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IMHO Sunday: All rise

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC

In my humble opinion, cardinal and gold thoughts on what I see, what I hear, and what I think.

Bush league: Needless to say, the NCAA is an organization that has long been sleazy and dirty on how they pick and choose and punish. However, as the NCAA is on the verge of getting what it has long deserved – hopefully and probably from the University of Southern California – again, let’s not turn Reggie Bush into a hero or victim. On the contrary, his family brought on this whole mess in the first place.

All rise: Thanks to former Trojans assistant coach Todd McNair (photo) and his lawsuit against the NCAA, some of those nasty and disgusting NCAA emails and messages previously sealed are now open for public viewing, and it’s rather obvious that the still missing emails and memos will be the next big shoe to hopefully drop. When that happens, it figures to bring a major University of Southern California response. I see no way that the University can just say, “Let’s just move on,” and I think the NCAA knows that as well. It will soon be time for the powers at USC to stand up and really show the country what “fight on” really means in a righteous sense.

All rise – Part 2: After this whole ugly affair has run its course, it’s also time for Reggie Bush to come to terms with the University that gave him an opportunity to earn a degree, be an All-American and former Heisman Trophy winner, a national champion, and have a prosperous NFL career. Both a verbal and written apology and/or mea culpa by Bush to USC would be appropriate.

All rise – Part 3:
The responsibility of a future aggressive response is now on the shoulders of USC President Max Nikias, the USC Board of Trustees, and athletic director Pat Haden. Do they have the stomach to go through court proceedings or are they willing to let bygones be bygones? The NCAA emails should signal the beginning of much deserved retribution. There is no way that USC can let this pass, and I don’t think they will.

All rise – Part 4: Pat Haden is an incredibly competitive individual, who has already gone to the NCAA in good faith hoping his university would be treated fairly as it pertains to the sanctions. Obviously, he and USC weren’t, and Haden should have that “Fight On’ feeling at this point in time. The legacy of Haden, President Max Nikias, and the USC Board of Trustees could be on the line depending how all three entities make their final unified responses when all the NCAA emails, memos, and the rest are finally made available.

Never forget: The real victims, however, of both the Bush episode and the NCAA were the innocent Trojans players that had to endure the mindless sanctions for something they had no part in. For them, this is all a tragedy of which they paid the price for the misdeeds of others.

From the press box…

The moving van: “Former” redshirt sophomore offensive guard Khaliel Rodgers has been moved to center as a possible backup for All-Pac-12 senior center Max Tuerk. What makes the move interesting is that when Rodgers was sent home for an early Easter Break for undisclosed reasons, starting left tackle Toa Lobendahn did some backup snapping. It all makes you wonder where Lobendahn’s final career position will be, especially when “former” starting left tackle Chad Wheeler returns for contact in summer camp.

Lou, Lou: Maybe it’s been there for a while, but I don’t recall seeing a campus tribute to the Trojans legendary track star and World War ll hero, the late Lou Zamperini. When I recently entered the south end of Loker Track Stadium, I noticed to the right the Louis Zamperini Plaza, a wonderful, tasteful water fountain honoring the Trojans track icon. For the record, the Louis Zemperini Plaza was actually dedicated in 2004. If you haven’t seen the tribute, check it out next time you’re on campus.

The mad bomber: This past week’s spring practice again showcased sophomore quarterback Max Browne’s ability to connect on the deep ball. The recipients of Browne’s connections were JC transfer Isaac Whitney, who had a good week, and walk-on Christian Tober, who certainly plays beyond a walk-on’s expectations.

The transfer game: What makes the transfer of former Oklahoma tight end Taylor McNamara so impressive is the fact he earned his degree from OU after three years.

Eligibility clock: Because Taylor McNamara graduated in three years and graduated, he reportedly still has two more seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining and his Trojans scholarship will count against the class of 2016. Taylor played in two Oklahoma games as a freshman with one start before receiving a medical redshirt due to a shoulder injury.

Numbers game: In case you were wondering, Taylor McNamara wore No. 88 as an Oklahoma Sooner. And in case you were still wondering, No. 88 is being currently worn by another Trojans tight end, junior Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick.

Here we go: Current Trojans linebacker commit Daelin Hayes has indicated through his twitter site that he has now been offered by UCLA. Despite the fact that Hayes, playing senior season in Michigan, was at USC recently and said he was solid with the Trojans, the Bruins must feel they have a shot at the kid. Fasten your recruiting seatbelts, as Hayes put on his twitter site, “Blessed to have been offered by UCLA.”

The post-game show…

The coach: Former Trojans All-America wide receiver Mike Williams, who indicated he would someday like to return to his alma mater and be its coach, has accepted the head football coaching position at Los Angeles Locke High. This should be a very interesting career change for Big Mike. This will definitely be a story to follow next prep season.

The coach – Part 2: Had he not departed to the NFL so early in his career – a mistake by my judgment – Mike Williams may have been remembered as the greatest Trojans receiver of them all. As it were, he pretty darn awesome and should be ranked right up there with the best to ever wear the cardinal and gold.

Just wondering: How would Mike Williams, the coach, have dealt with Mike Williams the player?

Locke monster: One of the greatest defensive players in USC history, James Sims played at Locke High and then transferred to Troy from L.A. Harbor JC. Those that played with defensive end James Sims will tell you he was an unstoppable player, and he was quicker than a blink of an eye.

The witnesses:
If you ever need to confirm that James Sims was a beast, just ask former 1972 starting offensive guard Allan Graf or eventual 1975 All-Pac-8 linebacker Kevin Bruce. They will attest to Sims unreal athletic ability.

Blacking out: The NFL has announced that its blackout policy will be suspended for this season, which translates to games being televised on local TV no matter how many tickets are sold. Thank goodness the Trojans and the rest of college football don’t worry how many tickets are to decided whether to “blackout” the local market.

The final word: Oklahoma tight end transfer Taylor McNamara says in the Oklahoma media guide that his hero is former NFL tight end great Tony Gonzalez, who played his college ball at Cal. Oh boy, Tony Gonzalez, the one that got away.

Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

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