Saturday, May 06, 2006

Leinart discovers lot to learn - Arizona Republic
..."I wasn't really nervous," Leinart said after his first practice with the Cardinals. "It was more like I didn't really know what to expect, coming out here with brand new guys, brand new receivers."...

..."I've been gone for the last couple weeks, so I haven't been throwing as much," he said. "My arm didn't feel as strong. Just getting the timing down to the receivers and adjusting to the play calls is the hardest part."...

Also, Leinart makes good initial impression at minicamp - East Valley Tribune
Leinart 'nervous' during 1st Cardinals practice - Arizona Daily Star

Friday, May 05, 2006

Witnesses defend Sanchez - LA Daily News
...Two USC students were inside Sanchez's apartment during the alleged incident. The students were not in the bedroom but were in an adjacent room of the apartment.

"I was in the area," said a student who did not wish to be identified. "I've heard both versions. Of course, I don't believe Mark did it."...

...Trutanich is no longer representing USC players because he is unhappy his daughter did not get accepted to the university...

Also, USC's Sanchez Hires Attorney - LA Times
High-profile lawyer hired by Sanchez - OC Register
Allegations tarnish USC’s recent reputation - AP
Ronald K. Ross, 57, Chair of Preventive Medicine at USC - Pasadena Independent
Ronald K. Ross, a respected pioneer in research on the relationship between hormones and cancer and chair of the renowned Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, died of brain cancer Friday, April 21 . He was 57...

...Ross spent his entire career at USC, joining the faculty as an instructor in what was then known as the Department of Community and Family Medicine in 1976. In 1987 he became director of the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program, one of the leading groups in developing new ways to do population-based studies of disease and evaluating demographic patterns of cancer risk...
California Law Could help Bush, Family in Dispute - ESPN

A California law governing the action of sports agents could help Reggie Bush in his family's dispute...

The Bush camp said it believes that New Era Sports & Entertainment, notably investors Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake and sports agent David Caravantes, violated California's Athlete Agent Act, which, if breached, could not only result in damages for a student-athlete adversely affected but also cause the forfeiture of any repayments.

Bush's representatives, who have portrayed New Era's demands of $3.2 million as a type of extortion, said they believe that the company did not follow proper filing or disclosure procedures in California and violated a provision of the act by claiming in marketing materials that Caravantes was CEO of New Era -- which Caravantes now denies...
Texans sign 10 undrafted rookies - Houston Chronicle
...and cornerback John Walker of Southern Cal...
[Wojciechowski] Bush should lose Heisman if he got anything extra - ESPN
..."Obviously, there's no precedent for this," said Tim Henning of the Heisman Trust. "A lot of people have asked what would happen. Really, we don't know."...

...I'm asking myself whether I'd still cast my Heisman vote for Bush if I knew his family broke NCAA rules...

...think of the possibilities if the charges are true. Would second-place finisher Young become the new winner? Would the trustees simply not award a Heisman for 2005? Would Bush sue to keep his Heisman?...

Also, Why is the BCS now the NCAA's enforcer? - Sporting News

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bush Parents Have No Incentive To Talk About Allegations - San Diego Union Tribune

Representatives from the NCAA, the Pac-10 Conference and USC have arrived in San Diego to begin investigating whether NCAA rules were broken when Reggie Bush's parents lived in a house that was owned by an investor in a fledgling sports marketing agency...

...Angie Cretors, the NCAA's assistant director for Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities, is joined in San Diego by Ron Barker, the Pac-10's associate commissioner for governance and enforcement. USC is represented in the joint inquiry by faculty athletics representative Noel Ragsdale, a law professor.

They're expected to attempt interviews with the main players in the case...
Leinart's VIP Bash - The Arizona Republic
LAS VEGAS - Matt Leinart's final fling with unemployment was a doozy.

Paris Hilton stood next to him on the VIP section's white leather bed, dancing seductively. Across the bar, an all-girl band wearing black bras and leather boots swung from the ceiling on red feather boas.

"Next to my hometown Cincinnati Bengals, I have a new favorite team!" yelled Leinart's pal, singer Nick Lachey. "The Arizona Cardinals!"

Leinart's postdraft party at Pure nightclub in Caesar's Palace on Tuesday night was a last hurrah, not a preview of things to come, the Cardinals' top draft pick insists. He is sensitive to criticism that he has gone Hollywood and is determined to show Valley residents a different side.

"This party was a culmination of a few chapters in my life," he said. "From now on, it's all NFL. It's strictly business."...
Nike signs USC's Leinart, Vanderbilt's Cutler - Portland Oregonian
Nike said Wednesday it has added former University of Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart and Vanderbilt University quarterback Jay Cutler to its roster of football athlete endorsers...

...Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, was selected by the Arizona Cardinals as the 10th pick of the NFL draft last week. Cutler was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the 11th pick.

The two join NFL players including the New England Patriots' Tom Brady, the Atlanta Falcons' Michael Vick and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu who endorse footwear and apparel by Nike, headquartered near Beaverton.

Leinart's teammate, former USC running back Reggie Bush, signed up to endorse competitor Adidas Group's products...
Corky: Smith's aware of pressure on USC's Carroll - Tucson Citizen
Larry Smith
feels for USC coach Pete Carroll and the school. Smith coached Trojans football from 1987-92 after seven successful years at Arizona. He is retired now and lives in Tucson.
"A school in a place that big, with so many people, is very susceptible to problems, especially those involving sports agents," Smith said yesterday.

"You can't imagine the extent to which 'SC football is teeming with agents and runners and people who want a piece of that success. I empathize with Pete. He's going through a tough time. A coach takes on all the responsibility himself and it pounds you down."
This Was Something He Couldn't Pass Up - Los Angeles Times
Pat Haden was throwing passes to John McKay when the two were teammates at La Puente Bishop Amat High and USC. And now McKay, also known as "J.K.," has thrown the ultimate compliment to Haden.

McKay and his wife Kim on Tuesday became the parents of a 7-pound 15-ounce boy and named him Haden McKay.

"I was incredibly moved by the fact that they named their son after me," Haden said. "Not sure what the middle name is, but I suggested 'To.' "...
[Dodd] BCS giveth, but will it taketh away? - CBS Sportsline
Is USC in danger of losing its 2004 BCS title?

The BCS commissioners aren't ready to answer that question yet, but they will begin to ponder rule violations by the former BCS champion during Collegiate Commissioners Association meetings in June. BCS coordinator and SEC commissioner Mike Slive said this week that the BCS would "begin to think" about punitive issues...

...For the commissioners to even consider stripping a title...the NCAA and conference investigations would have to run their courses. There was an indication ... that the BCS would act only if the NCAA forced a school to forfeit victories as part of sanctions...
Thomas P. Kemp, 75; Coca-Cola Bottling CEO - LA Times
Thomas P. Kemp, former chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Los Angeles and former president of Beatrice/Hunt-Wesson Foods, has died. He was 75.

Kemp, a brother of former NFL star, congressman and secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack Kemp, died April 26 of an apparent heart attack while swimming at a pool in Laguna Beach, said his daughter Anne Kemp Hummel...

...A native of Los Angeles, Thomas Kemp attended USC, where he played football and baseball. After college, he worked as an accountant for Pricewaterhouse until he was drafted into the Army...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

[Travis] Matt Leinart's $12 million senior year - CBS Sportsline
Every college kid in America who is wasting their parent’s money by failing to graduate from college can thank Matt Leinart for having the most expensive year of college in American history. Everything short of Leinart’s year is a bona fide bargain. That’s because according to rough ClayNation math, Leinart’s senior year at USC cost him about $12 million in guaranteed money (the difference between being the overall No. 1 pick last year and No. 10 this year).

No matter what your parents say about what a waste of money you are, you can always respond, "Yeah, but Matt Leinart spent $12 million on his senior year and when he came out of college he still made $12 million. So there...

Also, Paris Hilton romancing Leinart? - Arizona Republic
[Adams] Leinart’s extra year will pay off in the end - Daily Emerald
Tuesday Question - Did Matt Leinart make the right decision? - College Football News
[Wilner] Trojans fans better prepare for the worst - SJ Merc
...Trojans fans, brace for the worst. If the latest allegations are true -- that Reggie Bush's parents received thousands of dollars in the fall of '04 from a man hoping to represent Bush -- then the Trojans' 2004 national championship is in jeopardy, as are Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy, all of USC's wins in '05 and some of its victories in '04...

...There are too many names, titles, facts, figures and allegations to explain the Bush saga in a few sentences...

...What does it all mean?...

Also, Pac-10's probe difficult - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Sanchez case forwarded to D.A. - OC Register
BCS has big responsibility in Bush case - Birmingham News

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Justice a fighter on and off the field - Philly Daily News
...there is a growing movement among NFL players, and NFL wannabes, to adopt boxing training techniques as part of their offseason regimens. Eagles tight end L.J. Smith has considered training as a boxer, and Southern California offensive tackle Winston Justice, drafted in the second round by the team on Saturday, speaks approvingly of the months he spent in 2004 and '05 at the Wildcat Boxing Club in Hollywood, where he worked primarily with former heavyweight Macka Foley and sometimes with Freddie Roach, who used to train Mike Tyson.

"It's the closest thing to football, getting fit and hitting people," the 6-6, 320-pound Justice...
People's choice - New Orleans Times-Picayune
In case you hadn't noticed, Reggie Bush is a big deal...

..."From the time that we found out he was going to be available, we were excited, I was excited, (Coach) Sean (Payton) was excited, our staff, our scouts, everyone. But we didn't really have a grasp on how excited the community...would be for the Saints to get Reggie Bush," said General Manager Mickey Loomis, who said the fan reaction he saw at a handful of public appearances Saturday was "a little overwhelming."

"We knew people would want him, but it wasn't until we went to dinner at (Emeril's), and we walked in the door, and people are chanting, 'Reg-gie, Reg-gie' just spontaneously," Loomis said. "Then it was just like, 'Whoa, how about this?'...

..."We have had a lot of calls from teams around the league that are excited for the Saints, and people that I know personally...

Also, Saints' Bush to stop by to see new fans - Houston Chronicle
Bush matter vexes BCS - USA Today
[Brick] Bush can help revitalize New Orleans - MSNBC
Leinart boosts season-ticket sales - Arizona Republic
The Cardinals, who had seen brisk season-ticket sales even before they drafted a former Heisman Trophy winner, are close to selling every season ticket in their new stadium.

The selection of USC quarterback Matt Leinart Saturday saw a weekend spike of about 1,500 season tickets sold, leaving fewer than 3,000 season tickets remaining...

Also, [Lewis] Pass or fail, Chow likes challenge - Honolulu Advertiser
As Mr. Irrelevant, McMahan sure is getting lots of attention - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The tradition began 31 years ago and was the brainchild of a former USC football player.

Paul Salata was the guy who first bestowed the tongue-in-cheek nickname Mr. Irrelevant on the last pick of the National Football League draft.

In the years since, Mr. Irrelevant has been made to feel anything but...

...The festivities include a parade, a roast, celebrity appearances and the presentation of the Lowsman Trophy (patterned after the Heisman, only with the player dropping the football.)

"I was aware of the nickname," said this year's winner, Kevin McMahan of Aquinas Institute and the University of Maine. "But I didn't realize all the stuff that goes with it. It's a lot bigger deal than I thought."...

Also, Raiders make UM's McMahan 'Mr. Irrelevant' in NFL draft - Bangor Daily News
Malone picks 49ers - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
USC punter Tom Malone has agreed to a free-agent contract offered by the San Francisco 49ers in a deal that the team and Malone said should be finalized and announced today.

Malone, a Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon product and onetime Trojan All-American after averaging a USC-record 49.0 yards in 2003, second-best in Pac-10 history, said the postseason rest and rehab has finally gotten him past the hip flexor tear that limited his punting and practice time his senior season...
Unsteady times at USC - USA Today
..."I'm not going to make any excuses for any part of this," he said. "I'm going to continue to take responsibility for that. I'm not going to point the finger at somebody else. I'm the one who has to continue to get this done."...

...USC President Steven Sample was unavailable Monday to offer an opinion. Asked if he has talked to Sample recently, Carroll said yes.

"I do know what his reaction is — he's very supportive," Carroll said. "He knows this program really well. He knows we strive to do things exceedingly well. I know he supports us in all ways."

Hansen said it's too early to pass judgment on USC or assess whether the Trojans' image is tarnished...

Also, Trojans falling off their horse - Seattle P-I
[Sittler] Here's hoping Sooners learn from Trojans - Tulsa World
Little is going right for Trojans - Washington Times
Maualuga reaches agreement in his case - OC Register
Resolutions still are pending for USC on a few fronts, but the long wait for answers in linebacker Rey Maualuga's case ended Monday after six months.

Maualuga was charged with one misdemeanor count of battery Friday, but he reached an agreement with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office on a program that, if completed, would lead to the charge being dropped...

Also, Maualuga sentenced - LA Daily News
USC Notifies Pac-10 of Probe - LA Times

Monday, May 01, 2006

Leinart in Unlikely Role of First-Round Fall Guy - NY Times
...when Leinart stood on the stage at Radio City Music Hall, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said something that stuck with him.

"He said, 'Look at Ben Roethlisberger, and he's got a Super Bowl ring,' " Leinart said, recalling that the Pittsburgh Steelers had drafted Roethlisberger 11th over all two years ago. "Anytime you're in the green room, you want to be chosen as high as possible. But we expected something like this to happen. I'd done everything I could to prepare for this day."

Leinart would have been the star of almost any other draft, a charismatic quarterback with two national championships and only two losses on his collegiate résumé...

Also, Carroll says Leinart was right - OC Register
QB Leinart eager for new start away from lights of L.A. - East Valley Tribune
[Alfano] Leinart's fall likely means more underclassmen leaving early - Ft Worth Star-Telegram
[Parker] Leinart available for the taking, but Lions get cold feet - Detroit News
[Myers] Deal for Leinart fell short - NY Daily News
He's fundamentally sound - Cincy Enquirer
Frostee Rucker tossed the football around with friends, ate some barbecue his mother had fixed and watched the NFL draft Saturday. And watched some more.

The Southern Cal defensive end expected to go anywhere from the third to fifth rounds but decided to take a walk outside alone during the third round.

"My cousin came running out of the house and said, 'What are you doing?' " Rucker said. "I was like, 'What? My name's not being called, not mentioned at all.' I ran inside, and it's the Bengals. I could have done a back flip, but Coach told me not to do it."...
Fisher, Chow discount concerns about White - Nashville Tennessean
...The Titans got what they consider a huge value at No. 45, after acquiring an extra fourth-round pick for moving back six spots in the second round in a trade with the Eagles.

"Considering the ability that he has and the production he has and the run style that he brings to the franchise, this was a player we could not pass up," Fisher said...

..."He is a misunderstood young man," Chow said. "I don't know what you mean by character issues. This is a fine young guy. … I don't have one doubt. He's a good, solid young guy."...

...White fumbled just four times in 541 carries and not at all last season for the Trojans...

..."He takes a pounding and he holds onto the ball," Chow said...

Also, USC’s White too good for Titans to pass up - Nashville City Paper
White weathers titanic draft day - Denver Post
Draft Surprises Are the Least of U.S.C.'s Recent Concerns - NY Times
For Coach Pete Carroll, watching the N.F.L. draft Saturday was a bit of a reprieve from the bad news that has engulfed his University of Southern California team recently. The four top prospects were drafted below — in some cases, far below — expectations. And yet, that was still the best part of Carroll's week.

"We had a lot of stuff going on," Carroll said in a telephone interview yesterday. "I don't stress about the draft at all. That's the best part — we had all those guys drafted."

Eleven U.S.C. players were drafted over the weekend, but the football program has probably not had such a bad week since O. J. Simpson took off in a white Bronco...

Also, USC officials say no rules were broken - LA Daily News
Trojans Face a New Issue Involving Jarrrett - LA Times
[Plaschke] Tough Week Gets Tougher for Trojans - LA Times
Coach confirms USC probe - OC Register
[Ventre] Carroll must take some blame for scandals - MSNBC

...The skinny:
Three-year starting right guard is known as a powerful run-blocker. Key element in opening holes for Reggie Bush and LenDale White but was criticized for his lack of consistency. Projected by ESPN as the draft's fifth-best guard, but was the 13th guard picked. Fell to the seventh round likely because of his injury history (back injury and broken leg in high school; hernia and knee injury in college). Lions checked him out and weren't concerned.

How he fits: The Lions are excited about Matua's talent, especially as such a late-round pick. Shorter than most guards but the Lions envision him at either tackle spot or possibly at center, where he has played in the past...
Dream comes true for Trojans’ Lutui - East Valley Tribune
Taitusi “Deuce” Lutui prepped at Mesa High School and his family still lives in the city.

He has long been a fan of the Cardinals.

So when he watched the Cards draft his college teammate, quarterback Matt Leinart, in the first round of Saturday’s NFL draft, he started dreaming.

“I thought, ‘OK, these guys may go for an offensive lineman,’
” said Lutui, a guard who has also played tackle. “I’m like, ‘Please let me be it.’

The Cards made it happen with their second-round choice. Lutui and his family were thrilled, touching off a crazy celebration that forced Lutui to run down the block and away from his house just to conduct a conference call with the local media...

Also, Hometown team lands Mesa High grad Lutui in 2nd round - Arizona Republic
Justice prevails for Eagles' 2nd-round pick - Philly News
...Obviously, Justice was also surprised, though he said he ended up where he wanted to go, so it wasn't a problem. (When agent Gary Uberstine explains the difference between first- and second-round money, though, there might be a problem.)

Justice said he didn't spend the flight from California to Philadelphia yesterday pondering why he fell.

"The only thing I was thinking about was being an Eagle, and contributing early," Justice said at his first Eagles news conference...

...Reid said Justice (6-6, 320) would learn both the right- and left-tackle positions. He has been projected into the more valuable left-tackle role, protecting the quarterback's blindside, in the NFL. He played the right side at USC because Leinart is lefthanded...
Rams Picks: Profiles and college recaps - St Louis Post-Dispatch


Gets separation with quickness and acceleration . . . Long arms help keep defenders away . . . Good strength helps him break tackles . . . Can make catches in a crowd.

Durability is major concern; managed only two full seasons at USC because of injuries . . . Needs work at sustaining blocks.

Might wind up battling 2nd-round pick Klopfenstein for time...
Bing has reason to celebrate - LA Daily News
...The Oakland Raiders made that dream come true Sunday, drafting Bing with the fourth pick in the fourth round, 101st overall.

"I would say it was pretty shocking," Bing said of falling to the second day. "I was sitting there watching everyone's name go by. I have no idea what happened. Now I have to be satisfied with this situation and make things happen for myself."

Bing was glad to be chosen by Oakland, which is close enough that his family can go to games. The Raiders, who chose Texas safety Michael Huff in the first round, plan to move Bing to outside linebacker.

"Someone told me my hitting will fit right in with the Oakland Raiders because they have that nasty style," Bing said...

Also, Bing Goes to Raiders - LA Times
Another day brings another safety - Contra Costa Times
Raiders say USC's Bing will be LB - Modesto Bee
Back home, Kirtman can throw block party - Seattle Times
...The Kirtman family's grass ends about 25 yards from Holmgren's garage. In high school in San Francisco, Holmgren played football against Louis Kirtman, David's dad and a retired executive at Levi Strauss. Holmgren bought his house from Louis Kirtman's best friend. And Holmgren and David Kirtman both played football at USC.

What are the chances?

"It's a dream come true," David Kirtman said. "This is exactly what I wanted. I love Seattle, and I wanted to be a Seahawk so badly. I can't believe it."...

Also, Homecoming for Kirtman - Seattle P-I
Boy next door - Everett Herald
Hi Neighbor... Hi Boss - Official Seattle Seahawks Website
In Bush, Saints Find Added Reason to Smile - NY Times
...Payton said he was running potential formations and personnel packages through his mind, thinking of ways to get Bush into open space. Having a power running back in Deuce McAllister could allow the Saints to experiment with using Bush the way he was used in college — as a runner, a receiver and a return man.

"That part of it will fall on the coaching staff and myself," Payton said. "There's a certain amount of touches a player of Reggie's caliber you want to make sure they have. When the game's over with, you don't want to go in the locker room and say he didn't have this many touches."...

Also, RUSH HOUR - New Orleans Times-Picayune
Bush alone gives Saints an A for draft - New Orleans Times-Picayune
Aints no more - Shreveport Times
[Burwell] Texans' failure to draft Bush ranks with all-time blunders - St Louis Post-Dispatch
Hass gets assist by Bush - Portland Oregonian
In 'Darfur Is Dying,' The Game That's Anything But - Washington Post
...designed by a group of students at University of Southern California, "Darfur Is Dying" is part of a growing but still nascent "games for change" movement within video games. This movement is not about the alien fighters of "Halo or the sprawling fantasyland of "World of Warcraft" or the action-packed "Madden NFL." It's about "very serious subjects that are meant to be taken seriously," said Susana Ruiz, 33, one of the game's designers...