UCLA AD Dan Guerrero went rogue voting to ban satellite camps. While that’s not a good look for the Pac-12, he might have done USC football a favor.
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First Take… Not that there already wasn’t proof enough, with less-than-stellar bowl tie-ins, a lesser TV deal and a network unavailable to a chunk of the conference’s fans, but the satellite camp ban debacle is yet another example of the Pac-12’s embarrassment.
On Wednesday, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott revealed that UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero “did not vote the way he was supposed to” as the conference’s representative by voting to ban the camps, via Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports.
As it turns out, 11 of the 12 Pac-12 schools — including USC — were against the ban, preferring more exploration of the issue or remaining with the status quo. Guerrero, however, cast a vote in favor of the ban when the issue was unexpectedly brought to a vote at the NCAA’s Division 1 Council meeting two weeks ago.
Guerrero explained his vote in an email to Pac-12 administrators and later to Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated as being strategic. He believed one of two ban proposals brought by the ACC and SEC would pass with or without the Pac-12’s vote and thus threw support behind the one which most closely resembled the conference’s own rule on camps.
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If that sounds like a lame explanation, that’s because it is. Guerrero was tasked to represent the conference but made an assumption and cast a vote he was not commissioned to cast. Let’s be generous and just call it a coincidence that UCLA was the lone school to abstain from voting against the ban in the conference in the first place.
And as it turns out, the Pac-12’s vote might have mattered, along with the Sun Belt vote which also went against the wishes of the majority of that conference.
This is not a good look for UCLA, whose AD is already under fire for perceived mismanagement over Steve Alford.
This is not a good look for Larry Scott, whose leadership could be questioned for having a rogue representative and for throwing that representative under the bus in public like he did Wednesday.
Nor is this a good look for the Pac-12 as a whole, which still looks inept if you buy the misunderstanding angle Guerrero is pushing.
Funnily enough Guerrero may have done USC a favor.
The Trojans were in favor of keeping the camps open, but the ban will no doubt help USC keep a stranglehold on the LA recruiting region without national rivals setting up camp to dip even further into their talent pool.
So there’s that at least.
And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…
- Reign of Troy: Our five takeaways from Spring Camp include Justin Davis standing strong, Sam Darnold putting up a fight, Quinton Powell and surprise standout defenders, rising tight ends and murky depth.
- CFB Huddle: Reign of Troy’s Michael Castillo joined Josh Webb on the CFB Huddle Podcast to talk through USC’s quarterback battle between Max Browne and Sam Darnold.
- ESPN: Kyle Bonagura ranks USC’s top 10 players for 2016. JuJu Smith-Schuster tops the list while both running backs make the top five.
- Bleacher Report: Brian Pedersen took a crack at comparing CFB’s best players to NFL counterparts on National Look Alike Day. Adoree’ Jackson compares to Devin Hester, who was drafted as a cornerback but has made his career on special teams and offense. JuJu Smith-Schuster mirrors Dez Bryant.
- USCFootball.com: The NCAA released national APR scores Wednesday with USC still trailing other Pac-12 scores though the Trojans do continue to rise in that measure.
- Bleacher Report: Four-star defensive end Chase Young has USC in his Top 15 and is looking to visit the Trojans this summer.
- Scout: Another four-star defensive lineman, Martin Andrus, talked to Greg Biggins about his strong connection to defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze.
- Scout: USC is one of four finalist to land Derryck Thornton Jr., the Duke point guard who is set to transfer this summer.
- Fox Sports: Stewart Mandel cautions mailbag readers against writing off Clay Helton just yet, but notes that even though the Trojan head coach might not rank higher than ninth among coaches in the Pac-12, few of the guys ahead of him could make it through USC’s slate this season with a great record.
- CBS Sports: It was no surprise when USC didn’t make an appearance in competition to be named Tight End U over the last ten years, but the Trojans didn’t crack the top five to be named Offensive Line U.