- Greg Katz, Columnist, WeAreSC.com
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LOS ANGELES -- Such has been the frustration of the 2013 USC football season that when the NCAA handed down its sanctions to the University of Miami Hurricanes on Tuesday, one USC fan sarcastically remarked, “Does that mean that the NCAA compensated The U by extending the Trojans scholarship limits for an additional year?”
Because of its storied past - which includes 11 national championships and 33 Rose Bowl appearances - we’ve once again reached the stage where everybody is kicking sand in the face of the vulnerable Trojans. Fuel was further added to the cardinal and gold’s ongoing persecution fire after the stunning sanctions announcement regarding Miami.
In comparison to what the Trojans received from the NCAA, Miami’s punishments is as ludicrous as late and former Miami athletic director Paul Dee being the chairman of the Committee on Infractions investigating the Trojans. In hindsight, having Dee manage the Trojans’ sanctions was truly deserving of a television laugh track.
Some have said that the Trojans deserved what they got from the NCAA because, unlike the other universities held up to NCAA scrutiny that received lesser punishments, the Trojans hierarchy elected to be combative, arrogant, and insolent with the NCAA.
But take heart Trojans fans, this current episode of darkness and down results, too, shall pass.
Last weekend, the Trojans lost their third game out of four to Notre Dame. To make matters worse, everybody was again reminded of the success that Pete Carroll enjoyed during his Trojans tenure against the Irish. Yes, Popular Pete had a sparkling record (8-1) against ND, but he also conveniently skipped town to the NFL when the NCAA came crashing in with its Reggie Bush-related sanctions.
And now even the voices of the past have returned.
When he was the coach at Stanford, Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh once referred to USC as “Yesterday U,” meaning the Trojans would never again rise to the top like they had under John McKay and John Robinson.
Of course Carroll proved Walsh wrong about that and a new wave of coaches are offering their own version of “Yesterday U.” Trojans fans know the drill.
However, despite all the recent negativism and pessimism before and after the firing of Lane Kiffin, the one thing that has always driven USC tradition has been “Fight on!” The 2013 Trojans, under interim coach Ed Orgeron, have managed thus fall to stay competitive.
They pulled off a win over Arizona, and while there were low points against Notre Dame, the Trojans lost by just four points in South Bend and could have won the game.
The season isn’t over yet Trojans will have their chances to create some positive headlines. One of those banners will be Pat Haden’s eventual naming of the new Trojans head football coach.
That coach, whoever it may be, will see Carroll’s blueprint and Los Angeles success story and will have tradition, resources, a rabid fan base and rich recruiting base at his disposal.
If Haden makes the right coaching selection, it will all be there for the taking and the Trojans can begin their back to the ranks of college football’s elite.
Trojans fans know it, the Pac-12 knows it, the country knows it, and, best of all, the NCAA knows it.