Sunday, September 7, 2014
USC: THE KARDASHIAN'S OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL
I'm not much for reality shows but I'm thinking about pulling up a chair and watching the
one out of southern California for the rest of the season. No, I'm not talking about The
Housewives of Orange County. Everything about that show is fake and I mean everything.
The USC football program is morphing into the hottest reality program in sports television.
The twists and turns from the early part of the season have been fascinating. I'm half expecting
former Trojan great and O.J.'s one-time chauffeur, A.C. Cowling, to appear driving his
white Bronco with USC athletic director Pat Haden riding shotgun.
In case you've missed the first episodes of the season, I'll hit the replay button. Two weeks
ago, Josh Shaw, a defensive back and team captain, spun a story that would've made Vince
Gilligan proud. He said he suffered two high-ankles sprains as a result of jumping from
a second-floor balcony to save his 7-year-old nephew who was drowning. I'm guessing
Shaw consulted with Ronny Tuiasosopo, who concocted the Manti Te'o story with the
girlfriend who didn't exist, to come up with this tall tale. And it turned out to be one big
lie. Shaw's been suspended indefinitely.
The very next day, running back Anthony Brown took to Twitter (what else?) and
said that head coach Steve Sarkisian is a racist:
"Sark treated me like a slave in his Office...Can't play for a racist MAN!!!!! #Fighton
Brown didn't fight on. He just packed up his gear and quit.
This team knows drama that's for sure. The Trojans are the Kardashian's of college
football: a pack of divas who feed off drama and attention.
Need more proof?
Last Saturday against Stanford, USC was hit with three penalties not to their liking.
Haden, who was up in the press box, got a text from the Trojans' sideline stating that
Sarkisian wanted to talk with him about what was going on. Most athletic directors
would just say, "Are you kidding me? This is not for me to take care of. Be a man,
be a leader and take care of it yourself."
Not Haden. He ran down to the sideline, talked to Sarkisian and then started arguing
with the referees about the penalties. This has never happened in the history of
college football. Ever.
Worse yet, Haden is part of the committee to determine the Final Four of the NCAA
football playoffs and he's out there trying to sway the referees. Yeah, that looks
really good. It only could've gotten better if Condelezza Rice, another member of
the committee, was by Haden's side talking smack to the refs.
Haden should know better. He played quarterback at USC and in the NFL. He
was a college football analyst for years and now he's the leader of USC's athletic
department. In a post-game interview, Haden said he wasn't arguing with the
referees, which means he either took lying classes from Shaw, or his memory
is going soft. Television replays clearly showed Haden arguing with the refs.
But hey, USC plays in Los Angeles, the home of bad actors and mindless reality
shows. Perhaps, Haden was carrying out his role in the best reality show in college
football and sports television. I think I'm going to keep watching this one.
College football is getting exciting once again. Thank you, USC.