Followers of UCLA sports might recall Lonnie White from his Los Angeles Times days; among his assignments was writing about UCLA teams.
Now, White writes for something called The Daily, this article appears on the Fox Sports site. He writes:
Once back in his own car, the player smiles when he looks into a small brown bag filled with money. It's $5,000 cash, and it could not have come at a better time.
Sounds like a bad movie. It isn't. It was life for me when I played college football at the University of Southern California in the 1980s. If I were caught, my actions would have had an impact on thousands connected with the program.
To this day, it's something I'm ashamed about. Rent was overdue, and my household bills were delinquent. I needed the money to live. So accepting the $14,000 in different forms of "benefits" over my college years three decades ago was an act of survival.
I don't know White, I'll accept at face value he's ashamed.
What's relevant to me is that he basically says the practice was commonplace at SC at the time and that his brother (who was a fifth year senior when White was a freshman) was his introduction to accepting money from boosters.
He also notes:
As a crafty fifth-year senior, Tim [his brother and fellow USC football player] was a true connection to tradition at USC. He played on two Rose Bowl-winning teams and was a member of a national championship squad.
I assume that national championship squad was the '79 team -- the Ronnie Lott, Joey Browner, Jeff Fisher team.
This is good information to have next time some SC goof mentions Sam Gilbert. Remind him he has no proof Gilbert did anything. Then remind him that a former SC player named Lonnie White is ashamed he got paid and freely admits his brother was paid to play on an SC title team.