Mar 11, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans receiver Christian Tober (28) catches a pass at spring practice at Howard Jones Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Morning Briefing: Walk-Ons Earning Playing Time, Fighting For Reforms and Other Bullets

Three & Out:

  1. Walk-Ons: There may not be a team in college football which will depend on walk-ons as much as the USC Trojans this season. Whether it’s to fill in at key positions like tight end or running back, or to provide bodies on special teams, the Trojan walk ons are key. Steve Sarkisian knows that. He has reserved praise for them in nearly every post-practice interview and Tuesday’s was no different. Sarkisian reiterated his message that players will “earn what [they] get.” When it comes to the walk-ons like wide receivers George Katrib, David Mellstrom and Christian Tober, Sarkisian had another message: “They’re sure earning it right now.”
  2. Speaking of walk-ons: Former USC walk-on Tim Lavin, who played for the Trojans from 1989 through 1991, is pushing for reforms to the walk-on system. While there are advocates aplenty for NCAA reforms at the scholarship level, very few people talk about the plight of walk-ons, who have more than a few grievances of their own. As Lavin points out: walk-ons must pay for post-practice meals (student managers, student trainers and invited media don’t have to pay), they must pay for athletic insurance, and despite not signing a National Letter of Intent locking them into a school, walk-ons are subjected to the same transfer rules as scholarship players, meaning they must sit out a year. Lavin’s goal is a shift towards fairness. Unfortunately he’s dealing with the kings of unfair — the NCAA.
  3. Projans: On the back of a terrible season for USC men’s basketball, it’s not all bad for the Trojans, at least those who have already made the jump to the NBA. As the USC RipsIt Blog pointed out Tuesday, it’s actually been a great week for the NBA Projans.
    Nick Young went off on Monday, scoring 40 points for the Lakers. Meanwhile, Nikola Vucevic earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for his 22.7 point and 14.3 rebound average over the last three games. Also claiming Eastern Conference success, DeMar DeRozan and Taj Gibson both punched tickets to the playoffs with the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls respectively.

They said it:

“I’m going to be honest with our team. I think they need to know. It’s not always roses at the end of every practice…It wasn’t for lack of effort. We were flying around today; our guys went hard. They were excited all the way through. We just weren’t as right as we need to be moving forward.”
— Steve Sarkisian, sloppiness during practice

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Tags: Christian Tober David Mellstrom Football George Katrib Nick Young Nikola Vucevic Sand Volleyball Tim Lavin USC Basketball USC Trojans

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