More Punters

I admit to probably being more concerned about the next punter than Pete Carroll, at least in the lighthearted conversations weve had on the subject. Remember the Trojans currently do not have a punter on scholarship (but six tight ends).
Ive previously written that former Arizona State punter Greg Woidneck will join the team in training camp.
Theres also two more walk-ons who will try to make the team: Rob Taft from Fallbrook High School was already accepted to USC and averaged 37.5 yards per punt last season. He was also a placekicker and co-captain.
The other candidate is Parker St. Clair, who went to Dana Hills High School and San Diego State. He is currently at Saddleback Community College although he did not play football last season. The No. 1 punter is walk-on Taylor Odegard.

Sanchez Update

The district attorney’s office did not file a new arraignment date for Mark Sanchez’s sexual-assault case. Originally, this morning, it was believed to be May 30 or May 31 before it was left open-ended.
The fact no new date was set would be consistent with my earlier reports about the quality of the case against Sanchez.

Loyalty Oath

Leonard Levine, the lawyer for Mark Sanchez and UCLA graduate, said he’s received plenty of criticism from Bruin fans for taking the case.
“Im getting criticism from the other side,” he said. “The day I choose loyalty to my school over loyalty to my client is the day I retire.”

Revisionist History

Bob Leinart in the Arizona Republic: “I don’t blame (USC coach) Pete Carroll for any of this, but he encourages Hollywood people to come to practice . . . Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell. I don’t think he saw the repercussions.”
After seeing that quote, a USC athletic dept. employee said, “I don’t think Pete Carroll forced Matt (Leinart) to bring (actor) Wilmer Valderamma to the Salute to Troy.”

Sanchez Arraignment

The District Attorney’s office will re-schedule Mark Sanchez’s arraignment date tomorrow morning. Sanchez was originally scheduled to have his arraigment Wednesday but the DA asked for more time. The new date will be announced tomorrow.
What’s interesting is that the DA is still investigating the case while the police apparently concluded their investigation.

Francis Press Conference

Paulette Francis, the mother of slain USC point guard Ryan Francis, will make her first public comments since her son’s death on Thursday afternoon (3 p.m. local time) at the Glen Oaks High School library in Baton Rouge, La.

NOW Rebuttal

Last week, the California chapter of the National Organization for Women sent a letter to USC that accused the university of ignoring “gender-based crimes” and also claimed the crimes were “swept under the rug by local law enforcement.”
A particularly inflammatory part of the letter said, “In most cases, alumni lawyers have cleared players of crimes, with help of friends in the DAs office.”
That was a not-so-subtle shot lofted at attorney Carmen Trutanich, who represented USC football players Hershel Dennis, Eric Wright and Rey Maualuga, but does not represent Mark Sanchez, who was arrested last month on suspicion of sexual assault.
Trutanich responded to NOW’s statement: “There’s absolutely no truth to what they are even insinuating. This is trial by innuendo and allegation. Do they want to do away with the judicial system and have trial by angry woman?
“Are we going to do away with the judicial system? Rape is serious allegation and should be taken serious by all sides. We should sit back and let judicial system run its course. The facts are the facts. The police are not biased and neither does the district attorney. They want to push the district attorney. Justice is blind.”

Saturday Night Football

Get ready for a lot of 5 p.m. kickoffs.
ABC will start a new weekly prime-time Saturday night telecast in the fall and selected five USC games for the 5 p.m. (West Coast time) slot.
The five games are Sept. 16 against Nebraska, Sept. 23 at Arizona, Oct. 14 against Arizona State, Nov. 18 against California and Nov. 25 against Notre Dame.
The Nebraska and Notre Dame games will be shown to the entire nation while the other telecasts will be regional.

Basketball Buzz

Before the tragic death of point guard Ryan Francis, the most popular subject surrounding the program was that 6-foot-4 junior guard O.J. Mayo of Huntington, W. Va., listed the Trojans as his top choice. Mayo is considered one of the top players in the nation.
He recently talked to the Cincinnati Enquirer about USC and his college choices.
Continue reading

Francis Funeral

USC freshman point guard Ryan Francis’ funeral will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. (local time) at Greater King David Baptist Church, North Location (222 Blount Rd., Baton Rouge, La. 70807).
There will be a public viewing at the church on Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
A burial will be held immediately after the funeral at Southern Memorial Gardens (3012 Blount Rd.), followed by a reception/repast in the afternoon at the church.
There is a Ryan Francis Memorial Fund established by his family. Money may be mailed or wired to Regions Bank, 7265 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge 70806, attention Dan Piershale (account #4302618346, routing #065403626).
An on-campus tribute will be scheduled by USC. And USC coach Tim Floyd said he will consult with the team and fans to see what kind of tribute will be done for Francis next season, such as putting his number on the uniforms.