ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Sports and Recreation»
  • Team Sports

THE FALL OF TROY: How USC Can Regain Their Respect

Updated on August 5, 2011

What the Trojans and their football team need to do now

OK, just in case you were living in a cave in Antarctica this past week and missed it, the NCAA found the University of Southern California in Los Angeles guilty of "Lack of Institutional Control" within their athletic department, particularly with regards to their much heralded football team.

Among the sanctions that were imposed on the school just south of Downtown L.A. were:

* Having to vacate 14 football wins earned from December 2004 through the 2005 season, meaning that their 2004 BCS championship is officially stripped

* A loss of 30 scholarships in football, to be enforced over the next three seasons, and...

* The Trojan football team being banned from the post season in 2010 and 2011.

This punishment is harsher that what I would have given them; it's safe to say that the NCAA threw the book at Southern Cal.

The thing that makes me angry, and the reason why USC's sanctions were as harsh as they were in my view, is the arrogance that the entire Trojan community, from athletic director Mike Garrett on down, has shown throughout the NCAA's investigation of various infractions that some of SC's athletes committed.

It is apparent to me that Garrett, football coach Lane Kiffin, and the countless Trojan supporters frequenting the USC fan web sites are showing no remorse for what at least some of their school's athletes have done.

According to Garrett, who was USC's first Heisman Trophy winner in 1965, the NCAA has "...nothing but a lot of envy. They wish they were Trojans."

I'm sorry to say this Mr. Garrett, but nothing can be further from the truth.

Kiffin, who took over for Pete Carroll this past January, likewise gave the NCAA the finger when he told reporters, "SC is more powerful than anything else. The university, the football program...no matter what they try to do to us, it won't matter."

If this is not pure, unadulterated arrogance, than I don't know what arrogance is.

Then again, this is a school where a member of their marching band proudly proclaimed that "...arrogance is a part of the image that we exude," and even the Daily Trojan, USC's student news source, stated in a 2005 article that "an arrogance has taken over the (football) program", so statements like Garrett's and Kiffin's is not that surprising to me.

This sense of untouchability, conceit, and entitlement is so pronounced that I'm convinced that it earned USC football the punishment that it got.

Having said that, this is what I firmly believe USC must do to clean up their house and earn back the respect of the NCAA and the rest of the nation:

1. TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND SHOW REMORSE

This may be difficult for the USC community and fan base, as a whole, to do given their nature. Though it would be nice, I don't expect an open letter of apology to come from any Trojans anywhere in the near future.

2. SHOW MIKE GARRETT THE DOOR

Steven Sample, who has been the president of USC for nearly twenty years, is stepping down and being replaced by C. Max Nikias this summer.

Upon taking office, the very first thing that Nikias needs to do is offer Garrett a very substantial retirement and pension package, as he is ultimately responsible for the "lack of institutional control" in his athletic department.

By doing this, USC will be able to start fresh; that is what the Trojans desperately need to do.

If Garrett refuses the offer of retirement, then Nikias needs to ask for his resignation. And if he refuses that, then the next words out of Nikias' mouth need to be:

"Clean out your office, you're fired!"

3. HIRE PAT HADEN AS THE NEW DIRECTOR OF TROJAN ATHLETICS

This former USC quarterback of the mid-1970s who was the hero of the 1975 Rose Bowl, beating Ohio State with a last minute touchdown pass, is exactly what that institution of higher learning needs - now.

This former L.A. Rams star is as clean and straight arrow as Trojans come, being that he was a Rhodes Scholar and currently a prominent lawyer. USC athletics would exude a cleaner image right away, because upon his hiring Haden would waste no time in cleaning house.

And he wouldn't stand for any violations or incidents.

4. WATCH LANE KIFFIN AND CO. LIKE TEN HAWKS

Absolute zero tolerance must be given with Kiffin, his staff, and the running of the Trojan football program.

Officials from the school's compliance department must be on hand at all practices, games, and functions.The first time that anything happens that shouldn't happen, Kiffin needs to be told the same thing that Garrett should be told:

"Clean out your office, you're fired!"

Should the coaching staff need to be released of their duties, the next thing that should be done is something that should have been done when Carroll left to coach the NFL's Seattle Seahawks back in January...

5. HIRE TYRONE WILLINGHAM

Yes, he was fired at Notre Dame after failing to satisfy that Irish faithful, and he did go 0-12 the last time he was a head coach at Washington in 2008.

Forget all of that, however: Willingham is a very good coach.

And in addition to that, like Haden he is as straight arrow as they come in college sports, which is precisely what USC needs to lead them on the gridiron.

Being the upstanding individual that Willingham is, stunts such as players punching students at parties and crowing "I own the police" (Rey Maualuga) and attempting to solicit prostitutes who are undercover cops (Winston Justice) would not be tolerated under his regime, nor would anything else that was against the law or the rules.

If Maualuga, Justice, or the many other players who shirked the law or NCAA regulations under Carroll were coached by Willingham, they would have been immediately and permanently kicked off the team, because integrity would rule the day over anything else.

Indeed, if Garrett had hired the former Irish, Husky, Michigan State and Stanford - who he took to the 2000 Rose Bowl - coach rather than Kiffin, SC's sanctions wouldn't have been as harsh.

The reason? The NCAA would have seen that by hiring a clean, straight arrow coach like Willingham, the Trojans were at least doing something to get their house in order.

The University of Southern California would gain from the college sports world something that their overall arrogance has denied them from achieving by following these suggestions - respect and admiration from the rest of the country.

Otherwise their reputation as being arrogant with a sense of untouchability will continue, and the next step for that school's premier sports team may be the death penalty.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Cass 6 years ago

      Optimus, for the most part your comment is ok but to say an easy schdule. Maybe the pac 10 soon to be Pac 12 as a whole for a few of those years wasn't very strong but they started 2 of the last 3 seasons beating up on Ohio State(do they suck also). Winning all the bowl games they've played except for the game against Texas that they should have won and creaming a supposed top notch Oklahoma for the National Championship in 2004 and it's ludicris for the NCAA to take that away as if it didn't exist. Reggie Bush didn't even score a touchdown in that game. Dhart, not a bad article but as for the arrogance, they've earned it. At least the rule breaker had nothing to do with the Natl. Cahmpionship they took away, unlike Ohio State last year, Cam Newton last year, UCLA a few years ago when the whole team was found guilty of using handicap placards and the quarterback got a DUI..It's rampant and to call a whole program cheaters because of a lacsadaysikle coach or a dis-honest player and his family is completly lame and out of line. They need to fix the system-it's broke. Thanks for letting me share :-)

    • optimus grimlock profile image

      optimus grimlock 7 years ago

      Willingham interesting pick, i agree with you hes a good coach. I think usc has had an ez schedule for years and that hurts the respect facter almost as much as this scandel.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)