Women’s Basketball Departure

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Minyon Moore, the second-leading scorer on the USC women’s basketball team, intends to transfer to another school. Moore was USC’s second-leading scorer last season (11.7 points) and a member of the Pac-12 All-Freshmen team.

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USC Morning Buzz: A Good Reason To Avoid Campus

Around 150,000 are expected at USC this weekend for the annual bookfest that takes over the campus. So unless you actually want to attend, it’s a good weekend to avoid visiting USC. Especially if you need to park. But there is a new parking structure next to the Shrine Auditorium that might help.

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The Name Game

Upon hearing of Mark Trakh’s return, one of my co-workers wanted to know when USC rehires Chad Kreuter as baseball coach? Or maybe Forrest Twogood can return as men’s basketball coach? And Howard Jones as football coach? And Dean Cromwell (above with Greta Garbo) as track coach?

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Mark Trakh Is Back!

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USC has announced that Mark Trakh was hired as its new (or is it old-then-new) women’s basketball coach. Good for him. He wasn’t treated great in 2009 when he was dismissed.

But what a laughable coaching search. They couldn’t find anyone to take what should be a great job? This does not relect well on Lynn Swann since it is his first official search. Who would he hire as football coach? Paul Hackett? Lane Kiffin?

The best question to USC is this: Why did you fire Trakh in the first place?

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USC Pay Scale Has Undergone A Shift In Recent Years

The fact USC is offering less than Washington for a women’s basketball coach ($350,000 vs. $400,000) is not indicative of anything wider. Women’s basketball usually does not bring in revenue so why spend?

But USC definitely has made an effort to pay less in recent years. Remember Monte Kiffin was the highest-paid assistant coach in the country in 2012 at $1.2 million. And Ed Orgeron made more than $1 million. Another coach on that staff made a high-six figure salary.

But sources told me current defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast made around $850,000 this year. Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt will make $1.15 million next season. USC running backs coach Tommie Robinson recently left for more money at LSU, which paid its defensive coordinator Dave Aranda $1.3 million. Lane Kiffin just made $1.4 million at Alabama.

USC used to have the highest-paid football coaching staff. No more. There is still some desire to pay. Basketball assistant Jason Hart just got his salary raised to $300,000. Basketball assistant Tony Bland makes even more.

But USC is no longer the gold standard. A conscious decision has been made to lower salaries. Of course, the pay scale did not apply to former athletic director Pat Haden, who made $2.9 million in 2014. I’m sure Lynn Swann wanted something similar.

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Memo To Andy Enfield

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It would not be unprecedented for USC to play at Duke’s famed Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Trojans did it in 1978. Imagine how much hype there might be if the teams played next season.

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Another Women’s Basketball Thought

Mark Trakh seems like a nice guy. But what would it say about USC if it hired him back? Trakh’s assistant at USC, Jody Wynn, was seen as a rising star in the profession and led Long Beach State to three 20-win seasons. Wynn seemed a natural to return to USC but was hired by Washington last week for more money and because she felt more wanted. So now USC is getting out maneuvered by Washington.

And then USC would turn to Trakh? Ho hum.

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Morning Buzz: USC Could Name Women’s Basketball Coach Today

USC could finally name a women’s basketball coach today. Only 49 days after it fired Cynthia Cooper. If I had to guess, I’d say USC assistant coach Beth Burns is the frontrunner. She was the winningest basketball coach in San Diego State history and won 27 games in 2012-13. And she recruited McDonald’s All-American Destiny Littleton (44.2 points per game), who was released from his letter of intent with USC and just visited Texas.

Another possibility being floated is the return of former USC coach Mark Trakh, who was fired back in 2009. Trakh is currently at New Mexico State.

That would mean USC took seven weeks to decide it wanted to recycle a hire made in 2004. And then unceremoniously ran him out to hire Michael Cooper, who was a disaster.

At this point, the players probably don’t care who gets hired as long as they can say they have a coach.

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Night Note

The USC beach volleyball team defeated Long Beach State and Cal State Bakersfield today to run its winning streak to 58 straight matches.

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