Tim Floyd is gone, denying any wrongdoing. O.J. Mayo is off making millions, denying any wrongdoing. Louis Johnson and Rodney Guillory, so-called advisors and friends of Mayo, are seemingly immune from any accountability. As is USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett, who not only fell asleep at the job, but literally fell asleep at basketball practice. Meanwhile, the kids who did no wrong are left holding the bag.
Here's an idea: Instead of taking away the hopes and dreams of the players, how about taking away Mr. Garrett's job?
Mike Garrett is a pompous, arrogant, self-serving, conceited, pathetic example of everything an athletic director at a major-college institution should avoid becoming. He is a farce, and his act is getting lousy reviews. Does he actually believe that the NCAA will just walk away from the myriad violations alleged against USC while under the administrative misguidance of . . . (all together sports fans) Mike Garrett?
Who hired Tim Floyd? Mike Garrett. Who let Rodney Guillory close enough to single-handedly help Garrett wipe out a promising USC basketball program? Mike Garrett. Who was the A.D. when Reggie Bush's family was allegedly (cough) receiving inappropriate "benefits" from USC boosters? Mike Garrett. And who allowed the missteps of O.J. Mayo? Mike Garrett.
Are we to believe that Garrett knew nothing of any of this? Are we now to believe that he thinks the NCAA will let USC football off the hook because he destroyed his own basketball program for this season and beyond? Like O.J. Simpson, Mike Garrett managed to screw up a pretty good gig.
Mike Garrett, the only way you can save the face you have tried to protect all through your tenure as A.D. is to resign before the inevitable firing happens. Use either cliche to hide behind: "I want to spend more time with my family" or "They decided to go in a different direction."
At least Mike Garrett waited until after Christmas to dash the hopes and dreams of the USC basketball team.
We will never know if these young men could have carried off their dream of a Cinderella run in the NCAA tournament. But we do know that their hard work and dedication have brought pride to the Trojan family.
Let's not treat them as stepchildren. Let's fill the Galen Center for each and every game for the remainder of the season and cheer them in March when they have won the Pac-10 title.
In 2001, a noted academic leader co-authored a book titled "The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership." If this co-author, USC President Steven B. Sample, asks nicely, do you think that Mike Garrett and Pete Carroll will give him permission to voice an opinion on the "leadership" of USC's athletic department, especially its football program?
West Los Angeles
To get the NCAA off the scent of the USC football program, I think USC should give back Mike Garrett's Heisman Trophy.
Forgot to Duck
Walking to the Rose Bowl, I overheard an Oregon couple talking about the L.A. Times sportswriter who predicted that the Ducks would run over Ohio State. I asked them if that was Bill Plaschke. They said yes. "Oh, no," I said, "Plaschke has put the kibosh on Oregon."
Walking back to my car after the disappointing ending, I remembered my prediction. The Plaschke Curse had struck again!
Paul L. Hovsepian
I guess Chip Kelly didn't have time to read Jim Tressel's book "The Winners Manual" before their duel at the Rose Bowl.
You've got to do your homework, Chip.
While tuning in but quickly turning off one of the endless bowl games on New Year's Eve, it struck me how much I missed baseball. Being an Angels fan, I was hoping for a new year free of any further deaths in the Angels family. This morning I heard that Rory Markas had passed away. I can only hope he's swapping stories with Nick Adenhart, Preston Gomez, and so many others.
Call to arms
With NBA players now (allegedly) packing heat in their lockers and (allegedly) flashing gang signs to courtside gangbangers, it's just a matter of time before somebody gets (allegedly) shot in an NBA locker-room altercation.
D. Duane Wall II
Here we are, seven days into the new year and we already have a winner for the Idiot of the Year. Congratulations, Gilbert Arenas!
SEC-ond to none
Congratulations to the Southeastern Conference on its fourth consecutive Bowl Championship Series crown. However, consider the nonconference schedules of its last four BCS-winning teams: 16 games, 12 at home, two at neutral sites and two actually on the road (Florida at Florida State twice); three ranked opponents (Virginia Tech twice and Florida State); no games west of New Orleans. It's a lot easier to run the table when your schedule annually includes the likes of the Citadel, Florida International, North Texas, Chattanooga, Western Carolina and Middle Tennessee.