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July 2010 Archives

Football Practice Policy

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The USC football team begins 2010 fall camp next Wednesday (Aug. 4) at 4:30 p.m. on campus. 
 
As you likely are aware, Penalty C-20-b of USC's recent NCAA Infractions Report requires USC to close its football (and men's basketball) practices to the general public for the next 4 years.

Here is the official policy in its entirety, as developed by the university and its Office of Athletic Compliance.  This policy is being implemented to insure that USC is in compliance with NCAA rules.

University of Southern California Football Practice Policy


Football team practices shall be strictly limited to men's football team student-athletes and coaching staff, necessary Athletic Department personnel and guests pre-approved by the Vice President or Associate Vice President of Athletic Compliance.   Media, immediate family members of student-athletes (i.e., parents, legal guardians, grandparents, siblings, spouses and children of student-athletes), USC Executive Employees (as defined below) and their escorted pre-approved guests, and other pre-approved guests may attend practice by requesting and receiving permission to do so from the Office of Athletic Compliance, at least 48 hours in advance of a practice.  Media should initially contact the Sports Information Office to request pre-approval to attend practice.  Immediate family members of student-athletes should contact the Football Office to confirm the family member's attendance at practice has been approved by the Office of Athletic Compliance.  Once initially approved by the Office of Compliance, the immediate family of football student-athletes and media need not separately seek permission to attend a practice.   Football student-athletes must contact the Office of Athletic Compliance to update their list of immediate family members.  USC Executive Employees should request pre-approval for guests by completing the appropriate form and submitting it to the Office of Athletic Compliance.

All pre-approved guests authorized to attend a practice shall not have any contact with prospective student-athletes; and, they shall not have access to the team locker room or other athletic facilities while student-athletes or prospective student-athletes are present.   

All guest entry to practice facilities shall be limited to a single secure point of access with a check-in and wrist band issuance procedure to verify and confirm pre-approved attendance.  All guests shall be informed of rules regarding conduct at practice and prohibited contact with prospective student-athletes; and, they must agree, in writing, to abide by such rules upon check-in and before admission to the practice field.   A separate point of access and practice viewing area will be provided for authorized prospective student-athletes on official or unofficial visits.

Under NO circumstances will the following individuals be permitted access to practice facilities: agents (such as athlete agents, marketing agents or financial advisors to athletes) or their employees, representatives or affiliates (including "runners").  Prohibited individuals, limitations regarding guests, practice viewing locations, and other practice related issues will be  monitored, reviewed and may be adjusted on a periodic basis by the Vice President and/or Associate Vice President of Athletic Compliance in consultation with the Athletic Director or Sport Administrator.

As used herein, "USC Executive Employees" shall mean the following:  President, Provost, Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Vice Presidents, General Counsel, Athletic Director, Senior Associate Athletic Directors, Vice President and Associate Vice President of Athletic Compliance, all Office of Athletic Compliance staff and the Head Football Coach (provided that any pre-approved guests of Head Football Coach are escorted by a Senior Associate Athletic Director).

The list of guests authorized to attend practice shall be maintained by the Office of Athletic Compliance and provided to the Athletic Director.  The list shall be reviewed weekly by the Vice President or Associate Vice President of Athletic Compliance in consultation with the Athletic Director or Sports Administrator.  USC reserves the right to restrict the number of guests and viewing locations at practice.  Further, USC reserves the right to deny entry to any individual.

USC FOOTBALL RULES FOR FOOTBALL PRACTICE

By accepting a Practice Wrist Band Pass for USC Football Practices:

1.    You understand and agree that USC may limit, suspend, or terminate access to the football practice USC field and revoke your football practice wrist band pass.
2.    You agree not to have any contact with any USC prospective student-athlete (or their relatives or friends) while at a USC Football Practice.  This includes in-person contact and written or electronic communications, either directly or via a third party.
3.    You agree not to arrange, provide or promise to provide any benefits to any current USC student-athlete (or their relatives or friends) from yourself or on behalf of anyone else. 
4.    You agree not to arrange, provide or promise to provide any benefits to any prospective student-athlete (or their relatives or friends) from yourself or on behalf of anyone else.
5.    You certify that you are not an agent (e.g., sports agent, marketing agent or financial advisor to athletes) or any such agent's employee, representative or affiliate (including "runners").
6.    You certify you have not triggered the definition of a representative of USC's athletics interests by 1) making a financial (cash or in-kind) donation to the USC Athletic Department or one of its booster organizations; 2) participating in or becoming a member of an organization promoting USC's athletics program (e.g., Cardinal & Gold, Trojan Club); 3) assisting the Athletic Department in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes; 4) assisting (or have assisted) in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or 5) being involved in promoting USC's athletics program.

Access to USC's football practice field may be revoked at any time if you do not abide by NCAA, Pac-10 or USC rules.  Failure to abide by any of the requirements above may result in immediate action, the forfeiture of the future opportunity to observe or participate in any USC Athletic Department activity and the forfeiture of any other privileges, including the opportunity to purchase season tickets.


USC FlipsIt: Summer Final Exam

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Armed with a Flipcam and a little ambition, USCTrojans.com blog contributors Stephanie Graves and Ben Weiss scour the land of Troy and beyond to bring you a unique look at USC Athletics.

With summer workouts culminating today, the FlipsIt summer "Questions of the Day" finale wraps with a quiz on USC football history, both recent and dated. See which players have a proficient grasp on their predecessors, and which could benefit from spending a bit more time around the Heritage Hall memorabilia.





Xtreme Makeover: Coliseum Edition

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The annual celebration of crashes, flips, turns and burns known as the X Games has taken over downtown Los Angeles.

The sacred ground of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has been converted into a death-defying ramp.

They'll put everything back the way they found it in time for the home opener against Virginia, which is 43 days away.

Here are a couple of pics:

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Gladiators of the Coliseum

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The boys got their "party pump" on today before the annual glamor shot outside of Heritage Hall, so they looked nice and "swoll".

For you older folks, I just gave you two terms to look up on urbandictionary.com. 

Here's a video for the ladies...





 

Pac-10 Media Day: Links

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Meet Larry Scott

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The Pac-10 is in good hands.

The new commissioner Larry Scott is a forward thinker with a grand plan. 

I talked to him at Pac-10 Media Day about the changes he's already made and what's to come.





Perception is Parity

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The 2010 Pac-10 Football Media Day emphasized change above all else.  The conference has a new commissioner, a new logo and soon-to-be two new teams.

USC has felt their own change in recent months with a new coach, new AD and a slightly depleted roster. 

Undoubtedly, Pete Carroll left behind a legacy of dominance, but the mystique has started to fade in recent years including a 9-4 campaign in 2009 and the recent sanctions.

"When we were really rolling, I don't think teams really believed they could beat us.  Sometimes it felt like the game was over in pregame warm-ups," said former offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who is now the Washington Huskies head coach.

"The belief of some of the teams might change now.  That is as much important as anything."

Without USC as the top dog, the typical preseason feeling of inevitability made way for parity. 

A record seven teams received first place votes in the preseason media poll with Oregon edging out the Trojans for the top spot.

While the other Pac-10 teams have learned how to beat USC, no one has shown the consistency to be USC.   

"It has not changed one bit.  That's a heck of a football program and we know that when we go to play them, we better play our best," Oregon coach Chip Kelly said.

The Trojans are eligible to win the Pac-10, but they cannot accept the resulting Rose Bowl bid, which casts them in the spoiler role to outsiders.

"I'm looking at USC as they can still knock you off even if they can't make it to a bowl game.  Any time you have a chance to bring in four- or five-star athletes every year, you're going to be a great team no matter what," Oregon State RB Jacquizz Rodgers said.

Coach Kiffin has spoken recently about the "us against the world" mentality and the "anger" that the current crop of Trojans plan to take out on their opponents.  If they are down, they don't plan to be down for long.

"They are still a great team.  They are always going to be a great team.  You are going to have to be at the top of your game to beat them," Arizona QB Nick Foles said.

They say "perception is reality."  In that case, the "Fall of Troy" is only a temporary headline,

"Everyone still respects USC the way they always have.  Great tradition, great players, great coaches, you always have to bring your 'A' game if you're going to be successful," Cal's Jeff Tedford said. 

"Until something changes that, you have to go in and perceive that."





Pac-10 Media Day: Photo Album

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USCTrojans.com's Rich Rodriguez covered Pac-10 Football Media Day in all its beauty Thursday at the Rose Bowl. 

Here are the pics from a successful day for new commissioner Larry Scott:

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Pac-10 Media Day: Kiffin and Barkley

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Coach Lane Kiffin and Matt Barkley are holding court at the Rose Bowl.

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Pac-10 Media Day: Logo

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Pac-10 Media Day is underway from the Rose Bowl and the new logo is front and center.

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USC FlipsIt: Word Association

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Armed with a Flipcam and a little ambition, USCTrojans.com blog contributors Stephanie Graves and Ben Weiss scour the land of Troy and beyond to bring you a unique look at USC Athletics.

With only a few days left of summer workouts, FlipsIt made a slight adjustment to its normal "Questions of the Day" routine by having players, a coach and a few athletic department employees respond to a variety of football-related and pop-culture phrases. Check out FlipsIt's first edition of word association.




If you'd like your question answered by the players, leave it in the comment section below, on the official Facebook fan page (link below) or tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USC_Athletics with the #QOTD tag.

2010 USC Football Preseason Notes

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In anticipation of Pac-10 Football Media Day Thursday at the Rose Bowl, the USC Sports Information Department has released their annual preseason notes for you to peruse.

This comprehensive look at the team features everything from the expected (preseason rankings and honors) to the surprising (eight Trojans have relatives who have played on National Championship USC squads).

Basically, if there is anything you want to know about the 2010 Trojan football team, the great USC SID staff has compiled it for you.

My two favorites:

1.) In the summer of 2009, C Kristofer O'Dowd and some of his classmates in his USC Writing 340 class helped create an online summer school website for elementary school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District., where summer classes were eliminated for financial reasons. O'Dowd produced content for the language arts program for kindergartners through second graders on SOSClassroom.org.

2.) C Abe Markowitz is a member of one of Samoa's royal families, the Aiga Sa Malietoa, and he was selected as a "Talking Chief" of the family. He also is a cousin of the King of Tonga.

Good stuff!

One quick correction, our Twitter name is USC_Athletics.  Things have changed since press time, so there are a few corrections if you scroll to the end.

Click the PDF link for all the info...

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Glen Stanley Released

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USC has granted linebacker Glen Stanley, a 2010 signee out of Eastern Arizona J.C., a full release from his letter of intent, the school announced today.

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Kiffin, Neuheisel and Fowler

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Chris Fowler sat down with USC head coach Lane Kiffin and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel to talk all things football, rivalry and newspaper ad proclamations.




Preseason Projans

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As the year goes on, we'll keep tabs on the Trojan pros in every sport.

This week, NFL players start reporting to training camp, which is the first step on the road to the Super Bowl.  And for the rookies, they have a chance to make an all-important first impression with their new organization.

There are 54 Trojans currently on NFL rosters plus RB Justin Fargas, who is still a free agent, but he'll likely be signed before the season.

26 of the 32 NFL teams feature former USC players with Pete Carroll's Seahawks as the league leader (nine total). 

Of the 54 players, 14 are rookies. 

Here's the full list of the current USC alums on NFL rosters heading into camp:

Arizona Cardinals

Dominique Byrd, TE
Matt Leinart, QB
"Deuce" Lutui, OG

Atlanta Falcons

Sam Baker, OT

Buffalo Bills

Cary Harris, CB

Carolina Panthers

Dwayne Jarrett, WR
Ryan Kalil, C

Chicago Bears

Averill Spicer, DT

Cincinnati Bengals

Rey Maualuga, LB
Carson Palmer, QB
Keith Rivers, LB
Frostee Rucker, DE

Cleveland Browns

Kaluka Maiava, LB

Dallas Cowboys

David Buehler, K

Green Bay Packers

Clay Matthews, LB

Houston Texans

Darnell Bing, LB
John David Booty, QB
Shaun Cody, DT
Brian Cushing, LB

Indianapolis Colts

Fili Moala, DT
Kevin Thomas, CB

Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Cassel, QB

Miami Dolphins

Patrick Turner, WR

Minnesota Vikings

Everson Griffen, DE
Drew Radovich, OG

New England Patriots

Thomas Williams, LB

New Orleans Saints

Charles Brown, OT
Reggie Bush, RB
Sedrick Ellis, DT

New York Giants

Steve Smith, WR
Terrell Thomas, CB

New York Jets

Joe McKnight, RB
Mark Sanchez, QB
Chauncey Washington, RB

Oakland Raiders

Alex Parsons, OG

Philadelphia Eagles

Winston Justice, OT
Mike Patterson, DT

Pittsburgh Steelers

Troy Polamalu, S

San Francisco 49ers

Taylor Mays, S
Chilo Rachal, OG

Seattle Seahawks

Jeff Byers, C
Kevin Ellison, S
Will Harris, S
Lawrence Jackson, DE
Anthony McCoy, TE
Josh Pinkard, CB
Ryan Powdrell, FB
Lofa Tatupu, LB
Mike Williams, WR

Tampa Bay Bucs

Kyle Moore, DE

Tennessee Titans

Nick Howell, OT
Stafon Johnson, RB
Damian Williams, WR

Washington Redskins

Fred Davis, TE

Mark Sanchez and the Jets will be featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this August.
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Kiffin with SI

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Here are two interviews Lane Kiffin shot yesterday with Sports Illustrated on CNNSI.com.






Kiffin's Calendar

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After ringing the NASDAQ bell this morning with his fellow conference coaches and commissioner, Lane Kiffin embarks on an ESPN media marathon this afternoon.

We'll keep tabs on the coach on Facebook (USC Trojans - Official Page) and Twitter (USC_Athletics), but you can see his schedule below if you want to watch him live and in action.

(All times eastern and p.m.)

12:40 - The Herd (710 ESPN Radio and ESPNU)

1:15 - SportsCenter (live)

1:30 - ESPN.com page 2

2:10 - ESPN Rise

2:25 - ESPNU

2:40 - ESPNews

2:50 - College GameDay

3:00 - SportsNation

3:30 - College Football Live w UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel

4:10 - SportsCenter

4:25 - ESPNLA.com

4:40 - SportsCenter.com

Some of these segments are being taped for later use (i.e. College Gameday) and some are written pieces.

Coach Kiffin will be live on College Football Live for the entire show at 3:30 eastern and 12:30 pacific on ESPN.

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Lane Kiffin's Day

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Today, Matt Barkley was the star of the show at ESPN, but Wednesday, he'll cede the ground to his coach, Lane Kiffin. 

Coach Kiffin started his media tour Tuesday in New York with Pac-10 conference commissioner Larry Scott and his fellow league coaches.  Scott announced that the conference will be known as the Pac-12 starting in 2011 to be mathematically correct with the additions of Colorado and Utah.

On Wednesday morning, Lane Kiffin will help ring in the stock market, which you can watch on a live stream.

Then, he'll shoot up to Bristol, where he and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel will battle it out on ESPN's College Football Live at 12:30 pm (pacific time).

We'll follow Coach for you all day on Facebook (USC Trojans - Official Page) and Twitter (USC_Athletics), so it's time for you to get connected.  You can start by clicking the "Like" button below this post.

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Barkley at ESPN

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In case you missed it, here are two of the TV segments Matt Barkley and his fellow Pac-10 QBs filmed in Bristol today plus a link to Barkley and Locker on "Mike and Mike".











Larry Stewart on Bob Chandler

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Below is a poignant memory of late USC and NFL star receiver Bob Chandler, penned by former Los Angeles Times sportswriter Larry Stewart.

Chandler died of cancer 15 years ago at the much-too-young age of 45.  The Bob Chandler Foundation was created to further his beliefs and principles and to serve as the memorial for those who continue to fight against cancer.

Each year, the Bob Chandler Award is presented to the USC football underclassmen who exemplifies Chandler's athletic ability, academic scholarship and character on and off the field.

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2011 USC Baseball Schedule

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It's never too early to mark your hardball calendars.

Chad Kreuter continues on his quest to lead the Trojans back to their 12-time championship heights starting on February 18th against Missouri as part of the USC Tournament also featuring Cal Poly and North Carolina.

The Trojans are challenging themselves against the nation's elite programs including 13 teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. 

In the non-conference, USC travels to Houston, TX (2/25-2/27) to take on Rice, the 2003 College World Series champions, before a weekend showdown with perennial power Cal State Fullerton (3/4-3/6) at Goodwin Field.

The Trojans will again host the Dodgertown Classic (3/11-3/12) featuring back-to-back games against Ohio State and Georgia before a Chavez Ravine grudge match with UCLA (3/13).

USC will play nine series against Pac-10 opponents including home dates with UCLA (3/25-3/27), Stanford (4/8-4/10), Oregon (4/15-4/17), Arizona State (5/13-5/15) and Washington State (5/27-5/29).

Every game will be broadcast live on USCTrojans.com with a video webcast for all home games.

Click here for the complete schedule.

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USC FlipsIt: Tuesday QOTD

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Armed with a Flipcam and a little ambition, USCTrojans.com blog contributors Stephanie Graves and Ben Weiss scour the land of Troy and beyond to bring you a unique look at USC Athletics.

With the start of fall camp a mere week away, FlipsIt continues to keep the USC football team occupied (in addition to morning workouts, of course) with another set of "Questions of the Day." Today's segment gets a handful of players' answers on their favorite thing about their hometown, best place to play besides the Coliseum, most memorable community service project and what they'd ask Matt Barkley if they were interviewing him on ESPN today.






If you'd like your question answered by the players, leave it in the comment section below, on the official Facebook fan page (link below) or tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USC_Athletics with the #QOTD tag.

Tennis Star Ready for Big Stage

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USC men's tennis sensation Steve Johnson will make his ATP main draw debut today at the Farmer's Classic at UCLA against fellow qualifier Somdev Devvarman.

"Being able to go through this with my family and friends has been a real special occasion," said Johnson, an Orange native who feels at home on the Westwood courts.

"This has been a blast. I feel like I have a hometown or maybe even a home-court advantage because I know what the UCLA courts play like and I've had success there," Johnson said.

The 2009 ITA National Indoor singles champion had to defeat veteran pro Chris Guccione from Australia to qualify for the main draw.  Before that, he gutted out a pair of three-setters.

You can follow Johnson's first round encounter with Devvarman, a two-time NCAA champion, on the Farmer's Classic Website.

I'll keep you updated on his progress on Twitter (USC_Athletics) plus we'll be back later with a post-match quote.

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2010 USC Football Media Guide

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The 208-page 2010 USC football media guide, the same one used by the media who cover the Trojans, is now on sale online for $20.

The book includes a season outlook, complete biographies of the coaches and players, statistics, historical records dating back to USC's first team in 1888 and much more.

Beginning the middle of next week, the media guide will also be available to purchase in person at the USC Bookstore or in the USC Sports Information Office in Heritage Hall.

As the athletic department and football team have gone through many changes recently, the guide is missing some new bios and features some out-of-date information because we had to send it to the printer by deadline.  Such is life in the fast paced world of college athletics...

You can purchase the guide by clicking here.

Here's a first look at the new cover:

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Barkley in Bristol

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Matt Barkley is all over ESPN and its outlets today along with fellow Pac-10 QBs Jake Locker (Washington), Nick Foles (Arizona) and Andrew Luck (Stanford).

Here's his schedule (all times eastern):

9:00 a.m. -- ESPN SportsCenter.com

9:30 a.m. -- ESPN Digital Media

9:50 a.m. -- ESPNRise

10:10 a.m. -- ESPN podcast

10:30 a.m. -- ESPN First Take

10:50 a.m. -- ESPNU

11:30 a.m. -- ESPNews

11:40 a.m. -- ESPN.com

Noon -- ESPN Radio Scott Van Pelt Show

12:40 p.m. -- ESPN SportsCenter

1 p.m. -- ESPN College Football Live

And some pics in the studio and on the grounds...

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Gettin' Digits

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The Trojan uniform is one of the most revered in college football.

USC's latest crop of young talents will look to make their new digits legendary.

Here are the new kids with their new numbers and some recent jersey history:

#8 - Markeith Ambles, WR - Dwayne Jarrett and Ronald Johnson rocked the "ocho".

#13 - Robert Woods, WR - Different positions, but Stafon Johnson left a legacy of toughness.

#14 - Demetrius Wright, DB - Can he punt like #14 Tom Malone?

#15 - Jesse Scroggins, QB

#16 - Anthony Brown, DB - He'll share the number with senior QB Mitch Mustain.

#25 - Patrick Hall, DB

#28 - Dillon Baxter, RB

#34 - D.J. Morgan, RB - Hershell Dennis donned the #34 after a standout SoCal prep career.

#35 - Hayes Pullard, LB

#37 - Nickell Robey, DB 

#39 - Dion Bailey, DB

#41 - Soma Vainuku, FB - He'll look to crack skulls like former #41 Thomas "Hitman" Williams.

#63 - Giovanni Di Poalo, OL - The number was actually vacant last season.

#82 - Randall Telfer, TE - Chris McFoy was a dependable #82 for Matt Leinart.

#85 - Kyle Prater, WR -

#86 - Xavier Grimble, TE - One-handed hero Dominique Byrd wore #86.

#89 - Christian Thomas, TE

#95 - George Uko, DT  - At 6'4", 300, Uko will stretch the #95, which went unworn in '09.

Notable Number Changes

Ronald Johnson switched from #8 to the pro-style #83.

James Boyd went from #16 to the more defensive #56.

De'Von Flournoy and T.J. Bryant were moved off the #1 spot.  Flournoy will wear #81 and Bryant will don #38.

Scroggins will hope to hang #15 next to Palmer's #3 and Sanchez's #6 in USC history.

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The New Pac-10

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While the USC athletic department has undergone massive changes recently, the Pac-10 continues to evolve as well.

New commissioner Larry Scott brings a forward thinking approach and he's embraced new technology to spread the word about the conference.

Tuesday, the "new Pac-10" is officially launched on their Website, Pac-10.org.  They'll be unveiling the redesigned logo and a video. 

While they wait on Colorado and Utah to join the league in 2011, the original ten will go through Pac-10 Football Media Day at the Rose Bowl Thursday. 

The conference will be streaming all the interviews live and they're offering the fans a chance to ask the coaches questions via Twitter (@Pac10).  You can also interact with the conference on their Facebook page (facebook.com/Pac10).

Maybe you can ask about a possible new name...  I vote for "The Pac". 

Here's a list of the interview times (all pacific) and participants scheduled for Thursday:

9:35 a.m. - Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott

9:45 - Coach Paul Wulff and DE Kevin Kooyman, Washington State

10:00 - Coach Dennis Erickson and PK Thomas Weber, Arizona State

10:15 - Coach Rick Neuheisel and DB Rahim Moore, UCLA

10:30 - Coach Steve Sarkisian and LB Mason Foster, Washington

10:45 - Coach Jeff Tedford and LB Mike Mohamed, California

11:15 - Coach Lane Kiffin and QB Matt Barkley, USC

11:30 - Coach Jim Harbaugh and FB/LB Owen Marecic, Stanford

11:45 - Coach Mike Riley and RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State

Noon - Coach Mike Stoops and QB Nick Foles, Arizona

12:15 p.m. - Coach Chip Kelly and DT Brandon Bair, Oregon

12:30 - Pac-10 Video Presentation

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Trojan Links

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Here is a Monday round-up of all things Troy from the past week or so:

New AD Pat Haden was the star of the week.
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Busy Barkley

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USC sophomore QB Matt Barkley will go through the ESPN "car wash" on Tuesday.

The Trojan signal-caller has a busy day in Bristol ahead of him.  He'll spend four hours taping segments for a variety of shows on the worldwide leader's multiple media platforms.

Here's his schedule (all times eastern):

9:00 a.m. -- ESPN SportsCenter.com

9:30 a.m. -- ESPN Digital Media

9:50 a.m. -- ESPNRise

10:10 a.m. -- ESPN podcast

10:30 a.m. -- ESPN First Take

10:50 a.m. -- ESPNU

11:30 a.m. -- ESPNews

11:40 a.m. -- ESPN.com

Noon -- ESPN Radio Scott Van Pelt Show

12:40 p.m. -- ESPN SportsCenter

1 p.m. -- ESPN College Football Live

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Haden profile

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Here's a thorough profile of new USC athletic director Pat Haden in today's Los Angeles Times.

Another Homecoming: Pola Returns as OC

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In a week that started with the return of Pat Haden and J.K. McKay to run the athletic department and football program for which they once starred, Kennedy Pola's happy homecoming as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach is the perfect way to finish it off.

"What a great week it is for the Trojans to welcome back former greats like Pat Haden, J.K. McKay and now Kennedy Pola to help us on our quest to win another championship," said USC head football coach Lane Kiffin.

Pola, 46, coached running backs and special teams during his time as an assistant coach from 2000 to 2003.  In his final season, LenDale White set a USC freshman single season record with 13 touchdowns plus Tom Malone was the first Trojan punter to be named an All-American in the school's history.

"It's great to welcome Kennedy home," said coach Kiffin.  "This is a great opportunity and promotion for him.  He's done an outstanding job wherever he's been in college and the NFL.  The last time he was here, he helped build the foundation for the championship run of the past 9 years.  It's always great to bring another Trojan back to the family, as he's now the fifth former USC player on our staff.  He's also the seventh full-time coach on our staff with NFL coaching experience."

Since then, he's served as an assistant for three different NFL teams including a five season stint as running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, during which he oversaw the successes of Fred Taylor ('07 Pro Bowl) and Maurice Jones-Drew ('09 Pro Bowl).

Pola had been hired as the Tennessee Titans running backs coach after the '09 season, but he has chosen to sign back on with the Trojans for the 2010 campaign, which prompted a negative reaction from Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, according to the Daily Tennessean.

Coach Kiffin has spoken with coach Fisher and responded publicly about the situation.

"We reached out to Kennedy Pola yesterday to gauge whether he had any possible interest in returning to USC before we moved forward with the process," Kiffin explained.  "Kennedy said he would think about it and get back to us today.  Once Kennedy did call back earlier today, out of my great respect for Coach Fisher I immediately reached out to Coach to make him aware of the situation."

Kiffin went on to describe his recent conversation with Fisher.

"I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events," Kiffin continued.  "We realize the timing of this isn't perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy."

Pola will now return to the university, where he played as a fullback and linebacker from 1982 to 1985.  He helped power the Trojans to a Rose Bowl victory over Ohio State in '85.

Pola's connections do not end there. 

Two-time All-American safety Troy Polamalu is his nephew.  And, Pola is a graduate of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, which is the same school that fostered the offensive coordinator's new leader, QB Matt Barkley.

"Another three-striper to join the great coaching staff we already have! Stoked that Kennedy Pola is back at SC...   [The] Monarchs are representing," Barkley said via Twitter.
 
Here is the full release on the latest re-addition to the Trojan family.

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Pola to return to USC

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Former USC player and assistant Kennedy Pola, who has spent the past 6 years coaching in the NFL, will return to the Trojans as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach.

Read about it here

Kiffin on Pola

| 1 Comment
Here's what USC head football coach Lane Kiffin said today about the Kennedy Pola situation, as first reported in the Tennessean newspaper via reaction from Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher:

"We reached out to Kennedy Pola yesterday to gauge whether he had any possible interest in returning to USC before we moved forward with the process.

"Kennedy said he would think about it and get back to us today.  Once Kennedy did call back earlier today, out of my great respect for Coach Fisher I immediately reached out to Coach to make him aware of the situation.

"I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events.

"We realize the timing of this isn't perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy."

USC FlipsIt: QOTD Weekend Edition

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Armed with a Flipcam and a little ambition, USCTrojans.com blog contributors Stephanie Graves and Ben Weiss scour the land of Troy and beyond to bring you a unique look at USC Athletics.

With a few leftover interviews from the past week, USC FlipsIt presents a special weekend edition of Questions of the Day. Players give their take on the second biggest sports rivalry (behind USC-UCLA), their choice between a jet ski, snowmobile or ATV, what they'd do after winning the lottery and which zoo animal they'd keep as a pet.



If you'd like your question answered by the players, leave it in the comment section below, on the official Facebook fan page (link below) or tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USC_Athletics with the #QOTD tag. You can also get instant new video notifications on your YouTube account if you click the yellow "Subscribe" button on the official USC Athletics YouTube account here.

Tribute Song

| 1 Comment
Former USC golfer Jennifer Song rocked the small town of Decatur, IL, last weekend when she donated one-third of her first ever winning check as a professional back to the charities of that community.

"To me, it was something that came entirely out of the blue," said Chris Olsen, Tate & Lyle's (the tournament sponsor) director of community and government relations. "It was a great gesture to the entire community."

Song shot a final round 61 to win the Tate & Lyle Players Championship on the Duramed Futures Tour in her debut appearance on the professional tour.  The Ann Arbor, MI, native had this gesture planned for a while.

"I hope this small giving can help make a small difference," said Song, who donated three different checks of $1,945 to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club of Decatur and the LPGA Junior Girls Golf Program of Decatur.

While Song may think of it as a small gesture, the town of Decatur, IL, was overwhelmed by her generosity.  Here is the complete story in the Herald Review.

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Photo Gallery: Mark Sanchez PSA

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New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez returned to his Trojan glory days today on the field and in the classroom.

Sanchez filmed a PSA inside the Annenberg auditorium and outside on Howard Jones Field to raise awareness about the opportunities Latino families have to send their children to universities in conjunction with financial aid plans and the MAAA (Mexican-American Alumni Association).

"The message is about staying in school, counting on your family and the MAAA," Sanchez said.

The MAAA helped Nick Sanchez, Mark's brother, while he was at USC Law School. 

"I feel so thankful to them (the MAAA) because now my brother represents me," said Sanchez, who really started to understand the power of his Mexican heritage when he saw how the fans responded to him at USC.

"I was going to college, starting to grow up and understanding the bigger picture of what was going on.  I started to understand what kind of movement this could be, what kind of help I could give to these youngsters who see me on TV and playing football and I can give them hope."

According to the MAAA, Latino families fear that their kids won't be able to go to college because the cost can be prohibitive.

"In 1992, when I got to USC and faced all of those forms and financial aid information, the MAAA had been around for 19 years, since 1973, but I never heard word one about it," said the PSA's director Edgar Pablos, who graduated from USC in '95 with a BA in Cinematic Arts and Religion.

"Incoming students and their parents have to have this information.  The MAAA was the friend I needed back then; I want to make sure that the people coming along after me know that the MAAA is here and that they have, as we say in the PSA, a big family with us at USC, right from the start," Pablos said.

The Sanchez family represents more than just football.  Mark graduated from USC's Annenberg School with a BA in Communications, while Nick earned his undergraduate degree from Yale.

Sanchez is also being covered by ESPN's "E:60" crew as part of a feature story being reported by Rachel Nichols.

Here's a look at Mark having a catch on Howard Jones Field as part of the PSA:

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Sanchez on Barkley

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Former USC QB Mark Sanchez stopped by campus today to film a PSA (more on that in the next post), so we took the opportunity to get his take on another young Trojan signal-caller, Matt Barkley.

"He's got all the tools and he's got a great attitude, so I'm just really pulling for him.  I'm really excited for him and I wish him the best," Sanchez said inside the Annenberg auditorium.

Sanchez drew parallels between their experiences last year. 

"The Sanchize" burst onto the NFL scene in the "Big Apple" before turnovers plagued his midseason form.  Meanwhile, Barkley was crowned a superstar after leading USC past Ohio State on a last second drive before growing pains caught up with him at times during the conference schedule.

"Similar situation to where I am at now, you learn so much just by playing.  I was so happy for him, so proud of him because of the way he played last year, even the way he played in the bowl game, just like the way I was trying to play in the playoffs," said Sanchez, who led the New York Jets to the AFC Championship Game.

"We had very similar years last year, ups and downs.  Both of us would agree that we threw too many interceptions but that's a part of playing your first year."

Sanchez expects Barkley's experience to pay off going forward.

"It's so fun for him and I'm so happy to see him go through this with four years to start here.  He will be so well prepared for the next level."

As for his beloved Trojans, Sanchez is not jumping on any gloom and doom bandwagons.

"They'll be fine.  They'll be fine.  People need to realize it's still SC.  They've still got great players and they'll be just fine."

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Photo Gallery: Friday Weight Room

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The USC football team wrapped up the week with a two hour workout, which included running a few passing drills on Cromwell field before moving into Heritage Hall for the requisite lifting session.

Players finished their workouts with push-ups, competing to see who could tally the most reps. Wide receiver Ronald Johnson took home the gold by cranking out 100 (no, that's not a typo) before deciding that he had entertained the group of teammates surrounding him long enough. Boomer Roepke and CB Taylor Ashton finished just shy of Johnson's mark with 96 and 95, respectively.

A few photos from the morning madness...

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DE Wes Horton powers through a set of push-ups with two 45-pound weights on his back.


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OT Tyron Smith balances himself on the push-up blocks, while OG Butch Lewis provides a spot.


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TB Allen Bradford shows why he's known as "AB the Monster" with some of his teammates.


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WR De'Von Flournoy cranks through a set with the help of TB Marc Tyler.



Introducing USC FlipsIt

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Armed with a Flipcam and a little ambition, USCTrojans.com blog contributors Stephanie Graves and Ben Weiss scour the land of Troy and beyond to bring you a unique look at USC Athletics.

The Friday edition of Questions of the Day asks four players about their favorite current NFL-er, ice cream flavor of choice, their plans after leaving the gridiron and their funniest teammate.




If you'd like your question answered by the players, leave it in the comment section below, or tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USC_Athletics with the #QOTD tag.


Woods named California Boys Athlete of Year

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The illustrious high school career of incoming USC wide receiver Robert Woods just got more celebrated.

Woods, who starred in football and track at Serra High in Gardena, has been named the 2009-10 Cal-Hi Sports State Boys Athlete of the Year.

He's the first Trojan to win that accolade since current NFL star wideout Steve Smith, who
was honored in 2002-03 out of Woodland Hills' Taft High for his football, basketball and track exploits.

Woods becomes the ninth Trojan to win the award since it was first presented in 1930-31.

Other Trojans who have been the State Boys Athlete of the Year:  Bill Sharman (football, basketball, baseball at Porterville HS) in 1943-44, Dennis Ralston (tennis at Bakersfield HS) in 1959-60, Paul Wilson (track at Downey's Warren HS) in 1964-65, Anthony Davis (football, baseball at San Fernando HS) in 1970-71, George Porter (basketball, track at Lompoc's Cabrillo HS) in 1984-85, Rob Johnson (football, basketball, baseball at El Toro HS) in 1990-91 and Chris Claiborne (football, basketball at Riverside's J.W. North HS) in 1995-96.

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Chris Fisher profile

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Here's a heartwarming look at new USC men's basketball radio play-by-play announcer Chris Fisher and the challenges he has overcome in his life.  It's a story told nicely by Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News.


Comment Policy

| 19 Comments
Now that we are getting to know each other, I want to go over some ground rules as far as posting comments.

Reader response is the blog's heartbeat, so I encourage all of you to interact with me and each other.  Hopefully, we can foster a community of dialogue that keeps everyone engaged on USC athletics 365 days a year.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when you are working on a comment:

1.) We have a zero tolerance cursing policy.  Please find more creative ways to express yourselves than profanity, which includes abbreviations of curse words.

2.) Please do not make personal attacks aimed at other posters.  If you disagree with someone's opinion, please argue the point not the person.

3.) Please do not post false news.  If you've heard rumors or speculation, please make it clear that it's just conjecture.

4.) Please don't use CAPS LOCK.  You don't need to yell.  We can hear you.

5.) Please do your best to keep it short and sweet.  There's no maximum length, but if the word "manifesto" can be used to describe your post, you should probably wrap it up.

6.) This is a USC specific site.  We welcome fans of other schools that are interested in the Trojans, but we'll boot hecklers faster than Ronald Johnson runs the 40.

We have the ability to delete comments and block users if you are not respectful of these guidelines and this community.

Please say only nice things about me.  Just kidding, but remember, my mom reads this blog. 

You can email me by clicking "E-mail Jordan Moore" on the right side of the page or by sending it to usctrojans.moore@gmail.com.

I'll start doing mailbags once the action gets fired up and I'll take questions from emails and comments.

I thank you for reading and look forward to hearing what you have to say.

USC's game at WSU to kick at noon live on FSN Prime Ticket

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The kickoff time for USC's Sept. 25 Pac-10 opening football game at Washington State has been set for noon Pacific. The game will be shown live on FSN Prime Ticket only in the Southern California market.



Live chat with Ronald Johnson

| 2 Comments
Wide receiver Ronald Johnson sits down with the USCTrojans.com blog to answer your questions starting at 10 a.m. PST.


Rojo Chat

| 15 Comments
Senior wideout Ronald Johnson will be stopping by the blog at 10 am Thursday.

Please feel free to post your questions in advance in the comments section for Rojo to answer.

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Photo Gallery: Summer Workout Pics

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HPIM1405.JPGDB Shareece Wright does leg squats in the downstairs Heritage Hall athletic facility.


HPIM1413.JPGRB CJ Gable finishes off a set of squats while trainer Wendell Richards looks on.


HPIM1440.JPGOutside on Howard Jones Field, DE Wes Horton and LB Ross Cumming drive sledgehammers into a giant tire to work on arm strength and explosiveness.


HPIM1452.JPGHorton, Robbie Boyer and TJ McDonald hone their footwork and agility with the help of hurdles and boxes.


HPIM1459.JPGDB Patrick Hall, WR De'Von Flournoy and TE Blake Ayles run through box drills while strength and conditioning coach Aaron Ausmus monitors their progress.


HPIM1467.JPGA focused David Ausberry improves his footwork with with a slalom drill.


HPIM1468.JPGAn airborne McDonald wraps up a set of hurdles before moving on to box drills as Ayles rests while awaiting his turn.

(Photos by Ben Weiss)



More Haden

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A day later, Heritage Hall is still abuzz with the announcement that Pat Haden will take over as the new athletic director, effective August 3rd.

Here is the latest story on Haden's appointment with new quotes and information.

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The Redesign

| 4 Comments
Per President-elect C.L. Max Nikias' decree, Heritage Hall rearranged the trophy cases today.  Former running back Reggie Bush had his Heisman Trophy and jersey removed from the room.   

Here is the new Heisman layout.

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Here are the remaining six jerseys (from left: #20 Mike Garrett, #33 Marcus Allen, #3 Carson Palmer, #11 Matt Leinart, #12 Charles White and #32 O.J. Simpson).

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Important Dates

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We are 43 days away from saying "aloha" to the 2010 USC Football season.

Here are a few stops before we board the plane for Hawaii:

7/27 and 7/28 - Pac-10 Coaches Media Tour in New York City and ESPN Bristol, CT

Lane Kiffin and the other nine head coaches will take to the "Big Apple" with new conference commissioner Larry Scott.

7/29 - Pac-10 Football Media Day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena

USCTrojans.com will have blow-out coverage of all the action as the powers collide for an all day media circus.

8/3 - New Athletic Director Pat Haden Officially Takes Office

Check out the interview that we did with Haden yesterday.

8/4 - Fall Football Camp Begins

At long last, the Trojans hit the practice field.  We'll have daily updates, videos, pictures and more on the blog, Twitter (USC_Athletics) and Facebook (USC Trojans - Official Page).

8/22 - Salute to Troy

USC Football's annual kickoff celebration will honor the 1960 and 1985 teams this year.  You can purchase tickets for the event here.

8/31 - Takeoff

The team plane departs for Honolulu.  We'll be there providing all the build up coverage to kick-off. 

9/2 - USC vs. Hawaii

The Trojans and Warriors get the season started on Thursday Night Football on ESPN.  The game gets underway at 5 p.m. (local Hawaii time), 8 p.m. (pacific time) and 11 p.m. (eastern time).  Attendance (stadium or couch) is mandatory!

The Trojans are 43 days away from their island getaway.

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Lane Kiffin on Pat Haden

| 1 Comment
"I've known Pat Haden for a long time and my congratulations go out to him.  I know he'll do a wonderful job as our athletic director.  He's been such a vital part of the USC fabric for so long, he'll be able to contribute immensely to our athletic department.  I know the entire Trojan Family will readily welcome him. 
 
"I've already met with Pat and J.K. McKay and they are excited about our program and the upcoming season.  I'm looking forward to working with them and embracing all the things they have to offer.
 
"I also want to thank Mike Garrett for the opportunity he presented to us.  We will work extremely hard to carry on his vision for USC football.  He had an incredible run as our athletic director and Trojan fans should applaud his passion, dedication and accomplishments.  When I spoke with Mike today, he said that although he won't be here, he'll be following us closely because USC is so dear to him."

Pat Haden

| 3 Comments
President-elect C.L. Max Nikias announced today that Pat Haden is set to become the seventh athletic director in the history of the University of Southern California.

While August 3rd will be his official first day on the job, Haden's place in USC football history is already secure before he takes his post overseeing the entire athletic department.

After a Hall of Fame (class of '95) prep career at Bishop Amat in La Puente, CA, Haden led USC to three Rose Bowls and two national championships.

The signal-caller closed his college career in style with a co-MVP performance in the 1975 "Granddaddy of Them All".  Down 17-10 with two minutes to go against Ohio State, Haden hit his most reliable target, J.K. McKay, on a 36-yard touchdown pass.  Coolness personified, Haden completed the comeback when he picked out Shelton Diggs in the back of the end zone for the winning two-point conversion.

While Haden's gridiron exploits are the stuff of Trojan legend, he really set himself apart in the classroom.

Haden was a two-time Academic All-American and he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from USC. 

He was not nearly done on or off the field.

He began his professional career in the World Football League, so he could attend prestigious Oxford University and complete his Rhodes Scholarship, the esteemed international postgraduate award.

Back across the pond, Haden rededicated himself to football.  He led the Los Angeles Rams to three consecutive NFC West titles, despite having to fight for his position every step of the way.

He retired from professional football in 1981 and immediately went back down the cerebral path, picking up a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School. 

Amidst a successful business career, Haden dipped back into his football knowledge as a TV network color-commentator.

All the while, he's been an integral part of the Trojan family.  He's served on the Board of Trustees since 1991, although he'll resign the post with his new appointment.

As the story of his life and career continues to swing back and forth between athletic adventure and scholastic achievement, Haden is now in the nexus of the two.

If the current Trojans are looking for a scholar-athlete model, they only need to look to the top.

Here is a 2007 interview (with recently added highlight footage) conducted by Pete Arbogast with new AD Pat Haden:


USC President-Elect Nikias Announces New Leadership In Athletics

| 4 Comments
Read USC President-elect C.L. Max Nikias' letter to members of the Trojan Family regarding the naming of Pat Haden as USC's athletic director.

Questions of the day

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After the team's morning weightlifting session, followed by some work on cromwell field, players kicked back by playing some soccer and answering questions about their favorite practice drill, which teammate would make the best head coach, least favorite childhood chore and Ronald Johnson's TV career.



As always, if you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USC_Athletics with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Meet and Greet

| 10 Comments
Hello and welcome to a new era of Trojan athletics. 
 
Lane Kiffin has arrived with an all-star coaching staff to lead USC football into the next decade.
 
A year into his tenure, Kevin O'Neill has shown the fire and integrity to take the men's basketball program to previously unseen heights.  As for the ladies, Michael Cooper expects the Women of Troy to rise to the standard of excellence set by previous greats like Cheryl Miller and Lisa Leslie.
 
And on the track, fields, courts and diamond, USC athletics has its sights set on the gold standard that makes the university an Olympic nation unto itself.
 
And here on the Web, we are blazing a new path of our own.  In the coming weeks, months and semesters, we are going to change the way your Trojans are covered and break down the barrier between you (the fan) and the program.
 
I will be a part of that.  My name is Jordan Moore and I'll be your caddy throughout the process.
 
I arrived at USC in 2001 from the East Coast along with Pete Carroll.  Well, not exactly together.
 
As a wide-eyed freshman, I took in my first USC game from the student section in front of a paltry 45,000 people (an ugly win over San Jose State).  I graduated in 2005 on the heels of a 55-19 dusting of Oklahoma on South Beach.
 
After college, I became the voice of the then Fullerton Flyers (now Orange County Flyers), an independent minor league baseball team.  Former Trojan hurler Rik Currier was just one out from a no-hitter when a base hit up the middle spoiled my call.
 
From the Flyers, I am became the Director of Broadcasting and Programming for iBNSports.com, an Internet TV site that specializes in high school sports coverage. 
 
In that time, I broadcasted the early highlights of many of today's Trojans under the heat of the Friday night lights. 
 
Matt Barkley was a true kid QB who became the nation's top prospect.  Blake Ayles looked like a young Jeremy Shockey as a gleeful Carroll watched from the sidelines.  And, Chris Galippo buried helpless high schoolers into the grassy turf.
 
I'm also well versed on the talents of the next wave of superstar Trojans.  I've witnessed Robert Woods' blazing speed, D.J. Morgan's unrivaled athleticism and Bryce Jones' trampoline hops.
 
You will enjoy watching them.
 
While we'll be making changes to USCTrojans.com and the Rips It blog, Ben Malcolmson deserves great credit for laying the foundation for our future success.  He created something where there was nothing.
 
I'm excited to take my post here inside Heritage Hall alongside the most talented Web team in the country (at least that's what they told me). 
 
Most importantly, I am just an intermediary between you and the school you hold so dear.  I look forward to our interaction and please let me know what you'd like to see covered and how we can best serve your needs.
 
As we get started, please be sure to get logged on and signed up for all our plethora of social networking options.  You can find us on Facebook (USC Trojans - Official Page) and Twitter (USC_Athletics). 
 
Enough talk of what is to come, it's time to make it happen. 
 
Stay tuned and fight on!

Questions of the day

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The USC football team continues to build steam toward fall ball, which is just two short weeks away. The Monday edition of questions of the day features five players talking about their nicknames, tattoos, pre-game rituals and space travel.



As always, if you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Ross/Kessy Win Again

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Former USC women's volleyball standouts April Ross and Jen Kessy captured the prestigious AVP Hermosa Beach Open today.

It was the fourth straight AVP win this season for Ross/Kessy.  The AVP's top-ranked team  beat Elaine Youngs and Rachel Scott, 21-17, 21-14.

Ross/Kessy, who have also won twice on the overseas FIVB tour in 2010, now head to an FIVB tourney in Marseilles, France, this coming weekend.

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RipsIt questions of the day

| 15 Comments
Just like the players, RipsIt is finishing out the week strong with four more questions of the day. Check out what the USC football team has to say about the Spirit of Troy, favorite alternative position, best words of wisdom and the team's best dancer.



As always, if you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Carroll returns to L.A. for book signing

| 9 Comments
Former USC head coach Pete Carroll returns to Southern California this Monday (July 19) to sign his new "Win Forever" book at the Borders bookstore in Torrance.  The event begins at 7 p.m.

RipsIt questions of the day

| 2 Comments
After an exhausting morning of workouts, which included sprinting up the Coliseum steps (that's right - all three seating levels), the players still had the time and energy to answer questions about Coach Ed Orgeron, their biggest pet peeve, most recent concert, and who they most want to interview.



As always, if you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Live chat with Kristofer O'Dowd

| 1 Comment

RipsIt questions of the day

| 2 Comments
The week is halfway done, as players continue their daily summer weight lifting sessions in the Southern California sunshine. RipsIt nabbed a few members of the football team as they were leaving the underbelly of Heritage Hall to ask them a couple more questions - including two submitted by you, the readers. Off we go...



If you'd like your question answered by the players, like Herm's and Michael's in today's video, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Live chat with Kristofer O'Dowd tomorrow

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One of the senior leaders of this year's football squad (both literally and figuratively), Kristofer O'Dowd will be this week's featured guest on the RipsIt live chat.

O'Dowd is scheduled to take reader questions live from Heritage Hall at noon tomorrow (Thursday) for approximately 30 minutes.

RipsIt questions of the day

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Today's installment of questions of the day uncovers five players' best pump-up jam, favorite USC tradition, funniest football moment, and best dance move. Yeah, they can teach you how to dougie.



As always, if you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Hawaii game could be Warriors' most lucrative ever

| 2 Comments
The USC football team remains a popular draw, no matter where it plays.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, USC's 2010 season-opener at Hawaii on Sept. 2 is on pace to be the most lucrative Warrior home game in that program's history.

RipsIt questions of the day

| 2 Comments
Fresh off the weekend, RipsIt asks four players about their favorite class at USC, the home run derby vs. the dunk contest, favorite campus food joint and whether they'd rather be on the SportsCenter highlight reel or the front of the L.A. Times. Take a gander...



As always, if you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Trojans in the NBA summer league

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Recent USC basketball graduates Dwight Lewis and Marcus Johnson are spending their summers in Orlando and Las Vegas, respectively, putting their skills on display in the NBA summer league.

Lewis is vying for a spot on the Houston Rockets roster, while Johnson is auditioning for the Phoenix Suns.

Coincidentally, Houston is set to play its first summer league game today at 3 p.m. PST against - who else - Phoenix.
Congratulations to USC alum Chris Fisher, who was just named the new Trojan men's basketball radio play-by-play announcer.

USC hoops fans will enjoy this bright, talented broadcaster.

Welcome home, Chris! 

RipsIt questions of the day

| 1 Comment
Rolling out the Friday edition of questions of the day, we ask four more players about their reality TV show of choice, favorite trip, favorite family tradition, and most memorable Halloween costume.



As always, if you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Live chat with Devon Kennard

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Live chat with Devon Kennard tomorrow

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With the holiday-shortened week coming to a close, RipsIt has decided to hit the weekend in the style of our next live chat guest: full-force, pile-driving it into the ground. 

Well, it might be a bit hard to pile-drive the weekend, so maybe not so much that last part.

But yes, that's right - Devon Kennard will be live from Heritage Hall tomorrow at noon PST for approximately 30 minutes, so mark your calendars and get your questions ready.

RipsIt questions of the day

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Today's daily dose of questions asks the players which actor would play them in a biographical film, their first earthquake experience, favorite home-cooked meal, and craziest hairdo.



As always, if you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

USC well represented in 2010 U.S. Women's Open

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Ten Trojans - current, past and incoming - will compete at this year's U.S. Women's Open at the Oakmont (Penn.) C.C. from July 8-11. Click here to read more about the event and its USC participants.

RipsIt questions of the day

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RipsIt talked to a pair of fullbacks and offensive linemen about their favorite thing to play - other than football, pop country music sensations, Lance Armstrong and the one piece of technology that they couldn't live without. Here are their answers...



Remember, If you want your question answered by the players, tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USCRipsIt with the tag #QOTD, or leave it in a comment below. If we use your question, we'll be sure to give you a shout-out.

Live chat with Mitch Mustain

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Seantrel Henderson released from letter of intent

| 6 Comments
USC football coach Lane Kiffin, on 2010 signee Seantrel Henderson:

"As of 1:30 p.m. today, we are releasing Seantrel Henderson out of his national letter of intent with zero penalties and no restrictions.  Seantrel has been great through the whole process and we wish him the best of luck with his decision."

Live chat with Mitch Mustain tomorrow

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With players returning tomorrow to continue their regimen of summer workouts, Mitch Mustain will stop by as the latest guest on the RipsIt live chat.

The redshirt senior will be on-site in Heritage Hall at noon on Wednesday for approximately 30 minutes to respond to reader questions and comments.

McNair update

| 9 Comments
In response to media inquiries today about Trojan running backs coach Todd McNair, USC issued the following statement:

"Todd McNair's contract with USC expired on June 30, 2010.  USC's appeal of the NCAA's ruling includes an appeal of the findings and sanctions related to Mr. McNair.  USC has no additional comments at this time."

USCTrojans.com site maintenance this weekend

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USCTrojans.com's website host, the CBSSports.com College Network, will be moving its core infrastructure to a data center in Los Angeles this weekend.  This should have minimal effect on your ability to view our site.

This data migration, to what the CBSSports.com College Network team calls "one of the most prominent technology facilities in the Western U.S.," is a significant undertaking.

This move, on the quietest online period of the calendar year, will begin at midnight PT tonight (Thursday, July 1) and should take 24 to 36 hours to complete, however it may carry over into Sunday, July 4.

Throughout the move, USCTrojans.com will remain visible to the world, but there will be a few components of the site that will be unavailable or will not function. Access to core content such as headlines, schedules, bios, rosters and photos will not be interrupted.

We will be unable to post new content on USCTrojans.com or on this blog during this brief move. However, any breaking news that may develop during this down time will be posted on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.  We wish everyone a fun and safe holiday weekend.