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O/NSO: 2015 Spring Practice edition

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC

The Obvious: The 2015 USC Trojans spring practice sessions, under head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff, will begin this Tuesday, March 3, on Cromwell Field (3:30 p.m.) in Loker Stadium.

The Not So Obvious: For those not familiar with Loker Stadium and Cromwell Field, it’s the track stadium located adjacent to the practice football fields, which are currently undergoing renovation. Inside Loker Stadium, there are stands located on east side, which face the sun, so you might want to consider wearing sunscreen and a hat, a comfortable cushion, and a good pair of binoculars. The public will not be allowed on the field prior, during, and after practice.

The Obvious: A number of Trojans spring practices will be open to the general public.

The Not So Obvious: As of now, all 10 of the Trojans practices on Cromwell Field will be open to the public for free viewing. However, not all spring practice sessions will be made upon to the public, so Trojans fans would be advised to check ahead of time before they make the trip into Los Angeles.

The Obvious: Fans can view the 2015 Spring Practice Media Guide by going to the official athletic website “Ripsit.”

The Not So Obvious: You might want to download the guide to get the 2015 numerical spring roster, which comes in handy trying to focus on the player activity down on Cromwell Field.

The Obvious: The Trojans play their regular season home games in the storied Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Not So Obvious: All Coliseum spring practices (5) other than the Spring Game are closed to the public. The Spring Game is Saturday, April 11, at 3 p.m. (PT) and requires an admission ticket.

The Obvious: Weekday spring practices will be held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and commence at 3:30 p.m. rather than the earlier anticipated 4 p.m. start. Saturday practices are currently scheduled for 11 a.m.

The Not So Obvious: For the players and fans, spring practice times sure beats those early morning practices, although getting off work for spring ball during the weekday might take a little ingenuity with the boss.

The Obvious: Saturday is the last day for 2015 season ticket renewal priority.

The Not So Obvious: Let the phone calling or Internet renewal panic begin. The clock is ticking.

The Obvious: USC has announced that former Trojans head coach Pete Carroll will be awarded an honorary degree from the university during commencement ceremonies on May 15.

The Not So Obvious: So, if you’re the University of Southern California, Pete Carroll should get his Trojans honorary degree in (fill in the blank).

The Obvious: Former Trojans head coach Pete Carroll is scheduled to be inducted into Trojans Athletic Hall of Fame on May 16.

The Not So Obvious: How often does a former Trojans head coach get both elected into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and receive an honorary degree within a two-day period?

The Obvious: The Trojans have added Utah State, Western Michigan, and UNLV to their future home schedules.

The Not So Obvious: The Trojans will host Utah State in 2016, Western Michigan in 2017, and UNLV in 2019. All these addition are home openers in the Coliseum. Not too thrilled with those games? You are not alone. The key is how it might affect any future College Football Playoff selection committee evaluations. It probable that Trojans athletic director Pat Haden will no longer be on the CFP selection committee by that time.

The Obvious: The Trojans host Western Michigan from the Mid-American Conference in the season opener in 2017.

The Not So Obvious: For your information, Western Michigan is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and are known as the Broncos.

The Obvious: There is already great excitement coming from Western Michigan in anticipation of playing the Trojans in 2017.

The Not So Obvious: Commenting on playing the Trojans, head coach and Mid-America Conference Coach of the Year P.J. Fleck said, “I couldn’t be happier about our partnership with USC in 2017. An enormous amount of time and work has been invested by Pat Haden and Kathy Beauregard to put together this monumental game. I would like to thank Alec Gores and his family for their effort in putting these two incredible institutions together. We are looking forward to coming to the great city of Los Angeles and playing one of the most historic football programs of all time.”

The Obvious: So how did the Trojans end up playing Western Michigan in the first place?

The Not So Obvious: According to Western Michigan, “The idea for the game was initiated by WMU alum Alec Gores, a Beverly Hills resident and businessman. Over dinner with USC president C.L. Max Nikias and director of athletics Pat Haden, Gores discussed his desire to see his alma mater play the Trojans. From there he contacted WMU athletics director Kathy Beauregard. Gores, as a proud alum and member of the 1974 and 75 football teams, connected the two sides and discussions began over the game.”

The Obvious: The Trojans will also host Texas and play at Notre Dame in 2017.

The Not So Obvious: It should be a challenging non-conference schedule in 2017, and the good news is that the Trojans should be at full strength in terms of roster numbers and talent. It figures that Texas under Charlie Strong will be much stronger in 2017 and Notre Dame is Notre Dame.

The Obvious: And finally, the signing of the Trojans contract with Western Michigan had a little bit of Beverly Hills involved.

The Not So Obvious: The final contract for the game was signed by ADs Kathy Beauregard and Pat Haden in Alec Gores’ home in Beverly Hills and in the presence of WM football coach P.J. Fleck and WMU President Dr. John M. Dunn.

What, and we weren’t all invited?

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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