If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column
I'm starting things a little different today. Here's my radio interview with Dave "Softy" Mahler from KJR-950 in Seattle.
You need to listen to the part where you can hear Softy ask me, "Do you think Lynn Swann would ever just step down or does he just have no soul at all? And he just feels like, you know what, they're paying me, nobody's watching me work. I can do whatever I want and just cash the check and not have to be accountable."
I give an appropriate answer, of course. Listen here.
As I point out, Swann is the only athletic director who has presided over two FBI investigations in the past two years. And nobody holds him accountable, of course.
Does this scandal have legs or what? There is a real anger out there among USC fans, alumni and people who got rejected by the university. It highlights the privilege of the donor class. And the entitled nature of some athletic dept. employees.
Look at what's happened to actress Lori Loughlin. The Hallmark Channel cut ties with her, which includes movies and a series I've never heard of called, "When Calls the Heart." Last month, its sixth-season premiere was watched by 2.5 million, which placed it behind only "The Walking Dead" in Sunday night cable drama viewers. Loughlin also was dropped by Netflix, which airs the series, "Fuller House."'
Loughlin's daughter, Olivia Jade, lost endorsements with beauty retailer Sephora and hair-care product Tresemme.
How did interim USC president Wanda Austin ever allow a statement in her name that called USC the "victim" in this scandal? And it is still hard to believe she said this about Clay Helton: "He’s not drinking, doing drugs, or sleeping around."
Did USC basketball really fall apart at the end of another game Thursday? Gee, that's not a trademark of Andy Enfield. The guy has won two NCAA Tournament games in six seasons and one of those was a play-in game.
Controversies used to be simpler. In 1959, the administration decreed it would not allow female song leaders.
"The total administration does not feel that songleaders contribute to the dignity of the university nor do they lend themselves to better signing on the part of the rooting sections at our athletic contests," said a statement from dean of students Robert J. Downey.
"It is the desire of the administration, always, to have our students, especially our young ladies, presented in the best possible light."
Female songleaders, or song girls, made their debut in 1967 when USC coach Bob Boyd convinced the administration to let him have the cheerleaders at basketball games. The rest is history.
Last month, I mentioned how USC coach John McKay used to go to the Sheraton-Town House hotel on Wilshire Blvd. after home games to talk to boosters.
But I just heard this story: After USC lost to Notre Dame, 51-0, in 1966 at the Coliseum, McKay stayed in the locker room for so long after the game that stadium staff informed him they were turning out the lights. When McKay and assistant coach Dave Levy walked up the tunnel, there were no fans around. Or even wives, who had cars.
Instead of trying to get a taxi or going back to USC, McKay and Levy walked to the Town House via Vermont Ave. That's about 4.5 miles. By the time the pair got to the hotel, there were about 15 boosters left to hear McKay speak.