Morning Briefing: Can Patrick Hall Return, Should USC Want Him Back and Other Bullets


Apr 13, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the Southern California Trojans spring game as quarterback Max Browne (4) takes the snap on the USC logo at midfield at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Three & Out:

  1. Can Patrick Hall return?: Former five-star safety Patrick Hall never quite got his USC career off the ground. As a 2009 recruit, he failed to qualify academically and had to wait until 2010 to enroll while rehabbing a knee injury. He missed all of 2010 with that injury and another knee injury kept him out in 2011. He left the program at the start of 2012 as the Trojans dumped dead weight to deal with sanctions. In 2013 he played at the junior college level at Ventura College.Now there is a report that Hall, who has at least one more year of eligibility remaining, has approached Steve Sarkisian in an effort to rejoin the team.The big question is whether or not Hall can legally do so without violating USC’s scholarship limitations, since the Trojans have already filled their allotted 15 initial scholarship counter for 2014. A potentially relevant NCAA bylaw reads as follows:

" Returning Two-Year Transfer. [FBS/FCS] A student-athlete who previously was an initial counter and who transferred to a two-year college shall not be an initial counter upon return to the original institution."

Of course, as with all things related to the NCAA, nothing is ever simple. The details of the nature of Hall’s departure have never been revealed — transfer, medical release, or dismissal? — and will frame any potential comeback.

  • Should USC want Hall to return?: On the one hand, Hall has clear questions surrounding his character. He was suspended by Lane Kiffin in 2010 for a lack of commitment to the team and his academic ineligibility in the first place raises red flags.On other the other hand, you have a talented, but unfulfilled player in a position of need who is simply asking for a second chance. Hall has proven he can play at the JC level, earning first-team All-Southern California Football Association Northern Conference honors in 2013. With Josh Shaw expected to play cornerback this year, the safety position is particularly thin. In a best case scenario, he could become a regular contributor. If nothing else, Hall could provide a valuable body in practice.
  • Recruit Playing Through The Pain: No one questions USC basketball signee Jordan McLaughlin’s talent. The four-star point guard is already expected to grab the Trojans by the scruff of the neck and pull them out of the depths of mediocrity as one of the Pac-12’s projected impact freshmen. Now no one can questions McLaughlin’s toughness and determination either. That’s because he continued to lead Etiwanda through the playoffs despite a torn labrum which will require surgery and should have ended his season. First he racked up 17 points on Friday in a victory over El Camino Real. Then last night he took the fight to undefeated Mater Dei. It was his free throw which tied the game at the end of regulation and it was his layup at the end of the first overtime which sent the game into a second. Finally his three pointer with nine seconds remaining cut the deficit to one, but Etiwanda ultimately fell short in the heartbreaking loss to the Monarchs
  • They said it:

    "“It’s not difficult at all. Ed Orgeron is Ed Orgeron. He is a tremendous coach, a tremendous teacher and a great recruiter, and I am a pretty good Chris Wilson. I kind of just do me. That’s the biggest thing.” — Defensive line coach Chris Wilson, on replacing Ed Orgeron."

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