Disappointment, Confusion Rule In USC Football

USC’s Mike Bohn: Pac-12 cancellation ‘another incomprehensible consequence’ of coronavirus

Ryan Kartje (LA Times)  —  All along, through months of looming uncertainty and doubt, athletic director Mike Bohn remained outwardly optimistic that college sports would find a way to continue. On USC’s campus, comprehensive safety protocols were working. The athletic department had tested 666 athletes for COVID-19 and turned up eight positives, all of which were quickly isolated. Athletes, by and large, said they felt safe on campus.

But by Tuesday, as a sobering picture of potential, lasting cardiac issues from the coronavirus was painted for conference officials, Bohn and the rest of the Pac-12 was convinced that the uncertainty caused by an ongoing pandemic was too great to go forward.

A vote of Pac-12 presidents and chancellors was unanimous. College sports would be canceled until 2021. Just before the Pac-12 made its announcement, Bohn sent out a video message alerting athletes to what was coming. It was the second time since his arrival last year that he had to deliver such news.

In a statement, Bohn called the decision “another incomprehensible consequence of an unprecedented time.”

“In listening to our Pac-12 medical advisory committee present the latest data over the past few days, it became abundantly clear that, despite our gargantuan efforts locally and as a conference, there is too much uncertainty to move forward with athletics practices and competitions at this time,” Bohn said.

Helton called the cancellation “extremely disappointing,” but offered his support for the decision.

He’ll still be the head coach whenever USC continues playing football in 2021. But Helton may be without several key contributors who could elect to skip a potential spring season.

Wideout Amon-ra St. Brown, safety Talanoa Hufanga, offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker and defensive tackle Jay Tufele are all candidates to opt out of a spring season, in anticipation of entering the NFL draft. All four are expected to be selected in the top three rounds of the upcoming draft, which is currently slated for late April. Whether the date might still be moved back to accommodate college football remains to be seen.

Last week, Vera-Tucker told The Times that if the season was ultimately postponed, “obviously, that’s a conversation I’m going to have to have with my family and my coaches.”

USC players took to social media to express their disbelief, tweeting broken heart emojis and wondering aloud what would happen now. Hunter Echols demanded that seniors’ eligibility be protected. Defensive end Connor Murphy mused about walking on elsewhere. Cornerback Greg Johnson wondered in a tweet if the XFL might step up in the void as an NFL minor league.al media to

While a mass exodus of transfers out of the Pac-12 is not currently expected, there are plenty of questions about who will still be welcome on campus and when. The NCAA has yet to offer any answers on eligibility; in fact, it delayed making any decision on the matter until Aug. 21. Clarity is also expected then on what a postponed season could mean for several recruits, including two four-star quarterbacks at USC, who plan to early enroll.

For now, athletes already on campus can remain under USC’s care. They’ll continue to take part in voluntary workouts, following the protocols USC put into place, with no clue what the future holds.

latimes.com

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Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
August 13, 2020 5:33 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Alabama says they will find a way to play football this season. Looks like the margin sheet in Bama’s accounting office isn’t able to survive without football? Who will they play (or which of the tomato cans will they financially arrange to play and then expect their fans to fill their stadium?) Scott Frost of Nebraska will listen to any offer.

John Weld
Admin
Diamond Member
John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
August 12, 2020 11:13 am

This is a copy of letter that was sent to all ticketholders along with a request to consider donating the cost of my season tickets to the Athletic Department. Dear Trojan Family,  Today has been an extremely difficult and disappointing day for our program. There is nothing we wanted more for our student-athletes, coaches, donors, and alumni than to have the opportunity to compete this fall. Guided by science, the latest data, and the recommendations of our conference’s medical experts, the Pac-12 CEOs voted to postpone all athletics competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year.  In times of… Read more »

Rock2112
Diamond Member
Rock2112 (@rock2112)
August 12, 2020 10:31 am

Every once in a while, a college football player has an unknown heart condition, and the extreme exertion in a college football practice or game causes that player to suffer a fatal cardiac event. It’s extremely sad and tragic every time it happens. It is something we never want to see. We know it will happen again, eventually, but we don’t cancel all of the games and practice for everyone else to prevent it. Why is this different? The risk of death is probably similar – almost never. But here’s the kicker – if we do not play, what guarantee do we have that… Read more »

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
August 12, 2020 9:32 am

This decision is unfortunate, disappointing and was also expected. It is the only decision that could be made to protect the players, the coaches and the Universities themselves. The liability issues here were heavily hanging over this decision. The Big 12 & SEC rely more on football revenue than the other Big 5 conferences and are trying to figure out how to squeeze a few badly needed dollars into their coffers however way they can. But at the end of the day, they will assuredly face public scrutiny if they attempt to play games and health issues come about, that… Read more »

gametv
Noble Member
gametv (@gametv)
August 12, 2020 8:03 am

This is a tragedy and a farce. Unfortunately, Folt and Caruso are ring-leaders in the politically correct crowd. I just hope Bohn can somehow remove USC from the Pac-12, which is becoming the conference of incompetence. In my opinion, Bohn has again proved himself to be very effective at his job, keeping the players safe from infection, but unable to convice the idealogue Folt to make the right decision.

Maybe if some of those players leave SC and the team performs poorly, it will be a chance to finally get rid of Helton.

PN4SC
Noble Member
PN4SC (@pn4sc)
August 12, 2020 6:26 am

Sorry Daniel, but my freedom doesn’t end with your fears. If you have reason to avoid daily contact with people, do the smart thing and social distance, and stay in a partial quarantine. But don’t tell me I must do the same.
And if you think there will be a Football season in Spring 2021, you are kidding yourself.

Golden Trojan
Diamond Member
Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
August 12, 2020 8:45 am
Reply to  PN4SC

PN4SC, there is an epidemic, like it or not, that is 4-6 times deadlier than the flu, people can be contagious without having symptoms and like polio leaves some, even under 40, with lasting damage. We also have politicians and bureaucrats mismanaging it. We all, including you, need to take reasonable precautions to minimize the risk to ourselves and others. The sooner we all get on board with that the sooner we will be through it.
You are right, a Spring Football Season is not happening.

Last edited 9 months ago by Golden Trojan
Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
August 12, 2020 9:38 am
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Agreed

rleeholder1
Noble Member
rleeholder1 (@rleeholder1)
August 12, 2020 4:39 am

In terms of player safety, I think the decision was a sound one. However, I’m disappointed that the PAC-12 just seems to “rubber stamp” what the Big-10 does. First, it was the move to conference-only games. And now second, just a few days after the Big-10 postpones it’s season to 2021, the PAC-12 follows suit. It’s just another example of the lack of leadership in the PAC-12, IMO.

Rock2112
Diamond Member
Rock2112 (@rock2112)
August 12, 2020 10:49 am
Reply to  rleeholder1

See my other comment RLee, but I am not going to buy the unscientific, spoon-fed line that players are safer without playing. Covid is everywhere. If players aren’t practicing and playing, then they’re doing something else. At least in practicing and playing, they are getting the benefit of every precaution, including daily testing, monitoring, cleaning and disinfecting all around them, and a schedule to keep them out of trouble. They have resources if they are struggling mentally, and they have a place to go if their home environment is not safe. I believe there are now tens of thousands of… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
August 12, 2020 12:55 pm
Reply to  rleeholder1

rlee, I agree with Rock. I posted yesterday what I think is clearly the correct reasoning (which Rock restated much more succinctly than I did) on this issue and this decision could not rationally have been made based on player safety. In fact, my guess is the decision not to play will more detrimental to the player’s health than playing. I also like with Allen said – the first “player’s union” attempt was a disaster of the largest magnitude. They aligned themselves with “social justice” demands (including a ludicrous request for a profit share) rather than simply focusing on playing.… Read more »

Rock2112
Diamond Member
Rock2112 (@rock2112)
August 12, 2020 5:42 pm
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

The only hope for Spring play is that Biden wins the election. I suspect that will be the moment all the progressives change their tune on opening the economy and the schools, and our tolerance for risk resumes to some semblance of rational. Right now, in all but the deepest red states, it is all about pushing back on Trump and CYA. RJJ is dead on — if the other leagues play, it will be the final death knell for west coast recruiting, and it was already on its death bed. Yet another reason why the Left Coast can’t be… Read more »

rleeholder1
Noble Member
rleeholder1 (@rleeholder1)
August 14, 2020 6:52 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

I’ll change my mind on player safety now that I’ve read what you and Rock2112 have said. My main issue was that the PAC just seems to follow the Big-10 and not step up to the plate and take a leadership role. I had read that the SC players were not testing positive and the protocols in place were working to enable playing this Fall. I like the Big-12 plan to play with a wait and see position.

danielmcd1
Noble Member
danielmcd1 (@danielmcd1)
August 12, 2020 4:21 am

Our government did not take this virus seriously enough and of course we as Americans must have our freedom, government can not tell us what to do attitude and this is the result. This is not a political commentary. I am 70 years old and my wife is 65. My MIL who is 89 and disabled lives with us and is a prime candidate for Covid19 if exposed did and still take all the precautions that we have been asked to do by the health experts. So far so good. I am disappointed by the postponement of college football but… Read more »

ATL D.D.S.
Diamond Member
ATL D.D.S. (@atl-d-d-s)
August 12, 2020 5:17 am
Reply to  danielmcd1

DMD– The responsibility should have been on you as a medically compromised person to isolate yourself from late-winter onwards from this virus. You needed to be in lockdown. The rest of us should have gone about our lives, and if we got this bad flu, get therapeutically treated with existing meds and supplements available (including Hydroxychloroquin–proven safe for over 50 years). Other countries did this and are well on their way to herd immunity. Instead, this virus was the first virus treated politically first then medically second. Anti-Trump careerists in DC have been gunning for the President from Jan.2017 (which… Read more »

gametv
Noble Member
gametv (@gametv)
August 12, 2020 7:31 am
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

ATL – I understand your frustration with all the changes we have had to our lives, but the problem is not that we had lock-downs, it is that they were horribly managed and that our government was inept in terms of early travel restrictions, wide-spread testing and tracing and wearing masks. South Korea was able to basically end the epidemic and they didnt even do a full shutdown – just massive testing and contact tracing that happened very quickly. We need people to have a sense of responsibility for both themselves and a caring for others. You dont dump your… Read more »

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
August 12, 2020 9:57 am
Reply to  gametv

gametv, where ever you live, I guarantee you there are those living next to you that has and will continue to ignore the masking-social distancing safeguards expected. You walk down the street and into stores and will see them walking around oblivious to the World. Now how are you going to force them to cooperate?

ATL D.D.S.
Diamond Member
ATL D.D.S. (@atl-d-d-s)
August 12, 2020 10:09 am
Reply to  gametv

Gamer— I don’t want to go any farther with this line of discussion with you, brother. Neither one of us is going to change our minds. Plus this Blog was where we could escape the follies of incompetent swamp dwellers. We could go other places to vent about that sort of thing. But, in 2020, politics has become a 4-alarm fire in sports. I personally lament this change in sports culture.

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
August 12, 2020 1:02 pm
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

Totally agree. It is such a shame. The issue is what will 2021 look like?

gametv
Noble Member
gametv (@gametv)
August 12, 2020 8:00 pm
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

Understood. Different ideas, but alot of good people on this blog.

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
August 12, 2020 9:41 am
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

ATLDDS, I agree with you completely.

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
August 12, 2020 1:01 pm
Reply to  danielmcd1

daniel, My wife and I are older than you and your wife and we have conditions which put us both at high risk. We have chosen to self-quarnatine. My children and grandchildren (who live close by) have chosen not to (which means we see them via skype or through a window) and they are doing just fine. Two of my granddaughters are playing volleyball; one of our daughters-in-law is a youth volleyball coach. The correct response, IMO, was quarantine folks like my wife and I and allow my kids and grandkids, who are at very low risk, to live a… Read more »