USC football roundup: More admissions scandal details, WR depth added and more

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

The admissions scandal only looks worse the more you learn, the Trojans added some wide receiver depth and more from the USC football roundup.

Pac-12 Tournament. Upset Bid vs. UW Falls Short

As you might expect, things are only looking worse for USC athletics when it comes to the admissions scandal which has rocked the Trojans and several other top universities this week.

On Wednesday, Brady McCollough of the LA Times offered more details on the role of athletics administrator Donna Heinel. And none of them are good.

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It turns out, Heinel ran a private enterprise called “Clear the Clearinghouse,” which offered workshops to help high school coaches, counselors and administrators understand the rules and regulations of the NCAA clearinghouse. For those workshops, she offered tiers of $300, $500 and $700 dollars.

Though not illegal, McCollough quoted B. David Ridpath, a former athletics administrator, who questioned the ethics of the endeavor, which would have had to be approved by the athletic director:

“You’re talking about a process that is relatively simple. Most schools provide that free of charge…I probably did a dozen or so of those things per year, and it never once occurred to me that I would charge.”

The kicker? Heinel was using the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center for at least some of the workshops.

To turn this story back to football, Chris Trevino of 247Sports waded through the FBI investigations wiretaps and found three USC applicants who were falsely designated as football recruits.

One was a “kicker” from a high school that didn’t have a football team. One was a “defensive lineman/long snapper” whose football profile and fake SAT scores were worth $400,000. And one was a “football recruit” who had only played the sport during his freshman year.

The details are almost as comical as they are embarrassing.

Chase Locke commits as preferred walk-on

USC picked up a commitment from a walk-on wide receiver on Monday. Chase Locke of Helotes, Texas will join up with the Trojans for the fall semester.

Locke tweeted about receiving an offer to become a preferred walk-on near the end of February. He has now taken USC up on that offer.

He has good size at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, but he didn’t warrant a star rating from 247Sports or any other recruiting service. He had 36 receptions for 672 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018.

Michael Pittman on injuries, faith, returning

“I used to be so mad.”

That’s how Michael Pittman begins his feature in for Athletes For God, an account of his struggle through injuries, his reliance on his support system and his decision to return for his senior season.

Pittman’s reflection is a good glimpse into the mind of an athlete who is trying to find his place in football and the world.

The Cleveland Browns at USC

The big news in the NFL world on Tuesday was the trade between New York and Cleveland to send wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield took to Instagram to celebrate the move, posting a picture of himself with Beckham and receiver Jarvis Landry.

Anything look familiar about that background?

That’s USC’s Howard Jones Field, where many pros come to work out during the offseason.

Not a bad bit of advertising for the Trojans to take advantage of. Sam Curtis, USC’s director of football operations and pro liaison, did just that. He quote tweeted the post from ESPN with “Training at @USC_FB in the off-season!!”

Max Williams working out

USC could use some help at the cornerback position and 2019 early enrollee Max Williams looks closer and closer to getting back on the field after a high school ACL injury.

Williams has appeared at USC Spring Camp with a bulky knee brace on, but he has not yet taken the field.

On Wednesday, his father posted a video of Williams working out during Spring Break.

Clay Helton praised Williams for being ahead of schedule in his recovery and it sure looks like he is. That he is already running, including change of direction, is a very positive sign.