 game against UCLA in the Rose Bowl isn't included among the weekender info because it's basically in town.
Last week, the athletic department held a celebratory reception to honor the USC women's water polo team after it won the 2010 NCAA championship. Head coach Jovan Vavic told the assembled Trojan staff about his team's road to the title and introduced his players who were in attendance.
Today, it was the men's tennis team's turn. A brief video with highlights of USC's run to the 2010 NCAA crown was shown, then head coach Peter Smith introduced his team, which won for the second consecutive year.
These events never get old for the athletic department staff who attend.
Before each one, athletic director Mike Garrett starts off by proclaiming, "We do two things here at USC: graduate our student-athletes and win championships."
Not only did the men's tennis team win a championship, but Smith was proud to point out that his team's GPA of 3.22 was the highest of any Trojan squad this year, with Jaak Poldma pulling down a 4.0 GPA and Ben Lankenau a 3.9.
Jones, a 2008 prep All-American out of Carver High in Columbus (Ga.), saw action as a backup strongside linebacker and on special teams in USC's first eight games last fall before sustaining the injury. He recorded 13 tackles, including 1.5 for losses.
He did not participate in USC's 2010 spring practice because of the injury.
Those five games are: Virginia (Sept. 11), Washington (Oct. 2), California (Oct. 16), Oregon (Oct. 30) and Arizona State (Nov. 6). Tickets are $55 each.
Tickets for USC's sixth home--the Nov. 27 Notre Dame clash--are only available as part of the "2-PACK" non-conference game promotion, packaged with a Virginia game ticket. The "2-PACK" costs $135, which includes an $80 Irish ticket and a $55 Cavalier ticket.
Individual game tickets usually sell quickly, so hurry if you want to see new USC head coach Lane Kiffin and his Trojans in the Coliseum in 2010.
Titled "Gender in Televised Sports," the report tracked the lack of progress in the coverage of women's sports on television news and highlights shows. You can read the entire report here.
Hextrum, you might remember, not only was an outstanding rower at USC, but an incredibly talented artist. While at USC, her work was exhibited at the annual ARTLETICS exhibition at the Galen Center and even at an NCAA exhibition in Washington, D.C.
We're getting closer to hiring Ben's successor and hope to do so this summer.
In the interim, the blog is being maintained in wonderful fashion by a pair of student interns from the USC sports information office, senior-to-be Ben Weiss and grad student Stephanie Graves. They jumped in this spring when Ben Malcolmson went to the Seahawks and the blog has barely missed a beat.
They were there with updates from every spring football practice and even introduced live chats during the spring scrimmages and expanded news about USC's other sports.
Granted, now that the academic year is over and most of the sports are in hibernation for the summer, Trojan news is a bit slower. But Ben Weiss and Stephanie Graves will continue keeping you updated, and in fact are coordinating live chats with players and coaches this summer. And both students plan on remaining involved with the RipsIt blog in the 2010-11 year.
We'll let you know when a new fulltime person is hired to run the RipsIt blog and at that time we'll post an email address for that person so readers can interact.
So get your questions ready and stop by. We'll get to as many questions as we can.
Soccer--or futbol--will be on the global stage from June 11 through July 11 in South Africa.
"It's my favorite time, this time every four years," said fourth-year USC women's soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin, who led the Women of Troy to the NCAA title in his 2007 debut season. "You get to see the best of the world's best competing and representing their countries. There is no other event like this that stops the world's people in their tracks. It's bigger than the Olympics or Super Bowl because the whole world is watching.
"We don't really appreciate the enormity of the World Cup in this country. I wish everyone in the United States could go to another country and watch a soccer match there, because it's hard to replicate that feeling, that emotion, that passion here. Soccer, and especially World Cup soccer, is in people's blood, whether they're four years old or 44 or 94."
With the event taking place on the other side of the globe, watching the matches could be somewhat challenging for Americans, especially those of us on the West Coast. The Pacific time zone start times will be 4:30 a.m., 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
"I'll be up for the first game each morning to watch on TV," said Khosroshahin, who was an assistant with Mexico during the 1999 Women's World Cup. "I'll try to watch the next two games each day, but I might have to tape some of them. Heck, I'm not sure I'll be able to stay awake to watch those last two games!"
Khosroshahin might also have to rely on TiVo because he'll have some coaching obligations to fulfill.
"Actually, it's ridiculous," he said. "All soccer activity should be stopped during the World Cup so everyone can watch it. This is the tournament of all tournaments. This is the best teacher, the best textbook, for players, coaches and fans. It's a phenomenal opportunity to learn the game."
Khosroshahin said he isn't good at making predictions, but he does believe this will be a "very interesting and fun tournament."
He says the "usual suspects" should be considered favorites.
"Argentina, even though they struggled through qualifying, should be a real interesting team to watch. They have all the talent in the world and they have Diego Maradona, who might not be the greatest coach but he has a lucky horseshoe in his pocket. He has a knack for rallying his team, which is comprised of some of the best players on the planet.
"Brazil is Brazil. Now with Dunga as the coach, they'll be more defensive-minded than ever. That can be scary if you combine that with everything else they bring to the table.
"Spain is probably the favorite coming into the tournament. Half their team is from the Barcelona team and those players are used to being successful. They're riding good momentum, having won the Euro 2008 title and so many recent qualifying matches. And I think their loss to the U.S. in the 2009 Confederations Cup will serve them well, making them realize they can't take anyone lightly.
"England has a lot of talent, but they have some injuries to overcome. They have a very successful coach in Fabio Capello, who has changed the discipline surrounding the team and the players are loving it. It's different from the past now that they've instilled the team concept to their play.
"I think you also have to count in the Ivory Coast, because they have Didier Drogba, one of the best strikers in the world, and they're playing on their home continent. And, of course, there's the Dutch and the Germans to watch for."
What about the U.S. team?
"I think we have a good chance of advancing out of the group stage. I'm hopeful. But the one thing the U.S. teams always struggle with is while we are playing the opponent's team, the opponent is playing more than our team, they are playing everything that the U.S. stands for. The value of beating the U.S. is life and death to these other teams. If they beat us, they become national heroes. That's the type of thing that makes the World Cup so special."
Khosroshahin also thinks there are several other reasons why the 2010 World Cup competition will be an interesting one.
"There are a lot of variables this year," he said. "Being in Africa and the logistics that presents, there will be some challenges to overcome. Also, the threat of terrorism is bigger than it has ever been and the amount of security put in place by the World Cup organizers is unprecedented. I'm sure that will weigh on people's minds. And FIFA (soccer's governing body) has introduced a new ball and the players are already complaining about it, so it could take a while through the early games for the players to adjust to it."
So get your sleep now. The opening match--host South Africa faces Mexico in Johannesburg--is at 7 a.m. Pacific on Friday, June 11. All 64 matches will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC.
The coaches spent most of the day catching up--and catching each other up--after their long road trips.
One visitor to the Heritage Hall offices today: former USC offensive line coach Mike Barry, who came to work with his son, current Trojans linebackers coach Joe Barry. Mike had an office in Heritage from 1993 to 1997 while working for John Robinson. Mike's first year as a USC assistant was Joe's senior season as a starting inside linebacker at Troy, then his next two seasons saw Joe join the USC staff as a video coordinator and graduate assistant coach.
Mike is now retired and living in Chicago after a long coaching career that included stops at Southern Illinois, Arizona, Iowa State, Colorado, North Carolina State, Tennessee and the Detroit Lions (where he coached alongside Joe and under Joe's father-in-law, Rod Marinelli).
Kick times and televising networks for USC's 2 remaining 2010 contests--Sept. 25 at Washington State and Dec. 4 at UCLA--will be determined 2 weeks prior to each game.
Last month, USC announced the kickoff times and television plans for 10 games.
Here's the 2010 football schedule:
DATE OPPONENT PLACE TIME/TV*
Sept. 2 at Hawaii Honolulu, Hi. 5 p.m. (ESPN) (8 p.m. L.A.)
Sept. 11 Virginia L.A. Coliseum 7:30 p.m. (FSN)
Sept. 18 at Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. 2:30 p.m. (ESPN) (12:30 p.m. L.A.)
Sept. 25 at Washington State Pullman, Wash. TBA
Oct. 2 Washington L.A. Coliseum 5 p.m. (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
Oct. 9 at Stanford Palo Alto, Calif. 5 p.m. (ABC)
Oct. 16 California L.A. Coliseum 12:30 p.m. (FSN)
Oct. 30 Oregon L.A. Coliseum 5 p.m. (ABC)
Nov. 6 Arizona State L.A. Coliseum 7:30 p.m. (FSN)
Nov. 13 at Arizona Tucson, Ariz. 6 p.m. (ABC) (5 p.m. L.A.)
Nov. 20 at Oregon State Corvallis, Ore. 5 p.m. (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
Nov. 27 Notre Dame L.A. Coliseum 5 p.m. (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
Dec. 4 at UCLA Pasadena, Calif. TBA
*Game times are subject to change
All times are local to game site
A funeral Mass will be held this Wednesday (June 2) at 6:30 p.m. at St. Monica's Catholic Church (725 California Ave., Santa Monica 90403), with a reception to follow in the church hall.
Lacy was a member of USC's 1975 and 1976 football teams after redshirting with the 1974 national championship Trojan squad. He played on USC's junior varsity in 1972 and 1973.
After serving as an assistant football coach at Santa Monica (Calif.) High, where he taught and also coached wrestling and golf, he became a head football coach. He led St. Monica High in Santa Monica to the 1998 CIF Division XI title and then Santa Monica to the 2001 CIF Division X title.
He is survived by his father, Norm Sr., wife Patricia, two daughters, a sister and two brothers.
The senior linebacker will be around for 20 to 30 minutes to respond to your questions and comments. So get your questions ready, as we'll try to answer as many of them as possible, and check back tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. when we kick off the chat.