Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Leading Man, Leinart Remains Down to Earth Despite Stardom - NY Times
..."Have you eaten?" Leinart asked. "You want to come have dinner with us?" The driver thanked him but said no, he was fine. "You sure?" Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, said.

Earl Douglas, who was hired by Fox Sports to transport Leinart to and from an appearance on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period," said he had been ferrying famous people for decades.

Later, after dropping off Leinart and his passengers in front of Leinart's downtown apartment, Douglas said: "I'll tell you the truth. In the several, several years I've been doing this, he is the third person to offer me an invitation like that."

The other two? Diahann Carroll and Connie Stevens, Douglas said...
Gil Kuhn, 91; USC Football All-American in 1930s, War Hero - LA Times
Gil Kuhn, 91, a former All-American who captained the 1936 USC football team and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross during World War II, died April 12 of natural causes in Anaheim.

Born in Placentia in 1915, Kuhn was a graduate of Fullerton Union High School, where he made All-Coast League center. He attended USC on a football scholarship and was captain of the 1936 team under Coach Howard Jones.

While piloting B-17 bombers on more than 40 missions over Germany during the war, he was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Arbogast Loses a Job - LA Times
...Pete Arbogast, the USC football radio play-by-play announcer, has in recent years also worked for USC flagship station 1540 in other capacities.

With 710 having recently acquired the rights to USC sports, Arbogast, who will remain as the football voice, finds himself out of a job, having been let go by 1540.

"I'm on my way to the Glendale unemployment office," Arbogast said when reached by phone Wednesday...
'SC alumna, Thurmond's child, speaks at Doheny - Daily Trojan
Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the illegitimate biracial daughter of late Sen. Strom Thurmond, shared the story of her life and also read excerpts from her book, "Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond," Thursday at Doheny Library.

A 1972 USC graduate with a master's degree in education, Washington-Williams was a guest speaker at a literary luncheon hosted by The Friends of the USC libraries...
For Texans, it's Bush unless his agent asks for too much - Ft Worth Star-Telegram
...What it has come down to in Houston is this: If Reggie Bush’s agent, Joel Segal, prices his client out of the first pick, then the Texans will take Williams.

The problem with that is, while Texans fans can stomach their team taking Bush over native son Vince Young, they would not be happy with Williams over Bush AND Young no matter how good Williams is.

Surely, Segal and the Texans will come to some agreement that makes Bush the first overall pick as he should be...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chief Justice - Yahoo Sports
Norm Chow looked at the tackle he left behind
at USC, and he saw a player ripe with possibility.

"An athlete is an athlete, and Winston Justice is that," the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator said at USC's pro day on April 2. "Left tackle, right tackle – he can play anywhere you want to put him. As an athlete, you can't put those limits on him."

That may not be an assessment shared by every team in the NFL, but it's clearly a perception that has picked up steam.

Once projected to be a tackle bound for the mid-to-late first round, Justice has seen a spike in his stock since the scouting combine in February. Questions about character issues have evaporated, and the remaining vacuum has been filled with rave reviews.

"He's going to be a great tackle for whoever gets him,"
Carolina Panthers coach John Fox said. "I think he's shown more than teams expected going into [the evaluation process]."

In the realm of numbers, Justice hasn't disappointed, out-measuring every tackle in the draft in almost every category – even Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who is widely considered a top-five pick. But there aren't pro days and stopwatches for character, and getting over some of Justice's red flags has had little to do with what he's done on the field.
No. 1 USC Caps Off Home Stretch Against No. 13 UC Santa Barbara -
THIS WEEK: The top-ranked Women of Troy finish off the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season with one last home match for 2006. USC will put its 23-game win streak up against No. 13 UC Santa Barbara at 5 p.m. on Friday (April 21) at McDonald's Swim Stadium.

RANKINGS: USC (23-0, 11-0 MPSF) is the nation's top-ranked team for the 10th straight week. UC Santa Barbara (14-15, 3-8) holds a No. 13 ranking in the latest poll. USC is poised to be the top seed in the upcoming MPSF Tournament at UC Irvine from April 27-30, while UCSB currently is 11th in the MPSF standings.

WEEKEND RECAP: The nation's top-ranked team offense came up against No. 5 Hawai'i -- which boasts the MPSF's top scorer -- last week. The Women of Troy posted their 23rd straight win with a 14-7 victory over the Rainbow Wahine. USC went on an 8-0 run across the second and third periods to pump up its lead on the way to the win, with freshman Kami Craig leading all scorers with three goals and a total of eight Trojans scoring in the game.

USC VS. UCSB: USC is 19-14 all-time against UC Santa Barbara, having won the past six games against the Gauchos. UCSB is led in scoring by Alaina Whitaker with 48 goals this season and has goalie Rosey Redailli averaging 5.55 saves and 5.82 goals against per game.
Leinart Replaces Steinberg With Condon -
Veteran agent Tom Condon, who represents many of the NFL's premier players and whose clientele includes a bevy of high-profile quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Marc Bulger, Byron Leftwich and Chris Simms, on Tuesday added another potential star to his galaxy.

Condon confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he has been hired by Southern California quarterback and 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart to represent the Trojans star in his first NFL contract negotiations.

"They basically informed us at breakfast this morning that we were hired," Condon said. "Obviously, we're excited about the opportunity."
Track Star Felix is Cat-Quick - Kansas City Star
You know those old tales about an aspiring performer being discovered at the corner drugstore? Allyson Felix, who grew up not far from Hollywood, is the track superstar who was discovered while running past fence posts.

If you watch Felix taking her long, perfectly paced strides, you sense this is nature’s way of saying, “Here you have it, folks: a born sprinter.” Nobody realized that, though, until Felix was in ninth grade in her native Los Angeles.

Back home in California, Felix’s mother, Marlean, teaches third grade, and her father, Paul, is a minister and professor at The Master’s Seminary. Felix, who turned 20 last November, is working on a degree in elementary education at the University of Southern California.

She doesn’t run for the Trojans’ track team, however, as she turned pro before attending college. It was at Los Angeles Baptist High School that her track talent was first revealed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Darfur Statement Released - USC will not invest in companies linked to the Darfur genocide, the statement reads. - Daily Trojan
USC does not and will not hold direct investments in four companies that support the government of Sudan, according to a statement released April 13 by the university's Chief Financial Officer Dennis Dougherty.

The statement was given to members of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur, after members of the group asked the university to divest from companies supporting the Sudanese government.

"Under normal circumstances I wouldn't support divestment because usually it's a lifeline to developing countries," said Stephen Gordon, vice president of the USC STAND chapter and a sophomore majoring in international relations.

USC STAND requested a meeting with USC President Steven B. Sample and asked for clarification on Dougherty's statement, which read, "The University will exclude from its direct investments companies whose business activities can be shown to be supporting and facilitating the Sudanese government in its continuing sponsorship of genocidal actions and human rights violations in Darfur."
USC Beats UCLA in Dramatic Fashion - Daily Trojan
The No. 3 women's tennis team beats No. 15 UCLA, 4-3, in thriller.

Start with two longtime rival tennis teams. Add to that a stadium packed with fans shouting so loud that you could barely hear the balls ricochet off the players' rackets. Mix in weeks of anticipation after two rain delays prevented match play and you've got all the ingredients for a highly contested tennis match.

USC's Lindsey Nelson and Luana Magnani, ranked No. 22 as a doubles team, maintained a one-game lead throughout most of their set. The No. 2 duo broke at 6-5, giving Nelson the chance to serve out the match. An error from the Bruins at 40-30 gave USC the set, 8-5.

At No. 3, Amanda Fink and Judy DeVera kept their solid lead by controlling the net and outsmarting UCLA's Tracy Lin and Ashley Joelson. At match point, UCLA failed to execute a lob, giving USC the set, 8-3, and the doubles point.

"We wanted to win," DeVera said. "Getting the doubles point is great. We gain a bit of confidence, and it's a great way to start off singles."
Jets Look at Leinart - New York Post
One day after treating Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler to an 18-inch New York strip steak in Nashville, the Jets' brass yesterday moved on to L.A. to take a long look at USC QB Matt Leinart.

According to someone who was at the private workout, Leinart threw passes to Reggie Bush while Jet head coach Eric Mangini, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and GM Mike Tannenbaum looked on.

Leinart was scheduled to dine with Mangini, Schottenheimer and Tannenbaum last night.
White visits Steelers - Pittsburgh Tribune Review
(Lendale)White, 6-foot-1, 238 pounds, might fall to No. 32 in the first round -- the spot held by the Steelers -- and it might put the team in an intriguing position. White is reportedly slipping on draft boards due to a hamstring injury and concerns about his work ethic. But if Steelers coach Bill Cowher was convinced yesterday White is worth selecting in the first round, the former USC star could fill the void left by the retired Jerome Bettis.
Leinart, Young to meet with Raiders - Contra Costa Times
Leinart is regarded by many as the top-rated quarterback. Young, though, bolstered his stock by guiding Texas to a come-from-behind victory over Leinart and USC in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 for the national title. Also, Cutler has drawn raves from scouts who have watched his predraft workouts.

Chuck Price, one of Leinart's agents, confirmed Oakland's interest in Leinart, who is scheduled to visit with New Orleans today. The Saints own the No. 2 pick.

"They called and asked if Matt was available after he finished in New Orleans," Price said of the Raiders. "I'm going to assume from that that they might have some interest in trading up for Matt."
Timetable is right on for Thomas - LA Daily News
The day Kevin Thomas signed his name and faxed a letter of intent to USC, he said that he planned to spend one year learning the ropes and then start in his second season.

High aspirations, considering his reason for going to USC was that the Trojans get the best of the best prep recruits, and he wanted to be considered among them.

But the former Rio Mesa player participated in USC's final spring practice Tuesday as a starting cornerback on the Trojans' final spring depth chart.

"That was my plan," Thomas said...
Bush in 2006? - NY Daily News
A contingent of Jets officials, continuing their cross-country, pre-draft star search, got a rare, up-close view yesterday of two Heisman Trophy winners on the same field - Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart and running back Reggie Bush.

GM Mike Tannenbaum, coach Eric Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer flew to Los Angeles with the intention of interviewing and working out Leinart, and only interviewing Bush, but Bush agreed to an impromptu workout. Mostly, he caught passes from Leinart in a 45-minute throwing session, according to a source...
[Pierson] Potential gives Bush upper hand - Chicago Tribune
...Few players come into the NFL with the fanfare of Bush, the Heisman Trophy winner who has been compared to Gale Sayers, Marshall Faulk and Barry Sanders before he has signed a contract.

Bush is expected to become only the eighth running back since the 1967 merged AFL-NFL draft to be selected first. If the Texans pick him No. 1, he will break a string of five quarterbacks...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tuesday Question - College Football News
...Q: Your NFL team stinks. Do you want to build with Matt Leinart, Vince Young, or Jay Cutler?...

[Fiutak]...I have an unabashed, non-sexual man crush on Leinart. I think he's going to be a bigger, left-handed Joe Montana who'll surgically carve up NFL defenses for years...

[Cirminiello]...Of this year’s three big draft-eligible quarterbacks, Leinart is the clear-cut safest choice...
Why is this team different from all the other teams? - Daily Trojan
...the Trojans' defensive backfield is deep because freshman safeties Antwine Perez, Taylor Mays and Allen Bradford all figure to contribute and could take over starting duties once the season begins. The only problem is that the defensive backs are young - all of them are sophomores or younger except Pinkard, who is a junior.

All of the other starters that Carroll named actually will start the first game at Arkansas, but the other position that maintains some interest is linebacker.

The Trojans are legitimately nine deep at the position
so it really doesn't matter who starts, because all will figure to make huge contributions throughout the game while being kept fresh.

The fall should answer all of the questions that the spring created, and if it does, the Trojans might be headed down the same road they traveled in 2003.
Ranking the running backs - Florida Today
...1. Reggie Bush (6-0, 200), USC.
A home-run threat every time he touches the ball. Bush can hit top speed in a flash and combined with great change of direction, field vision and receiving skills, he's a dynamic wonder who appears to be the No. 1 overall pick...

...4. LenDale White (6-2, 238), USC.
We won't know until draft day how much White's poor showing the past few months will affect his pocketbook. Major questions about his weight and maturity. He added six pounds from the NFL combine to his early April pro day, which was hardly impressive...
Eberhardt Rechtin, 80; Helped Develop U.S. Space Technology - LA Times
...Rechtin, of Rolling Hills Estates, was chief executive of El Segundo-based Aerospace Corp. for 10 years, chief engineer of Hewlett-Packard Corp. and director of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, among other positions that placed him at the forefront of U.S. national security. He later joined the faculty at USC, creating the school's first program in aerospace architecture...

...He retired from Aerospace and joined USC in 1988. He wrote several books on the problem of how to design and develop massive aerospace systems, such as worldwide networks and space stations...

Monday, April 17, 2006

[Dodd] Trojans might be beatable -- or not - CBS Sportsline
For the first time in five years USC appears vulnerable...

...Are these signs of legitimate concern? Maybe. The toughest stretch on the schedule -- three in a row against Oregon, Cal and Notre Dame -- are all home games. The defense, particularly the linebackers, will be significantly improved. Center Ryan Kalil and offensive tackle Sam Baker are All-America caliber. The top two receivers return.

OK, maybe vulnerable isn't the right word. The last time USC lost a game, it then won 34 in a row...
[Schefter] Draftees are up, down and all around - NFL News
...there is legitimate reason to think that USC running back Reggie Bush is not going to be wind up in Houston...

...This does not come from one source or from one team. This comes from multiple sources, from across the league, without any agenda to push.

The mounting evidence includes this:

As of Monday, the Texans had not had any contract discussions with Bush and his representatives. None.

Yet the Texans have approached North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams...
Acceptance rate dips to all-time low - Daily Trojan
Freshman applicants to the class of 2010 faced a challenge that no other incoming class has faced before - the lowest acceptance rate in USC history...

...even some highly qualified USC applicants are feeling the effects of these college admissions challenges...
Bush is best among backs - Buffalo News
...Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush is reluctant to put himself in the class of other great running backs.

"I don't like comparing myself," Bush told reporters at the Indianapolis scouting combine, "especially to guys already in the NFL who have done so much, just because they're at a whole 'nother level and I'm still trying to get to that level."

OK, Reggie. We'll do it for you.

The Southern California sensation just might be a cross between Marshall Faulk and Gale Sayers...
[Fiutak] Historical Debate ... Running Back U. - College Football News
...1. USC...Even if you didn't take players from the 1960s like O.J. Simpson and Mike Garrett, USC would still be number one with Heisman winners Reggie Bush, Charles White, Marcus Allen and should've-been-winners Ricky Bell and Anthony Davis...You know a list is strong when Sam Cunningham, who would've made the top five of almost every other team on this list, doesn't come close to cracking the USC elite.

USC's five greatest running backs...O.J. Simpson...Charles White...Marcus Allen...Anthony Davis...Ricky Bell...

Also, Historical Debate ... Receiver U. - College Football News
Historical Debate ... Quarterback U. - College Football News
[Cirminiello] Historical Debate ... O-Line U. - College Football News
...1. USC...The Flag-Bearer – Anthony Munoz...

...Known better for their flashy Heisman-caliber backs and receivers, the Trojans have developed elite linemen at an alarming rate since the mid-1960s. Their tackles alone would place the school somewhere in the Top 5. The evidence over the past 40 years has been staggering; 17 first-round draft choices and 20 All-Americans, including a ridiculous stretch from 1969-1989...

Also, Historical Debate ... Receiver U. - College Football News
Historical Debate ... Running Back U. - College Football News
Historical Debate ... Quarterback U. - College Football News

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Race Is On for New 400 King - LA Times
...senior Jamere Holland is a freak of nature. As Taft football Coach Troy Starr puts it, "His talent is from another planet."

How Holland was able to run a meet-record 10.36 100-meter time at Arcadia last week despite being out of shape and overweight is stunning. That makes him the fastest teenager in America.

"That speaks to the talent he has," Watts said.

Don't anyone feel sorry for USC football Coach Pete Carroll....Holland had better not give up track because there's no reason he can't win a gold medal one day...
[Bisheff] Loss of Leinart and Bush very tough on Carroll, USC - OC Register
...don't count out flashy C.J. Gable, from Sylmar, or Emmanuel Moody, from Texas, or even Kenny Ashley, out of Venice. Huge Ryan Powdrell, one of the happy surprises of the spring, is likely to wind up at fullback, although he could play some tailback around the goal line.

"We'll be running the heck out of the ball in fall camp," Carroll said. "We're looking for the guy who gives us the most shake and bake."

At both quarterback and tailback, it's clear the talent is there.

But come September, it will even more obvious that Leinart and Bush are not.
Bush set in stone as the No. 1 pick - Detroit News
...Reggie Bush and the Houston Texans have been brought together this year by virtue of the NFL's worst team in 2005 being rewarded with the opportunity to select the best college player of 2005.

This is one marriage that could be made in draft heaven.

When the draft begins shortly after noon on April 29 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, it is certain the Texans will use the first pick -- earned with a league-worst 2-14 record in 2005 -- to draft Bush...
USC's White to visit Valley Ranch - Ft Worth Star-Telegram
A player once thought to be unavailable to the Cowboys, who pick 18th overall in the NFL Draft later this month, might be there for the taking at a position the team once thought it had filled.

USC running back LenDale White, who was once considered a top-15 selection, is scheduled to visit the Cowboys on Tuesday at Valley Ranch...

...the Cowboys have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Emmitt Smith in 2001...

Also, RB looking to bounce back - Ft Worth Star-Telegram