Go Fetch: Tirebiter’s Morning Byte Of USC Trojans News


First and foremost, with today’s news about the Penn State football sanctions and their impact, let’s not forget about the victims.  The circumstance that led to these sanctions was very unfortunate and tragic. “We can’t speak to how these sanctions are going to impact the Penn State program.  At USC, we found that the most difficult part of our NCAA sanctions has been the reduction of scholarships.

There are several key distinctions surrounding the circumstances between this as it relates to USC and Penn State. First, many of the Trojans’ most talented players in the program were freshmen and sophomores, and not eligible to transfer. Many of those kids, such as QB Matt Barkley, are the nucleus of a Trojans team that likely will begin the 2012 as pre-season No. 1. Every Penn State player is free to go now, and according to the coaches I spoke with Monday, the Nittany Lions most sought-after will be the underclassmen because those guys would have more time to fit into a new system and because they have less attachment to life at Penn State.

For one, the NCAA’s involvement does group this with other cases, with USC’s and with Ohio State’s and eventually with Miami’s. Do we want that? Do we want an instance of clear, documented negligence regarding child sexual abuse to be grouped with a case of a player receiving extra benefits and a rent-free home? Emmert’s involvement — whether intended or not — turns criminal acts on behalf of Sandusky and other Penn State officials into another football scandal comparable to Reggie Bush and Tattoo-Gate in Columbus. Everything’s in the same pot now. Emmert finally did something, yes, but is he also overstepping his bounds? By issuing penalties in such a way, have we also belittled this into just another football scandal? It’s that, sure, but it’s so much more.

If there is one question mark on this Trojan offense, it has to be at the running back position, where there is limited experience behind senior Curtis McNeal.  McNeal carried the ball 145 times for 1,045 yards in 2011, which was good for 6.9 yards per carry.  The Trojans must find quality depth behind him in order to keep opponents off balance and give Barkley a quality running game.

Every day Swick continues writing his legacy into the history of USC Athletics. “The most important thing for me above getting drafted or anything else, is bringing the 13th National Championship to the program,” said Swick. “In the two years that I have left, I want to contribute to restoring USC baseball as the championship program it is and will always be. I want to help change the culture of USC baseball.”

USC has a long-standing history of producing top flight 400m sprinters, and Mance is just the latest example of that. Before USC, he went to and medaled at a few Junior Olympics, so it only makes sense that once he was eligible, he would earn himself a spot on the roster for the real deal. At the 2012 Olympic qualifiers, he competed in the open 400m and the 4x400m relay and qualified for the U.S. relay team. He placed in the top-four times considered for the relay, so it is highly likely that he will be on the final team once it is actually set. This is Mance’s first stint at the Olympics, but based on his pedigree, we can expect him to be a legitimate factor amongst the best of the best for Team USA.

USC quarterback Matt Barkley was named to the Manning Award watch list on Monday alongside fellow Pac-12 quarterback Keith Price of Washington. The two were the conference representatives for the 25-man Manning list, with the award going to the best quarterback in the country after the bowl games. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

Two-time Olympic medalist and former USC track and field great Jack Davis passed away on July 20 at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, Calif. He was 81 years old. Davis was a two-time silver medalist at the Olympics in the 100m high hurdles, placing second at the 1952 Helsinki Games and at the 1956 Melbourne Games. He was world-ranked in the hurdles six times, owned the world record three times and was undefeated in the 110m and 120y hurdles during the 1953 and 1954 seasons. Davis was honored by being inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2004.