A question about ticket sales.
Q: When you were watching the Flag Girls perform in the early to mid-1980s, did you ever go “Hmmm, I sure hope that in 20 years time, one of those girls will end up being the advisor to the Song Girls and gets to pick which girls can and cannot be on the squad”?
A: Actually I thought, ”Why does USC have flag girls?”
Q: The fact that there are few remaining seats for ANY USC home game at the Coliseum in 2008 is noteworthy. Especially taking into account the added seating capacity. Is it possible that Mark Sanchez being named the projected starter has fueled Hispanic demand for tickets? Kind of like a small scale Fernandomania from the 1980’s. I know that LA backs a winner, but why is this team selling more tickets faster than the Leinart-Bush teams did? Do you expect USC to capitalize on Hispanic interest with specialized merchandising/promotions and food/beverage offerings?
A: USC is a hot ticket because of the success the past seven years and there are a lot more fans now than in the pre 2001 days. I think a lot of fans were surprised tickets were even available for the Ohio State game last week. And I received emails from some who had their ticket order canceled because they ordered more than four tickets.
Q: Scott, deeper research on Gilman and Nelson is making me question their culpability in SG-gate. Gilman, an 18 year SC employee with a stellar background. Nelson was a former SG and replaced legendary Lindley as a co-coach in 1986. So, both were there during the glory years of the SGs, and know “The Look” well. Is it possible we have wrongly used the coaches as the scapegoats, but others are really to blame? What is the primarly cause for the decline in the SG program in your opinion:
A) Coach Nelson and Coordinator Gilman
B) Student Affairs suits under Michael Jackson, who must have implemented new rules of operation for the SGs, including an elimination of “The Look” as a criteria, as well as a lack of resources for the SGs – poor marketing/weak website, no academic credits, minimal tuition credits, no athletic support (tutor or facilities), no comp game tickets, no permanent IM-Director in place, etc.
C) Selection Committee who is covert and incompetent with a secretive process and selection criteria
Answer: I never rule out Michael Jackson as a culprit in any scandal, so I’ll buy that theory. But the selection process also needs to be completely open to everyone. And I’d remind that not too many people were thrilled with John Robinson near the end of his second stint at USC or would want Ted Tollner coaching the football team today. So sometimes, change is good.