Out For The Season

Safety Will Harris will miss the season after tearing knee ligaments for the second time (full details in today’s Daily News).
Harris got hurt playing basketball, which is reminiscent of former tight end Dominique Byrd breaking his kneecap right before his junior year in a pickup game with Mike Williams.
It’s a position USC can absorb losses. Freshman Antwine Perez will replace Harris as the backup free safety behind Josh Pinkard and recruit Taylor Mays is also waiting in the wings.

Spanos Ineligible

Offensive lineman Matt Spanos is academically ineligible for next season. He can practice but cannot play in games and summer school will not rectify the problem.
Spanos was considered a possible starter at guard before being held out of the last part of spring practices because of academic problems.

Some Sanchez Background

A little more information is coming out regarding the circumstances of the sexual-assault arrest of USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. According to several sources, Sanchez and the alleged victim met at his apartment and engaged in some sexual activity but did not have sexual intercourse.
The alleged victim left Sanchezs apartment and several hours later called her mother and told her what happened, sources said. Her mother then telephoned the police, which led to the eventual arrest.

Curious Choices

If you drive around the Galen Center, you will notice several large brick murals on the corners of the under-construction basketball arena. So far, the non-athletic motifs seem most noticeable, with ballet dancers, a musician playing a saxophone and graduating students among the highest-profile murals.
This would seem to follow president Steven Sample’s edict that the arena be known as an “events center” more than an athletic facility. It always seemed like a reasonable title for the building, if the university actually coughed up some cash for it

Football/Track Time

A good day for USC recruit Travon Patterson of Long Beach Poly, who won the 100-meters (10.44 seconds), placed third in the 200 (21.41) and ran a leg on both relays at the Division I track-and-field finals at Cerritos College.
Seeing Patterson up close, its clear hes not as tall as his listed height of 5-foot-11.
The most physically imposing prospect from Poly was junior wide receiver Bryshon Nellum, who is listed at 6-feet and 175 pounds. Nellum won the 200 in 21.06 seconds, the third-fastest time in the nation. He also won the 400 in 47.38 along with running legs on both relays.

Grades, Grades, Grades

On signing date, I mentioned about eight recruits that were considered risky academically and would probably require the summer before knowing if they would meet NCAA Clearinghouse standards.
You can add fullback Stanley Havili of Salt Lake City, Utah, to that list. Havili stopped attending classes for awhile in the winter and put himself in jeopardy academically. In the past couple months, however, hes attended classes again and given himself a chance to qualify. A lot will be determined by his grades next month.

Wait And See

A USC coach called a highly touted recruit this week and asked when the recruit would commit if offered a scholarship? “Immediately,” the recruit replied.
The recruit said he was not offered a scholarship but invited to USC’s summmer camp. This is the way it usually works for the Trojans, who could easily get 15-20 commitments this week if they wanted them.
But USC coach Pete Carroll prefers to wait and evaluate. An exception was the quarterback position, when in the wake of Mark Sanchez’s arrest, the Trojans quickly took two commitments a couple weeks ago.

Back To School

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez started summer classes this week while also officially remaining on “interim suspension” by the student-affairs office.
That’s something akin to double-secret probation in the movie, “Animal House,” because there’s been no trace of a suspension. Such confusion is nothing new when it comes to student affairs.
Last summer, it suspended cornerback Eric Wright for three semesters then changed the penalty to three years after hearing criticism when the original sentence was reported in the Daily News.
One person who apparently is not on interim suspension is vice president of student affairs, Michael Jackson, who we hear recently traveled to China.

Do Not Disturb

USC coach Pete Carroll and the rest of the coaching staff are in Hawaii for the rest of the week for a chance to unwind and maybe a little bonding before the seemingly endless schedule of summer camps begins. Carroll had the staff work late Monday and Tuesday on recruiting before leaving for Hawaii. The Trojans officially begin summer workouts on Monday.