The basketball season hasn't ended, but it's football season again, spring version, that is, for USC and UCLA.
The Trojans will open spring practice today, and the Bruins will start March 28.
USC has 15 returning starters, 8 on offense and 7 on defense. UCLA has 8 starters back, 4 each on offense and defense.
USC, however, will be without its starting backfield for the spring drills. Quarterback Rodney Peete, who is recovering from a hand injury, will be playing baseball. Fullback Leroy Holt is academically ineligible and is attending Santa Monica City College, and tailback Steven Webster is recuperating from knee surgery.
Split end Erik Affholter, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the Trojans' 17-13 victory over UCLA last season, and tight end Paul Green are among the starters returning on offense. Wide receiver John Jackson is on the baseball team with Peete.