Sean Gregory from the Time published an interesting story on the Southern Cal football program earlier this week, in which he shared this story from Bob DeMars a Trojan football player in Pete Carroll's program in the late 90s and early 00s:
When Bob DeMars was a football player at mighty USC back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he wanted to major in the school's prestigious cinema program. Since some of the prerequisite classes interfered with football practice time, however, DeMars says that the athletic department wouldn't allow it. So he majored in business instead.
In order to show up on time for a required statistics course one semester, he says he had to leave spring practice twenty minutes early, once a week. His defensive line coach, Ed Orgeron, wasn't happy. You motherf--r, DeMars remembers Orgeron, who went on to become head coach at Ole Miss from 2005 to 2007, and is now back at USC as assistant head coach, shouting at him. "He M-F'd me all over the place," says DeMars. "He made me feel like a bad person for going to class."
Trojans didn't make Orgeron available to comment on this story. Instead Pat Haden offered the following to the Time:
"While the alleged events happened before my time as athletic director at USC," school athletic director Pat Haden said in an email statement, "I can say that all our football practices have been open to the media and players' families since before Bob was here, and have been open to the public for most of that time as well. The transparency of practice would have brought to light this type of alleged inappropriate behavior. We also have high standards for our coaches and monitor and evaluate them as we would any of our employees."
"Additionally, we have always been proud to support our student-athletes in a full range of academic pursuits. Majors represented in 2012 among football alone included Theatre, Business Administration, Psychology, Communications, Economics, Chemical Engineering and Political Science."
As disturbing is the story from DeMars, I don't think anyone here is all that surprised. Given what we have heard over the year doubt this kind of story is an aberration as I imagine this happens a lot in number of football factories all across the country. No, it probably doesn't happen in every school but I am guessing it's not all that hard to figure out which minor league pro programs masquerading as college ones prioritize football over everything (including obligations "student athletes" have as students in their classrooms).