It Could Have Been Worse

ESPN’s piece on Frostee Rucker hardly cast the former USC defensive end in a positive light. But Rucker was originally only one small part of the story as the network spent several months investigating the entire football program, including Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, etc.
If nothing else materializes besides the Rucker piece, which came partly because producers developed a close relationship with alleged victim, Joelle Barchan, USC can probably consider itself fortunate.

Playing For Free

USC was No. 1 last season in at least one category. Trojan rookies amassed impressive fines last season in the NFL.
The Grand Rapids Press reports that wide receiver Mike Williams was fined more than $400,000 last season for being overweight and late to team meetings.
Williams needed to earn more than $600,000 to pay the fines, which are imposed after taxes, the paper reported. That means he plays last year and this year for free, because his salary is $580,000 for his first two years. The paper also reports Williams might not even make the Lions’ roster this season.
He wasn’t the only Trojan in trouble last season. Sources in Miami said defensive tackle Manuel Wright was also fined more than six figures by the Dolphins for similar reasons, which meant he also forfeited most of his salary.
No wonder Williams said in January he missed USC.

120 Days

According to a source in the City Attorney’s office, prosecutors offered former USC defensive end Frostee Rucker a sentence of 120 days for misdemeanor charges of spousal battery and vandalism. Rucker declined the offer.

Speed Test

Summer workouts are killing USC coach Pete Carroll, because NCAA rules prohibit coaches from watching them. Specifically, Carroll would like to see his newfound speed, with Jamere Holland, Travon Patterson, Taylor Mays, Vincent Joseph and Taylor Mays among the swiftest of the group.
If nothing else, USC should be faster on special teams this season, which could be especially valuable on the punt team, where an untested punter will start the season.

Bring It On

Freshman quarterback Mark Sanchez can’t wait for a chance to play in the season-opener against Arkansas for more than one reason.
Sanchez thinks road games will be more interesting if he is the target of abuse from fans eager to taunt him following his off-season drama. But instead of dreading it, Sanchez looks forward to it and believes it will make him play even better.

USC Or Howard

Before O.J. Mayo decided the air got let out of his balloon and delayed his not-so-secret announcement to commit to USC, the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruit told friends he would either attend USC or an African-American university.
In the mid-1980′s, tailback Russell White said he might attend Bethune-Cookman but of course, ended up at Cal.

Local Battle?

USC and UCLA are also locked in a battle for Long Beach Poly cornerback Donovan Warren. But a Pac-10 coach recently told me some members of Warren’s family want him to attend Ohio State.

Another Opinion

In a previous post I mentioned Anthony Davis would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. I also said I wondered if he would charge for autographs in South Bend, like he does at the Coliseum for the Notre Dame-USC game.
Reader FDOG sent in this post that is worth looking at:
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Don’t Copy Me

Whenever USC coach Pete Carroll was asked about this year’s Pac-10 race, whether by the media or at Trojan clubs, he usually failed to mention UCLA. But when an athletic dept. employee deliberately omitted the Bruins during a conversation about this season, Carroll quickly rebuked them about overlooking the crosstown rivals.

Did You Know?

Many believe Notre Dame band director Ken Dye is the heir apparent to Art Bartner. This no doubt rankles quite a few of you reading this, but that is probably because you did not realize Dye attended USC and is respected for the job he has done at Notre Dame.
He is also perfectly suited because the Notre Dame band sits in the end zone at Notre Dame Stadium, so he won’t need to go through any adjustments.