The Ultra-High Cost of Lincoln Riley

USC paid nearly $20 million in 2022 to bring Lincoln Riley to L.A.

USC coach Lincoln Riley signals up field while holding a card that contains the Trojans' offensive plays

Lincoln Riley was an expensive hire for the Trojans, with his Oklahoma buyout, salary and related compensation costing the Trojans nearly $20 million during his first season. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)

Ryan Kartje (LA Times)  —  His hire, in late November 2021, was heralded as a monumental moment for USC and its struggling football program. But actually landing Lincoln Riley, one of the brightest young minds in college football, did not come cheap.

USC shelled out $19.7 million in reportable compensation to Riley between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, according to a federal tax return filed by the university and obtained by The Times. Of that nearly $20 million, USC paid its new coach $10.042 million in base pay and benefits for the 2022 season.

At the time, that number made Riley one of just four coaches in all of college football earning eight figures in salary and benefits. The other three — Alabama’s Nick Saban, Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney — had all won at least two national championships. Three other coaches — Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Texas’ Steve Sarkisian and Alabama’s Kalen DeBoer — have since crossed the $10-million threshold.

It’s unclear how much Riley’s pay has risen in the seasons since his first. The federal tax return, which covers only the fiscal year 2022, is the first public disclosure of Riley’s compensation since he left Oklahoma for USC at the end of the 2021 season. At Oklahoma, he was already one of the highest-paid coaches in college football at $7.812 million per year.

The remaining $9.616 million paid to Riley by USC during the 2022 fiscal year was listed in tax form only as “other related compensation.” But at least half of that figure, according to USC’s filing, paid for Riley’s $4.5-million buyout at Oklahoma.

USC was not immediately able to provide any further details about what qualified as “other related compensation.”

The price to hire Riley in 2022 is steeper when you consider he wasn’t the only head football coach USC had to pay that football season. The university also paid its previous coach, Clay Helton, $3.987 million in severance in 2022, even as he coached the entire season thousands of miles away at Georgia Southern.

Helton’s salary to not coach at USC was more than Arizona State’s Kenny Dillingham or Arizona’s Jedd Fisch made in salary last season. Altogether, paying Riley to come to USC and Helton to leave cost the university nearly $24 million in 2022.

That wasn’t the only position at which USC was paying a premium. As part of the deal in hiring Riley, the university paid up for his preferred defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch, to join him in L.A.

Upon his arrival, Grinch was one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in college football.

The defensive coordinator received just over $2 million in salary and benefits in his first season at USC, as well as $2.3 million in “other reportable compensation.” Part of that $2.3 million, according to the tax form, included a $1.08-million buyout paid to Oklahoma by USC as part of Grinch’s move to L.A.

Among college assistant football coaches in 2022, according to USA Today’s salary database, only Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken crossed the $2-million threshold.

The $4-million investment in Grinch in 2022 didn’t pay quite the same dividends as Riley. He was fired with two games left in the 2023 season after two dismal campaigns leading USC’s defense.

USC paid buyouts so that two other assistants coaches could join Riley. The school paid a $140,000 buyout for outside linebackers coach Roy Manning, as well as $25,000 for inside linebackers coach Brian Odom, each of whom no longer works at USC.

But those are small fees compared with what USC paid its football coaches in Riley’s first season, which ended just short of a trip to the College Football Playoff semifinals. Among Riley, Helton and Grinch, the university paid a total of $28 million in 2022.

Only one of those coaches was still employed by the university in 2024.

latimes.com

___________

TrojanDailyBlog members —  We always encourage you to add factual information, insight, divergent opinions, or new topics to the TDB that don’t necessarily pertain to any particular moderator post or member comment.

 

SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE NOTICE OF NEW COMMENTS OR REPLIES.
Notify of
99 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
June 10, 2024 6:37 pm

Reply to Canyon
I’m also sorry to lose Chuck McDonald too but it’s the money.
Unfortunately, money rules the world. Back in the Clinton days drugs were coming across the border like crazy. They asked him, “why don’t you put the military on the border?” He said “I don’t want to corrupt the military”.

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 22, 2024 8:50 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Is this the rumored news something was going to be announced in a day or two having to do with DT?

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 21, 2024 6:35 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

USC seeded #4, better than Colorado, Washington St and Sucla, who didn’t qualify! Get hot, make a run and get to the College World Series! 😎

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 21, 2024 7:07 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Sucks when your practice field is a half hour away and your home games are an hour away

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 22, 2024 12:36 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Whatever happened to Deuce Robinson? I thought he was on that team.

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 21, 2024 4:04 pm

Here’s my theory and I can’t prove this. This country is full of USC football haters, especially when it comes to football writers and pundants and especially down south. Josh Pate was raised in Georgia and he said that when SC went down to play Auburn in the first game of 2003(Auburn was preseason #1), the people down south expected SC to get pounded. They were saying that those surfer boys from the west coast don’t belong on the same field with Auburn. When SC destroy them, he said everyone down south was outraged. They didn’t think this should be… Read more »

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 21, 2024 6:51 pm
Reply to  parcelman007

Interesting topic, USC haters. Why do some hate on USC? Many here could post on that. Number 1, success. people love the underdog and hate on the winner. The McKay, Robinson and Carroll years caused some to hate USC for beating up on their school year after year. They love their school just as much as we here love USC. Doesn’t matter if you are in the Pac, SEC or Big10. There’s the perception that USC is a bunch of rich beach bums. We have debated the reasons ad nauseam for the excessive punishment of USC in 2010. Some of… Read more »

Trojanfanatic
Noble Genius
Trojanfanatic
Offline
May 21, 2024 9:36 pm
Reply to  parcelman007

I knew there were USC haters, like ND haters, but it’s more than we can imagine. If you go on the biggest CFB discussion boards / blogs worldwide like Reddit r/CFB, I’d confidently argue there’s not a more hated football program than USC. North south east west it doesn’t matter. Even the NCAA hated USC and tried to SMU the Trojans.

volunteerTrojan
Noble Genius
May 23, 2024 6:17 am
Reply to  parcelman007

In a word, ESPN.

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 21, 2024 6:32 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Go LadyTrojan Linksters, beat the last of the Pac and get a Natty! 🏌😎

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 21, 2024 3:02 am

SC probably would have won(or come close to) a NC between the days of PC and CH had not Oregon stole a lot of great players at the last second by offering them a huge bag. This goes back to D’Anthony Thomas and Lane Kiffin.

TrojanRon
Genius Member
TrojanRon
Offline
May 21, 2024 9:15 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I recognize Hornery as a returning player; otherwise, all of the others are new to my knowledge. Musselman will have a challenge on his hands to mesh these guys together as a team. I’m confident that he can do that.

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 21, 2024 9:15 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Any basketball geeks out there? What do you think of this team? Average height and weight, 6’6″, 205 lbs. No 7 footer. Seems about average team height but kinda on the light side for weight, especially the Big 10. Nine of the 13 are Seniors.

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 21, 2024 11:20 am
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Not a geek but we remember the John Wooden years of fast break teams and team speed and hope that these players Musselman has brought in are quick enough. He has the history of playing good defense.

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 21, 2024 11:30 am
Reply to  Jamaica

Great shooting and steals will be key. They aren’t getting rebounds off guys like 7’4″, Zach Edey

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 21, 2024 1:44 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

C.John Wooden recruited players dat had A+ quickness, great leaping, very athletic, great ball handling skills & great shooters. He emphasized D rebounding, get the fast break going. Sure he had great centers in Kareem Jabbar and Bill Walton, but his forwards were around 6-7 and very athletic.   These were some of  UCLA great forwards dat had what C.Wooden looked for in players. These guys out rebounded guys 6-10 and taller.    Sidney Wicks, 6-7 Marcus Johnson, 6-7 Curtis Rowe, 6-7 Charles O’Bannon 6-6 Tobey Bailey, 6-5 Kiki Vandewege, 6-8   Looking at what C.Mussleman has put together, I see a lot… Read more »

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 20, 2024 4:59 pm

They lost that center from Africa who went to Florida. That was a big loss. But they did get another center from the state of Washington. He is only a 3 star and only 3 schools offered him. Why that is, I don’t know. If you watch him on film, he’s a mauler on the run. He pancakes somebody on just about every play. He is playing good competition because that school that he plays for is one of the better programs in the state of Washington

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 20, 2024 4:47 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Thanxs Bruddah Allen for da article. On C. D.Swinney and most of all C.R.Day they recruit well so no excuses for these 2 HC. Whereas, C.LR current D roster is gonna make his job difficult in da BIG 10 2024 brutal schedule. I see 5 losses. A lot of USC people are gonna be unhappy.
 
If C.LR can get 2 decent DL and 2 very good LB, I will change my tune to 2 to 3 losses, which will be OK and satisfactory. Let’s see what happens in the TP in the next couple months. Cheers.
 

Chris
Major Genius
Chris
Offline
May 20, 2024 11:57 am

I expect we see something this week in transfer portal. I trust our new staff with whomever they choose to bring in.

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 20, 2024 4:32 pm
Reply to  Chris

Thanxs Bruddah Chris for da info. Let’s hope it’s not a K or P or LS like the 2 recent commits, LOL. It had better be a DL or LB which are the position of need. Cheers…

Chris
Major Genius
Chris
Offline
May 20, 2024 4:48 pm
Reply to  Canyon

I’m on a a couple of pay wall sites that say this week will be the week we see movement. Now that the huge money guys are off the board, the others should start finding homes soon. In time for PRP stuff this summer

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 20, 2024 4:51 pm
Reply to  Chris

Very good Bruddah, we need guys like you with inside info with recruiting. Keep up with all da recruiting news for us free guys, LOL. Cheers.

Steveg
Noble Genius
Steveg
Offline
May 21, 2024 6:33 am
Reply to  Chris

I just hope they don’t just bring in bodies. I think I would rather play the freshmen we just recruited than someone elses rejects. I too am confident in our staff, if they bring someone in they expect them to contribute.

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 21, 2024 10:17 am
Reply to  Steveg

They have a lot of freshmen who can play

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 20, 2024 12:27 am

NCAA Tennis NC, Stillwater, OK, host Oklahoma St.   Men Semi’s, Final 4, 5-18-24   #1 Ohio St (L) vs #4 TCU, 2-4. Upset not really, any of the top 4 had a good chance of winning the NC. TCU is a very good team. Redemption win, last year Ohio St beat TCU in the Semi’s.                            #2 Texas (W) vs #6 Wake Forest, 4-2. Good win by Texas, but Wake Forest was a dangerous team.   Final’s, 5-19-24 #2 Texas (L) vs #4 TCU, 3-4. Very close match, Congrats to TCU they deserve the NC. Both teams were from the BIG 12, but Texas will be in… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 18, 2024 6:09 pm

USC Tennis. Note. In college tennis, team dual matches, there are 6 single’s = 6 pts and 3 double’s = only 1 pt, thus 7 pts total. Winning team scores: 7-0, 6-1, 5-2, 4-3. However, the team that scores 4 pts wins the match. Many times both HC will call the remaining single’s once a team hits 4 pts. Example of winning scores: 4-0, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3. The Dbl’s pt is very crucial; it’s called the swing pt.   Doubles are played first. Who ever wins that Dbl’s pt will only need to win3/6 singles matches. Or, the team that loses the Dbl’s pt must win… Read more »

Chris
Major Genius
Chris
Offline
May 17, 2024 6:04 pm

high school kids are still taking visits, in constant communication with staff, and at least have something that looks like recruiting as we’ve all known it. Transfers are working through agents.

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 17, 2024 7:02 pm
Reply to  Chris

If you think high value recruits don’t have advisers, think again. The potential paydays are significant. Top QBs and WRs are getting $1.5 – 5 million a year. If my kid had the potential to get even a mid 6 figure deal, I’m getting him professional advice.

Chris
Major Genius
Chris
Offline
May 18, 2024 5:49 am
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Correct, they all do now. I just see transfers working through agent first. Coaches contact agent to talk to player. I’m sure there are some high school kids doing the same thing, but it seems as though that recruiting still has some “old school” elements to it.

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 19, 2024 8:39 am
Reply to  Chris

It probably only worth it for an agent do be involved with the 30 some 5* recruits and maybe some 4*. The majority of kids are still doing it the old fashion way.

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 19, 2024 8:55 am
Reply to  Golden Trojan

When I see athletes being shopped around with the intention of going to the highest bidder as the bottom line, when I see athletes bailing out of bowl games, when I hear athletes want guarantees they will start, when it is found out a player continues to shop around each year he is playing college ball, and when you see a player not executing all out in games more concerned about getting hurt than helping the team and when the game is no longer about having fun out on the field. But it’s a business….. I say an agent is… Read more »

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 19, 2024 11:37 am
Reply to  Jamaica

It is an evolving situation. Agents work for the player. Coaches and Boosters want to win games. It won’t take too long for boosters and coaches to screen the kids and agents that want to win and who only wants $s. It will be tricky. What happens to a player’s motivation if he has a decent NIL and no desire to beat himself up in the NFL? Will keeping his NIL and winning college games the motivation? It will depend on the kid.

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 20, 2024 12:55 am
Reply to  Chris

Recruiting now is not like it used to be. Before it was about relationships. Today it is all about Money. You can have a kid who was raised in SoCal, loved SC since he was 7 years old, Commits really early to SC. Is a hard core commit until the last week where Oregon invites them over for a visit and backs the brinks truck into the driveway where he is staying and all of a sudden that kid starts singing songs like…. “the best things in life are free but you can give them to the birds and the… Read more »

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 17, 2024 9:28 am

Patience only goes so far when you are building a championship college football program. You have spent millions bringing in a new HC and paying off the last one to leave. In the 1st two years we have learned the HC was too loyal to his coaching friends and his attitude was stubborn that defense and special teams were not that important in winning games. This had to have a part in why some of the better younger players we were looking forward to step in this season and contribute, bolted. At the same time our new HC was positioned… Read more »

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 17, 2024 11:35 am
Reply to  Jamaica

USC’s overall rankings (recruits and transfers) was ’22-#6, ’23-#7, ’24-#20, and ’25-#4. This current year is an outlier. That could be due to the poor record this past season, no 5* players and/or the explosion of pay for play deals. Riley is pulling more recruits than transfers for ’23 and ’24. SC has been cautious to enter the pay for play and cautious in how much money to throw around. As far as the 29 guys that transferred out, only 3 or 4 went to programs that are as good or better than SC. That tells me they were not… Read more »

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 17, 2024 2:55 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

3 letters, N. I. L !

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 17, 2024 6:56 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

All great points Allen. Choosing a school for a 4-5 * football player has many factors. My point. for many decades the payday for football players was the NFL. Get to a good school that will groom you for that NFL payday. NIL has changed that in a big way. It is now possible for a college football player to end his college eligibility with a $5-10 million dollar nest egg! How bad will some of these kids want to go to the NFL? Get a finance degree during or after your college playing days, invest the money and you… Read more »

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 18, 2024 8:49 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen I agree with your thinking here as I posted earlier. I sure hope what the inhibiting roadblocks are they can be overcome so the program can prosper as we know it should with all it has going for it. So far we have an AD and University President supporting all this. Come on LR, analyze and fix it, don’t bite the hand that feeds this.

illinoisusc
Noble Genius
illinoisusc
Offline
May 19, 2024 6:18 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Terrific statements…..I’d add……the head coach effort and involvement in recruiting……it takes a lot of hours and work.
Creating relationships is awfully important and takes time……. eating a lot of chicken casserole…….when the caviar is waiting at home.
Not sure that is a strength of our head coach.

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 21, 2024 11:00 am
Reply to  illinoisusc

5-21-24   Good points Illinoisusc. Heck, I do not know what makes a Great recruiter, but I sat back and thought about the things. I would think a good recruiter is like a top salesman. A top recruiter should have these qualities and traits.   Likeability and wonderful personality. He must be able to relate to kids and figure out their mindset. Show self Confidence.   Proficient psychology skills. Intuitive, sensitive, perceptive, understanding skills.   Very persuasive and A+ communication skills.   Set out individual plans, development plan for the NFL. Set out individual and team goals.   Honesty and empathy.   Great listener.   Show… Read more »

Trojanfanatic
Noble Genius
Trojanfanatic
Offline
May 17, 2024 3:45 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

It’s really hard to wrap my head around the narrative offered by coach that USC can find top recruits elsewhere and CA is good, but not mandatory areas of recruiting focus. CA is still one of, if not the best HS football states in the country. Further evidenced by AW’s true conclusion the we are a poachers paradise. USC is a national recruiting school without question, but there’s no way around it, we need to start developing a healthy cooperative relationship with our state’s finest HS football factories. There’s so many of these schools. I’ve read some spin comments that… Read more »

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 19, 2024 8:25 am
Reply to  Trojanfanatic

Fanatic I am with you in being appalled California doesn’t have the athletes this program needs, so says LR. I’d like LR to explain to me how USC football was able to win 11 natties with Trojan teams full of California athletes? It appears our HC has a bias on West Coast players. He isn’t impressed with the skilled athletes from Cali that every major program craves? The QBs, the RBs, the WRs, linemen aren’t good enough? Oregon is full of California players, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio St. and Michigan seem to like our athletes enough to recruit out here on… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 17, 2024 7:19 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Eh Guys did a little research. Check out this list of California’s top HS players and how they turned out. I’m sure I left out many more, but I got tired searching.  Shaka, California HS produces top FB players. What’s C.LR problem. He is either crazy or stupid as heck. He had better get his sheet together real fast and get in da game. He must shut out Oregon, Bama, Ohio St, UGA, Texas, ND…   Bryce Young, QB, Bama, 2020, AA, Heisman Jayden Daniels, QB, ASU,, LSU, 2019, AA, Heisman CJ Stoud, QB, Ohio St, 2020, AA, Heisman runner up DJ Uiagalelei, QB,… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 21, 2024 9:59 am
Reply to  Canyon

5-21-24   The 1st list dat I posted, 5-17-24 were top Calif. players dat went to other schools. This 2nd list are top Calif players dat USC got. Went back to around 2015. When you combine the 1st and 2nd list, it really shows how much FB talent Calif. produces each year. For C.LR to ignore Calif. is baffling and just stupid.  As fans, it’s hard to figure out why C.LR does not recruit Calif harder and why he has not been successful? Shoot even C.Helton got many of of Calif top players. Oregon, Ohio St, Texas, Bama, UGA, Michigan, UDub, UCLA, Stanford, ASU,… Read more »

ATL D.D.S.
Noble Genius
ATL D.D.S.
Offline
May 21, 2024 10:11 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Here’s one theory about Riley losing California kids, yet SC still doing well nationally….

Compared to when I was a college student and early in my career (say until mid-to-late eighties) the Golden State is now anything but to kids growing up in Cali. Maybe they are looking for a change and go out of state.

Yet, in contrary fashion, kids still believe in the California mythology and jump at the chance to leave their home state and go west to California. JMHO.

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 21, 2024 11:33 am
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

When I look back at how USC used to recruit, PC, Kiff & Sark used to cover the State pretty well. Helton was so damn lazy he just seemed to either wait for kids coming to him, or he would recruit locally and be home in time for dinner. LR comes in here with no California connect in the past where he isn’t well known by the HS coaches. But recruiting for Oklahoma, it was making connections with the HS coaches in Texas that was important. Why LR hasn’t felt it is just as important here in Cali, I haven’t… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 17, 2024 9:00 am

Good laughs for today.😀

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEzfk3TRfxY

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 6:35 pm

Dang, AD.Bohn and USC laid out Mucho Moola for C.LR. This will be year 3 of 10 yrs contract. So far USC ROI, rate of investment is dubious. If recruiting stays the same, then I do not see a NC in the near future. Getting a balance class every year filled with top players and beating the top 5 schools is da key.   Dang, USC dished out Mucho Moola for C.LR and buy outs for C.LR + C.Grinch at OU + C.Helton at USC. This will be year 3 of 10 yrs contract. So far USC ROI, rate of investment is… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 6:41 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Bruddah Allen, one player dat’s so pathetic. Wipe out.  In the C.McKay, C.Robinson, C.PC era’s USC would have 5 to 8 players in da top 100…

illinoisusc
Noble Genius
illinoisusc
Offline
May 17, 2024 7:27 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

This should be a wake up call for all Trojans that want to see a team fighting for a national championship.
We are not getting the players.
Obviously it’s preseason so hopefully a few will step up but……just one in the top 100 and that is at 79…….and he wanted to leave.
How do we stop the run in a conference where they run a lot.

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 2:55 pm

QB, JuJu Lewis, Ga, 2025 class. Read dat Auburn is throwing around Mucho $1, something like $3 million, the author thinks JuJu will flip. How can anyone turn down dat much moola, Dang dat’s a lot of money. I would not blame USC for not making counter offers and play this stupid game.

If we lose JuJu the 2025 QB class is FU. C.LR pretty much recruited and went all in for Lewis. Dam this pay for players is out of hand.

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 16, 2024 6:13 pm
Reply to  Canyon

Canyon, do we want to go through another Malachi Nelson scenario again? , we have a 2nd QB who has already proven he can play college ball which isn’t a guarantee for some of these HS phenoms, and wanted to come play for LR. If JuJu appears he is no longer sold on being a Trojan by say mid-November, then there are other QBs out there to recruit. Some maybe in California that would come to USC. I am hoping this Trojan team will hold its own against Big Ten competition this season and attract attention from California 4&5 star… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 6:49 pm
Reply to  Jamaica

Bruddah Jamaica, good points. Hell, I did not like M.Nelson in HS at Los Al. No big loss there. Da Hawaiian QB is a good back up. We need JuJu Lewis, he is da future. Also, for the 2026 QB class, we need to get dat R.Lyons from Folsom HS.

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 4:44 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

5-16-24   There’s a pretty good indicator dat Dijon Lee, 5* CB, Mission Viejo is not picking USC. Just pathetic and insulting for USC. C.LR missed out with one the greatest Calif class (2024) last year. And, it looks like he is gonna FU with the 2025 Calif class as well. Wipe Out.   How is it dat C.LR FU with Calif HS recruiting in 2024 and for 2025?  Sorry to all da C.LR fans here, but in my book he is a bad recruiter.   And, powerhouse Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas, Nevada has 3 top OL and DL and top LB dat most likely… Read more »

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 17, 2024 2:34 am
Reply to  Canyon

Look at all the guys(and some not mentioned) who went to Oregon. It’s the money. The old way of recruiting where you build relationships over a period of time is over. Today it’s the money. Nobody has spent more time recruiting a player than USC and Noah Mikhail. I think that he wants to come to SC but he will probably end up at Oregon. It is hard to compete in recruiting with a school that has an endless supply of money like Oregon does. Recruiting has changed since PC was here. SC had better bring in coaches who can… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 17, 2024 7:54 am
Reply to  parcelman007

True dat Bruddah Parcelman007. USC has money people as well, but from what I’ve read dat there are internal problems with some of the donors. They can’t agree how much to pay players and want control. I can see their concerns, there’s a lot of money at House of Victory. Easy fix hire an accounting firm and have them write all the disbursement checks and control every bank accounts. There’s da good controls.   With Oregon, Uncle P.Knight controls everything, hell it’s his money. Yep, like you said the old way of recruiting is somewhat over and money is the… Read more »

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
June 11, 2024 12:19 am
Reply to  Canyon

True….I think 12 out of the last 32 first round draft choices were 3 stars.

Chris
Major Genius
Chris
Offline
May 16, 2024 2:15 pm

Coaches are stubborn. Riley was coming super close to championships at OU and turned us around huge in 1 year by outscoring everyone. This past year he finally learned what it looks like when that philosophy runs out of juice. I don’t think, nor do I want Riley to change his stripes on offense. Don’t want a fullback and two tight ends, no thanks. I think Riley now has a great d staff who can get him the ball back without having to field kick returns (that seemed to be Grinch strategy). We aren’t going to be a 24-17 team.… Read more »

Jamaica
Noble Genius
Jamaica
Offline
May 16, 2024 11:16 am

These are all good debates below gentlemen about LR and his true worth to the football program. I think we all agree he was too loyal to some of his coaches and got burned by it. So any of the criticism of his leadership is well deserved. As for the state of the program today, spending the kind of money USC handed out to reshape the football program, I can see the administration not in favor of promoting House of Victory to throw more heavy flows NIL payola to match what other programs are doing to players who are assuredly… Read more »

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 16, 2024 11:33 am
Reply to  Jamaica

Good points Jamaica. I would say that the portal was a good way to get talent upgrade from the Helton team. In ’22 LR had 9 Recruits and 20 Transfers, ’23, 24 R and 15 T, ’24, 22 R and 15 T. So he is trending more for recruits and less transfers. USC is now young in the trenches. Lets hope they start to gel. You mentioned NIL. Boy has that evolved in the last 3 years. USC was reluctant to go Pay For Play while it was still against the rules. Now they are on board but reluctant to… Read more »

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 16, 2024 12:10 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I still believe LR is a great coach. When he first came over, people complained that he didn’t think he needed a defense. That was true. He thought he could win a NC going 15-0 and winning every game 50-49. 2023 was a paradyme shift in his thinking. Remember this guy doesn’t like to lose. His first year as HC in 2017, he won his first 4 games. Then he lost his 5th game 38-31 to Iowa State. He said that that loss was like the end of the world to him. 2023 convinced him that he had to change… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 12:57 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Bruddah Allen, to add one of my biggest gripe with C.LR and his 2 USC teams, the boys were not physical and in FB shape. You saw his teams falter in the 2nd half. RB run thru D’s like water and with ease.  Hell tackling were horrible, just like da C.Helton years.   When, C.LR was hired he promised his USC team will be much more physical and improve tackling. So far it’s been nothing but lip service and BS.   I just don’t think C.LR has the mind set when it comes down to coaching up a physical, hard blockers and tacklers… Read more »

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 16, 2024 5:17 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Agreed. But it does seem that he is thinking a lot differently than he was when he first got here and he has taken some real positive steps and correcting the situation. I think SC will be good this coming year. How good? Much better than last year.

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 12:27 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Xlent stuff and post Bruddah Allen, Shaka. There have been interesting subjects to talk about. It’s good dat board members are writing their thoughts and opinions. I’m starting to like dis place. Hele on TDB! Peace & Aloha

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 12:39 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

And, C.McKay and C.PCarroll would have been worth $10 million per year hands down. Cheers…

parcelman007
Genius Member
parcelman007
Online
May 17, 2024 12:07 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

They won 38-17 but if I remember correctly, they were ahead 38-2 at one point before they started putting in their reserves. They were definitely the best team at the end of that year. The NCAA was already adopting plans as to how they could knock SC off of their pedestal before they become a dynasty, horror of all horrors!!!!

Golden Trojan
Major Genius
May 16, 2024 9:45 am

So USC paid out $28 million to clear out Helton and Grinch and get Riley. It paid out $8.3 million went to Helton and Grinch. Now there is the added cost to buy out Grinch and the D staff and get the current D staff. The $8.3+ million seems like a waste of money. But look at it this way. I am currently replacing my driveway and patio. The total cost for the project, $32 K. To get my new drive and patio, which will be great when it is done, I had to pay $5.1 K to demo the… Read more »

TrojanRon
Genius Member
TrojanRon
Offline
May 17, 2024 3:10 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I’m hoping USC proves the pundits wrong and soundly defeats LSU and its arrogant HC. I remember 1979 when SC went down to the swamp and beat LSU in their house. The Defense played great and so did Paul McDonald at QB and Charles White at TB, may he R.I.P. Beat the Tigers!

TrojanRJJ
Noble Genius
TrojanRJJ
Offline
May 16, 2024 8:33 am

This is the type of journalism I detest. I am so grateful that SC fired Clay Helton and hired Lincoln Riley. Riley has a lot of flaws, but he is clearly an elite HC. Riley clearly required Grinch to come with him, which was a huge mistake. Riley is I think a perfect fit for SC. He is young, the best O mind in collegiate football; prior to coming to SC, he had never lost more than 2 games in any season and every one of his teams had finished in the top 10. He had flaws, particularly in the… Read more »

illinoisusc
Noble Genius
illinoisusc
Offline
May 16, 2024 6:04 am

IMO Riley is overpaid. The money paid him needs to go to NIL. He has produced at the level of Helton. The DL and OL’s going into this season still look shaky. Where is excellence. The schedule this year looks set to produce a surprise to the upside. All the tough games are at home except LSU and that is in LV. The tough games in some cases are for teams that were great last year but were decimated by transfers and the NFL. USC avoids Oregon and Ohio St the two fighting for top dog. Only 4 real road… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
Noble Genius
TrojanRJJ
Offline
May 16, 2024 8:50 am
Reply to  illinoisusc

Illinois, I am going to disagree on LR being “overpaid.” As I posted above, given where SC football was under Clay Helton, I am so grateful the investment to improve the program was made. Does LR have flaws? You bet. Did he learn from his mistakes – he did and for a guy as successful as LR has been prior to SC to admit his mistakes and address them is extremely rare. And LR had clearly done that. And SC has one of the toughest schedules in the nation. One service rated SC schedule as the toughest in the nation.… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 9:34 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

Bruddah TrojanRJJ, There are different opinions about C.LR. The topic by da OP was if C.LR is overpaid. Many believed AD Mike Bohn scored big time in the hire. From the beginning, I was apprehensive. My doubts were due to C.LR poor D at OU. C.LR is a Great O mind, but his teams are not top caliber D’s like UGA, Bama, Michigan, Penn St, Texas, Clemson, Ohio St, Wisconsin,   So far C.LR has proven the same inefficiencies when he was at OU..  His O is tops, but by keeping DC.Grinch for 2 years was a Bad decision. C.LR is stubborn, not well liked by the… Read more »

Canyon
Genius Member
Canyon
Offline
May 16, 2024 12:17 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

100% agree Bruddah Allen, very good points, Shaka. There are a lot of things I just do not like about C.LR as a HC. He lacks many important qualities and skills as a HC. Heck, I hated C.Helton weekly lip service, good golly C.LR is just like him.   C.LR must rev uprecruiting and shut out Oregon and other schools. Dam it Oregon, Bama, Texas are scooping up all of Calif top talent and leaving C.LR and d USC in da dust. Heck, even C.Helton did a better job recruiting Calif. It’s embarrassing C.LR recruiting production thus far. It’s unacceptable and… Read more »

TrojanRon
Genius Member
TrojanRon
Offline
May 16, 2024 3:41 am

Time will tell if the millions USC has paid Riley will be a good investment. When USC announced his hire, I gave him 3 seasons to develop a championship caliber team. 2022 was a good start, last season was a huge disappointment, and this one looks to be much better on the defensive side of the ball with the coaching talent USC has brought in. I look forward to hopefully attending the opener versus LSU as Las Vegas is only an hour drive North of where I live. Fight On!