O’Neill deserves third year despite questions

With time winding down in the USC men’s basketball team’s last home game last month, junior forward Nikola Vucevic stepped to the line to take two free throws. As he prepared to shoot, a faint “one more year” chant could be heard coming from the student section. This continued as the game reached its final […]

Give Women of Troy a chance to dream big

It’s that time of year again, when just about everybody is glued to a television. In the words of Dick Vitale: “It’s March Madness, baby.” With the NCAA expanding the field of teams from 65 to 68, there was sure to be controversy over which teams were picked to dance. For the USC men’s basketball […]

A month of madness to call our very own

It took an impromptu conversation at an airport bar for me to discover what makes every March so magical for college students across the country when the NCAA tournament rolls around. This weekend’s Florida-UCLA game was by no means compelling, jump-off-your-couch television, but its lead changes, hard-nosed defensive plays and tempo shifts had me entertained […]

Spring rings in hope for Kiffin and Trojans

The torrential rains of the last few days have not been a coincidence. They are a clear message from the college football gods, who know spring practice begins today: “We’re watching you.” USC is near the midway point of paying for its “sins” — and I use that word loosely, considering all the inconsistent rulings […]

Gemelos’ journey a test of strength, character

Sometimes, I just watch in amazement. The so-called basketball IQ, the court instincts and awareness — you just can’t teach basketball players that kind of stuff. Combine that with vision, ball-handling ability and a shooting stroke that is textbook perfect, and you have a package that makes the complete basketball player. I’m not talking about […]

Unifying the Pac-10 a key sign of progress

It’s that time of year again: Small yet noticeable billboards adorn the L.A. Live plaza, promoting the Pac-10’s annual postseason basketball celebration, which kicks off this afternoon. The difference in this year’s tournament billboard, however, is that images of UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt and Washington’s Isaiah Thomas are paired with a few unfamiliar characters. Along with […]

Cheating pervasive in college athletics

When I heard Oregon had paid scout Will Lyles $25,000 for recruiting services, I wasn’t even surprised. Whether within the rules or not, the Oregon situation is a stark reminder that the mechanism of college recruiting is corrupt at multiple levels.

Reliance on scouts caused by new bylaw

In an unsettling era — when arbitrary decisions are often rendered by college athletics’ governing body, unintended consequences tend to emerge. In 2006, the NCAA implemented a new bylaw originally enacted to allow it to exercise greater control over college football recruiting. Specifically, bylaw prevents Football Bowl Subdivision coaches from attending any independent football […]

It’s now time to give the Trojans an honor code

By now, you probably have heard about the sex scandal at Brigham Young University. Basically, forward Brandon Davies was suspended from the basketball team for the rest of the year for having consensual sex with his girlfriend. Now, although this is accepted pretty much anywhere else, BYU has a strict honor code that prohibits this […]

Vucevic no longer good but now elite

Four years ago, a skinny basketball player from Montenegro decided to take his talents to the United States. After playing three years of high-school basketball in Europe, Nikola Vucevic traveled to the States, hoping to make his way to the NBA and enjoy the same success his parents had when they starred on the hardwood. […]