Barkley has golden opportunity

USC quarterback could join Koufax, Robinson in pantheon of L.A. athletes

Updated: December 27, 2011, 10:26 AM ET
By Greg Katz |
LOS ANGELES -- Now that some of the exhilaration and excitement has subsided from Matt Barkley's stunning announcement that he will be returning for his senior year, a question arises. Will the Newport Beach native be best remembered for what he accomplishes on the field in 2012, or for how he represents himself in what figures to be a season spent under the microscope?

[+] EnlargeMatt Barkley
AP Photo/Jason RedmondWhen Matt Barkley announced that he was returning for his senior season, it was a boost to the city of Los Angeles.
Can the senior-to-be become one of the most enduring role models in Los Angeles sports history, following in the footsteps of such legends such as the great Sandy Koufax?

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Greg Katz | email