"Day of Reckoning" For Southern Cal?

From the blog of Paul Oberjuerge (heavily excerpted because ... well ... just read through it, you will understand ... and emphasis added):

From the limited time I spent with the Trojans last season, I was struck by how uniformly inarticulate their key players were. As it turned out, O.J. Mayo was their poet laureate. By far the most articulate of the crew.

If the rest of those guys actually went to class, you couldn’t tell from their grasp on the English language. I’m talking both grammar and content here.

Their poster child could have been Davon Jefferson, dopey 6-9 forward, whose scholastic career gives new meaning to the word “sketchy.” A local hoops insider I respect told me he doubted Davon Jefferson “has ever gone to school in his life.” Jefferson is the guy who needed two years at a prep school and a last-minute on-line course that sounded fishy-as-can-be before he was eligible. Now, he’s in the NBA draft. I’m just gonna guess and say there is no way he would have been eligible next fall. Not even at USC.

One thing Tim Floyd shares with Pete Carroll? Both run their programs like they are dealing with professional athletes. Not coincidentally, both men put in some serious time on the pro side of things — in the NBA and the NFL.

I believe both carry the professional coaches’ approach to acquiring talent: Some money is going to change hands at some point. It’s business, see? That’s their background.

Can you imagine the pressure on Tim Floyd? The Trojans put up that basketball cathedral known as Galen Center, with a men’s hoops team room that is more ornate than any NBA locker room I’ve ever been in. And now you better go win, coach. Compete with the Bruins. Recruit with them.

And two years in, Floyd lands the hottest prep talent in the country, Mayo. You didn’t have to be old and cynical to wonder, “Hmm, wonder how THAT happened?” Well, it happened because the guy who has his hooks into Mayo was allowed free run of the USC basketball offices, apparently.

And then a few months later Floyd recruits a kid who can’t play, Romeo Miller, better known as rapper Lil’ Romeo, because he’s the best bud of the serious player the Trojans actually want, Demar DeRozan. (And how much of a circus do you think USC hoops will be next season, with Romeo Miller on the team??) And then, don’t forget that Floyd gave jobs — in the USC program — to the fathers of two more prize recruits, Daniel Hackett and Dwayne Polee Jr.

Tim Floyd … out of control! And apparently not worried about appearances. Until now.

And football? When it comes to the concept of student-athlete, USC football is something of a farce, frankly. Blue-chip athletes stacked like cordwood, few of them showing any particular interest in academia. For the serious players, school is about staying eligible. The End. Every guy there believes he’s going to play in the NFL and plans his time accordingly. Taking real classes and getting a real education certainly don’t seem to be high on the priority list of the star players.

If you spend enough time at Heritage Hall, you begin to get numb to the whole semi-pro aspects of every day life. You begin to think “this must be how it is everywhere.”

Then you go over to UCLA and deal with the Bruins. And perhaps not all those guys could have gotten into Caltech … but “school” seems a real concept. It’s almost shocking, making the drive from one campus to the other. Interacting with the Bruins, both in football and basketball, is like entering another world. Going from Dullsville to the Groves of Academe.

You have to read Paul's whole take here .

Again we don't have much to add to what Paul said.

GO BRUINS.

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