Trojans Live - UCLA Week

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Trojans Live broke some news last night as Steve Sarkisian addressed Josh Shaw's reinstatement just an hour after it happened.

Click here for Sark's segment on Shaw.

Click here for Sark's segment on UCLA.

We also talked to current USC QB Cody Kessler and his predecessor Matt Barkley plus head baseball coach Dan Hubbs.

Click here for Barkley's segment.

Click here for Hubbs' segment.

Here is Kessler's segment...

UCLA Wednesday: Notes

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Josh Shaw's return to the practice field was the top news item of the day.
  • Head coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the Shaw situation right away. "I think he's a very good person. He made a mistake. He acknowledged it. He's been remorseful for it. He's paid a severe penalty of 10 games, and he's fortunate and happy to be back."
  • As Sarkisian announced on Trojans Live last night, Shaw will be stripped of his captaincy.  He will also not address the media until at least the bowl game.
  • The head coach is also not worried about Shaw's return being a distraction. He explained that this team has been through so much that they are used to the noise by now. "I just don't think that they are making it out bigger than it needs to be," said Sarkisian.
  • On the field, Shaw "moved pretty fluidly," according to Sarkisian. He could "potentially" see him playing a role Saturday. "From a game plan standpoint, we really don't know," he said. "All in all, I think Josh brings us a veteran player with a lot of experience. We'll see how far we can take it with him here in a short amount of time."
  • As for his teammates, they are happy to welcome Shaw back to the squad. "I am really happy to be able to have one our brothers back who we have been missing," said senior LB Hayes Pullard. "We still have to prepare for UCLA, we have a big game this week, so that's what we are focusing on."
  • Stopping the Bruins means stopping Brett Hundley, which has been a problem for USC the last two years. "He's a great athlete," said Pullard about the UCLA QB. "I've realized that the last couple of years playing against him. We just need to go out there and be prepared for what he's going to bring."
  • The Trojans are trying to avoid getting caught up in the enormity of the rivalry game like they did last year. "Last year, we let our emotions get the best of us," said LB Su'a Cravens. "I mean it's a rivalry game, things like that happen, but this year we have to be cool, calm and collected, and just go play our game."
  • Cravens summed it up even more succinctly saying, "Play with emotion, but don't let your emotions play you."
  • Here is Sarkisian who was asked mostly about Shaw...

Josh Shaw Reinstated to USC Football Team

USC senior defensive back Josh Shaw was officially reinstated this afternoon to the football program.

Statement from USC Athletic Director Pat Haden:

"For several months, local authorities have been investigating the August 23 incident involving Josh Shaw. They have now concluded that investigation and determined that no action will be taken against him. USC also conducted its own internal investigation of Josh, evaluating both athletic department code of conduct and potential NCAA compliance issues. Based on these investigations and their conclusions, and the 10-game suspension Josh has served for code of conduct violations, we have made the decision to reinstate him.  The role Josh will have in any remaining games is now in the hands of Coach Sarkisian." 

Statement from USC Football Coach Steve Sarkisian:

"I've welcomed Josh Shaw back to the team. I'm now in the process of evaluating how Josh can contribute to the team's success."   


2014 NFL Week 11

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Best of the Week

Rhett Ellison, FB, Vikings - 7-yard TD catch

rhett-header.jpgEllison has carved out quite a career for himself in Minnesota.  The tight end turned fullback has the versatility to pave the way for Minnesota's rushers and catch passes lining up at several different spots.  At USC, he was known for his tireless work ethic, which led to a team award dedicated in his name, and he has carried that reputation into the professional ranks.  For more on how Ellison is doing, click here for this Q&A on

Best of the Rest

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 9 tackles (7 solo) including one for loss

Clay Matthews, OLB, Packers - 5 tackles (4 solo) including a sack and two QB hits

Nickell Robey, CB, Bills - 3 solo tackles including one for loss plus a fumble recovery

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 5 tackles (4 solo) and 3 passes defended

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 6 tackles (4 solo), 2 QB hits and a pass defended

Rey Maualuga, LB, Bengals - 3 solo tackles including 2 for loss

Frostee Rucker, DE, Cardinals - 3 tackles including a sack

Shareece Wright, CB, Chargers - 4 solo tackles plus a pass defended

Mark Sanchez, QB, Eagles - 26/44 for 346 yards and 2 TDs

Malcolm Smith, LB, Seahawks - 4 solo tackles including one for loss plus a pass defended

Photo Gallery: Hoops on the Board

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USC men's basketball picked up its first win of the season Monday night sliding past Tennessee Tech 70-58.

Here are the John McGillen photos:

Going Swimmingly

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No. 13 USC men's swimming and diving remained undefeated after sweeping Arizona and Arizona State this past weekend, while the No. 5 Women of Troy knocked off the Sun Devils but fell to the No. 13 Wildcats.

Click here for the men's recaps.

Click here for the women's recaps.

While Dave Salo's charges continue to thrive at the collegiate level, the USC head coach has been named the national women's head coach for the 2015 FINA World Championships (August 2-9 in Kazan, Russia). Salo will be serving as the U.S. women's head coach at the Worlds for the second time, having also directed the team in 2013 at the games in Barcelona. In those games, Salo (pictured) led the USA women's team, headlined by Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky, to a tournament-best nine gold medals.


Daland Memorial

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A public celebration of the life of legendary USC men's swimming coach Peter Daland, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 93, will be held on Nov. 21 at 10:30 a.m. at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on the USC campus.

Click here to reserve a seat (passcode: daland).

Daland, who died on Oct. 20 in Thousand Oaks, Calif., led the Trojans to nine NCAA team championships during his 35-year (1958-92) tenure. His USC teams also placed second at the NCAA meet 11 times, won 17 league crowns and posted a 318-31-1 (.917) dual meet record. A six-time National Coach of the Year, his swimmers captured 93 NCAA and 155 Pac-10 individual and relay titles.

The pool at the new Uytengsu Aquatics Center is named for Daland.

In lieu of flowers, Daland's family requests that donations be made to the Peter Daland Endowed Head Swimming Coach's Chair to endow the men's swimming head coach's position (c/o Ron Orr, USC Athletic Department, Heritage Hall, Los Angeles, Calif. 90089-0602).

Peter Daland Celebration of Life.jpg

#IAmUnbroken - Mike Nyeholt

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As the countdown continues to the Christmas release of Unbroken, the feature film telling the life story of USC's iconic war hero Louis Zamperini, here is part two in our #IAmUnbroken video series featuring Mike Nyeholt.  The Swim with Mike co-founder was once a three-time All-American swimmer before breaking his neck.

Click here to submit your #IAmUnbroken story.

Here is Nyeholt's courageous tale in his own words:

Women of Troy Capture First Win

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

After pushing No. 2 South Carolina in their season opening loss last Saturday, the Women of Troy took down Davidson, 99-64, on the road to earn their first win of the 2014 season on Monday.

All 12 Trojans scored points in the victory and each of the starters finished in double digits led by Jordan Adams (15 points) and Courtney Jaco (12 points). USC was just as dominant on the other side of the ball, nabbing 14 steals in the first half and holding the Wildcats to 35-percent shooting in the second half. 

The Women of Troy play one more game on the road at Long Beach State this Friday (4:30 p.m. PT) before finally returning to the Galen Center for their home opener against Fresno State on Sunday (2 p.m. PT). 


UCLA Tuesday: Notes

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Rivalry Week is in full flight...
  • The Trojans are as healthy as they have been in weeks with the return of OLB J.R. Tavai who is playing "fast and physical" returning from his knee injury, according to head coach Steve Sarkisian.
  • TE Bryce Dixon was given the "green light to practice," while the university investigates the student conduct issue that led to his suspension last week.
  •  The Trojans know what is at stake this Saturday, but they are trying to keep the emotions at a simmer. "We're going to treat this like any other game," said RT Zach Banner. "We got excited for it this weekend. We need to be 3-0 in November, so we're going to get it done this weekend."
  • "After losing two years in a row, there is definitely extra weight on this week," said TE Randall Telfer. "I've been telling all the guys, I've been waiting all year for this game."
  • In order to win, USC must rekindle its running game. Sarkisian is emphasizing the "pad level with our backs" and "patience needs to be better" in terms of waiting for the blocks to develop.
  • In terms of the passing game, Cody Kessler is playing the best football of his life. Asked to describe his quarterback in one word, Sarkisian went with "efficient."
  • Nelson Agholor has upped his game with back-to-back 200-yard receiving games. "I don't really set any goals," he said. "I just wanted to progress and get better every day. I'm the type of person who just prides themselves on the day. If you get better every day, you will have a nice little pile up when it's all said and done."
  • The Kessler-to-Agholor combination is rooted in a strong friendship. "Cody's a great quarterback," Agholor said. "If you go all out for him, he's willing to give you as many opportunities as you need. I've tried my best to build confidence and just make the plays that come my way."
  • George Farmer summed up the week nicely, "It's all about the battle. Who is going to come out on top and be victorious for Los Angeles."
  • Here is Sarkisian after practice today...