I never knew until a few days ago that USC’s 1961 spring scrimmage was actually a game that pitted USC against USC alumni football players. I wondered if this was a regular occurrence and discovered the USC v. USC Alumni was just a one-time meeting at the Coliseum in 1961.
Two USC star players I’ve highlighted recently — Marlin McKeever and Mike Henry — actually played in the game. I’m told two other USC stars and established NFL players, Jim Sears and Al Carmichael, also played. Pretty extraordinary when you think about it.
Wide receiver Hal Bedsole, who is in the College Football Hall of Fame, played for the actual USC team and was sent in for one play at quarterback. He ended up getting crunched between the helmets of McKeever and Henry.
“About two weeks later, I was hunched over like an old man,” Bedsole said. “I went to see a doctor and they did an X-ray. There were three holes in my stomach and they did surgery that night. It was a pretty good lick.
“There were quite a few injuries on both sides.”
After that game, USC coach John McKay decided there would be no more alumni contests.