Bill Plaschke is unfair to Pete Carroll. Pete doesn't get paid over $4 million a year to build character. He gets all that money for winning football games, and that requires that he hire the biggest and the best. But he has to do that on the sly, because the NCAA wants to perpetuate the myth that the game is amateur.
FOR THE RECORD:
Lava Man's trainer: A reader's letter in Saturday's Sports section took trainer Doug O'Neill to task for racing Lava Man after the horse had recovered from ankle injuries, accusing the trainer and Lava Man's handlers of greed as motivation for running the horse again. The letter should not have run: O'Neill had said earlier, and it was reported in The Times, that any winnings from the race would be donated to charity. Also, the letter incorrectly gave the trainer's last name, as McNeil. —
Pete's job depends on not knowing where his players get the money to afford a Cadillac. If he knew, he would be forced to take action, and no one wants that. USC might lose a game as a result. Don't blame Pete -- he's doing what he's paid for. Blame the school, and the willingness of everyone -- including sportswriters -- to pretend that a billion-dollar industry -- college football -- is amateur.
Arthur O. Armstrong
Approximately 10 years ago, Bill Plaschke proclaimed Los Angeles a UCLA football town. Since then he has taken little digs at USC whenever the slightest opportunity has arisen.
This time he really stepped over the line in his story following USC's Emerald Bowl victory by strictly focusing on the Joe McKnight incident. It's one thing to have reported on his driving of the SUV during the week preceding the bowl game, but by making his entire postgame story about USC's decision not to play McKnight, Bill tipped his hand about trying to be a responsible journalist.
The USC players and fans like to Fight On. The L.A. Times prefers to Hate On.
How interesting it was to see how many UCLA fans took the time last Saturday to trash the Trojans. Even Plaschke got into the act. He actually thinks Pete Carroll deferred on the kickoff because Joe McKnight couldn't play. You don't see many SC games do you, Bill? Pete always defers on opening kickoffs when they win the toss.
As for the Bruins' faithful, I feel your pain now that even your vaunted basketball program isn't ranked this year.
BC plus USC equals the Ugly Bowl. Both teams were awful, but the officiating was worse, blowing replays that gifted the game to the Trojans.
Pete Carroll owes the officials Ghirardelli candy and a thank you.
After watching the Emerald BowI, I couldn't help but wonder: Do the replay officials get their salary paid by the Southern Cal Athletic Department or does the Trojan Booster Club send them that check?
John Paul White
Bank on it
Your newspaper's sending two writers across country to cover the EagleBank Bowl is almost as ridiculous as Rick Neuheisel claiming the victory was "a step in getting us back to the top." I ask, back to the top of what?
After reading T.J. Simers' article before the EagleBank Bowl about Rick Neuheisel, I could not help but think, what a jerk! And I don't mean Neuheisel.
As a longtime subscriber to the Los Angeles Times, I am accustomed to the biased reporting meted out to the UCLA football Bruins. However, I do not like it and will point it out as warranted. Wednesday's sports section was another example in a long line of sleights to the program. On the front page, above the fold, was a picture of an Oregon Duck, and this is on the day after UCLA won a bowl game.
You call yourselves the "Los Angeles Times" and that leads me to expect coverage of Los Angeles teams. What do you think the "LA" in "UCLA" stands for?
UCLA All-American defensive tackle Brian Price is leaving school early to play in the NFL. This particular decision has the full support of Coach Pete Carroll.
Bill Plaschke's claim that sports is about championships and not streaks is typically erroneous. Why does everyone know the NFL's champion in the 1972 season was the Dolphins? The Lakers won 33 straight in the '71-72 season. Why do we know that? Did the Yankees win the World Series the year of DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak? Does anyone really care?
C'mon Bill, how about having the occasional clue?
With Indianapolis Colts' first loss, how does that affect their BCS rankings?
Running for mare
With more than 50,000 in attendance at Santa Anita, Zenyatta rallied from last to remain undefeated in 14 starts while becoming the first female horse to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.