Wilner’s Honest Trojan Perspective

Jon Wilner, Stanford beat and college football/basketball writer, San Jose Mercury News, for his WordPress profile. 

 

By all means, have a laugh at the Trojans’ expense.

Bask in their chaos, revel in their woes — but only for a minute. Then, get annoyed. Get very annoyed.

SChadenfreude might be the sentiment of choice for constituents of the 11 schools that don’t have seven poll-era national titles and seven Heisman winners, but it only works on the front lines of fan passion.

At the 40,000-foot level, where the conference’s 12 universities are deeply interconnected on matters of policy, brand and revenue, collateral damage is inevitable. When USC football experiences administrative chaos and competitive underperformance, the conference suffers.

I’m not suggesting that fans root for the Trojans in a specific game or against a specific team, or to win a certain number of games. But general competence at USC benefits the collective on matters of money, exposure and respect over the long haul.

The same goes with UCLA basketball, albeit to a lesser extent because of that sport’s secondary place in the college athletics universe.

Yes, this topic has been addressed before in this space and isn’t popular with 10 fan bases.

No matter, the Hotline’s here to tell you what you need to know, and the conference needs the Trojans and Bruins to lead. It needs their presidents to care.

It needs their athletic directors to make smart hires. It needs their coaches to maximize the talent. 

When the Trojans blow through a head coach every few years …

When they produce top-10 seasons just twice in a decade …

When they release statements claiming all is well with the football program except “culture, discipline, staff, personnel and scheme” …

When they hire an offensive coordinator (Kliff Kingsbury) with a higher Q-Rating and greater negotiating leverage than the head coach …

When that coordinator remains employed for 34 days before paying a paltry buyout (reportedly $150,000) to go run an NFL team …

When the athletic director looks out of place and the head coach appears overmatched and the talent is underachieving …

The conference suffers.

So have a laugh, then get annoyed. USC football and UCLA basketball need to do better, for everyone’s sake. — Jon Wilner.

mercurynews.com

 

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Jamaica
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Are you reading reports about position coaches from good programs making moves to other good programs? Like coaches from Michigan going to Ohio St or a coach from Alabama to Miami, ect. There are others. What football programs does Helton find his coaches who are willing to work for him? Oregon St, Kansas, Western Kentucky, and Boisie St. Drevno came from Michigan but he got fired by Harbaugh. Pendergast got fired from the 49’ers. The few good coaches Helton did bring in moved after one season like the RB coach from Indiana. Helton can’t keep the good ones here. This… Read more »

LawyerJohn
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Oops, wrong field.

TrojanMPA90
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Before Alabama became a power in 2009, they went through a period where even they struggled and the SEC wasn’t thought of as much. If SC wants to return to glory, it starts with a commitment to hiring an AD who wants to win and maintain academic integrity. Having an administration committed to that will help also.

Old_Trojans_never_die
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There’s a joke that sums up the situation with the administration and especially the athletic department. To paraphrase : a farmer was stranded on the roof of his barn as flood waters began to rise. He prays for God to rescue him. A few minutes later a boat comes by and offers him a ride But the farmer waves them off saying “no thanks, God is going to save me.” As the waters brim the edges of his barn he once again prays for God to rescue him. No sooner does he stop praying than a helicopter appears. Again he… Read more »

Jamaica
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Every matter that Wilmer brings up has been discussed on this website previously. The political agenda he brings up in connecting the PAC-12 schools more interested in socialistic issues can be a very dangerous obstacle. And let’s not kid ourselves, this view is very potent and growing for soe time. For if it wasn’t for the previous University presidents (with the exception of Max Nikias), all have supported and provided resouces for USC football to flourish despite the other Universities lacking interest on the matter. And all they did basically is ride the coatails of this USC success in money… Read more »

LawyerJohn
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Perhaps the administrators of the other Pac-12 schools care about SC and sucla because of the money involved, but I doubt if Eugene or Seattle’s fans care anything about the L.A. schools’ athletic success.

Petero
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You might be surprised ,at least in Washington. I have relatives who have deep roots in both Wash Pac 12 schools. A Cuz who writes nice checks to both. He’s on board of directors of a foundation, which includes Del Rio. The feeling among Husky fans, boosters he frequents, strong USC in Calif. enhances the Husky brand in the north. They love Pete up there, never forgetting he made his mark at USC.

Trojan5
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IMO. Wilner is a great read. He is plugged into the PAC12 and always provides in depth information. His reporting on the PAC12 structure and leadership has been spot on.

AZTrojan
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It starts at the top. Somebody that cares about football on the BOT (and there has to be a couple at least you would think) needs to get loud and convince that the hiring of a new President has to at least take athletics into consideration. If this happens, then the new President needs to fire Swann and hire a competent AD. The new competent AD then needs to hire a quality HC who in-turn hires quality assistants.

Just stating the obvious and what has been stated 100 times before on this board — just makes me feel better.

UtahTrojan
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It is amazing that everyone outside the USC administration can see it.

TrojanRJJ
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Someone in the Administration has to see it. The issue is how to address it. SC is an educational bureaucracy which is obviously unresponsive to its fan base. Perhaps educational bureaucracies are inherently elitist and inherently unresponsive to market forces. I really do not know how to change it except by ceasing to financially support it. My guess is if attendance drops to the 35,000 range next year, the economic losses will force a decision.

Steveg
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Isn’t this the way liberals operate? Ignore the masses, the elites are much more gifted and able to lead. We are in the throes of what appears like a liberal rewriting of USC tradition and history. Even monerary loses do not affect them in their thinking (?) all they can envision is the utopia that only they can create for us little people. The hiring of a new president will be the deciding factor.

TrojanRJJ
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USC appears to be going to way of all of CA. The approach you outline has worked for the ruling elite in the state, why should be expect any different at an institution they control? And, make no mistake, the progressives control the SC bureaucracy. Maybe they will give us unenlightened alums a football team, maybe they won’t.

Rock2112
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The natural progression of the course we’ve been on is for our football program to one day be shut down with issuance of an apology letter! (tongue PARTIALLY in cheek).

Jamaica
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From the previous & now new governor on down in their ability to control most all issues, all honest and independent thinking voters in this State have lost any ability to make changes thru their ballots. We are a welfare State who can now outvote all workers who pay the vast majoirty of taxes. And it is our fault in allowing this to happen!

Jamaica
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You have to have a University president who believes in the virtue of whatever this University does, it will do it as well as possible, even athletics. This attitude pressures the leadership of each dept to win in the classroom and on the field. MG as AD, had that as he went through numerous HC’s who didn’t win. But no one questioned his desire to win. MG wanted to win and keep winning in sticking his neck out in calling out the NCAA in its determination to make an example to put USC football.He saw what the sanctions were going… Read more »

ATL D.D.S.
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See, other people notice our problems and realize it hurts them also in the long run. Fot football, SC has always been the locomotive for the PAC 12 football train. That train is rusting away on a forgotten siding somewhere.

Jamaica
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Well spoken. Less competition across the country means those who care about CFB; the Alabamas, Clemsons, Ohio Sts and Oklahomas will only get stronger and take turns winning the Natties. We need another MG as AD as our only hope of getting back into the fight.

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