I usually save the commentary for my illustrious, passionate SoSG colleagues, who literally bleed blue. (I've seen Sax do it - quite creepy). However, this recent USC debacle has forced me into action. (At least, as much action as comes with writing for a Dodgers blog).
This Delino first relocated to LA some 11 years ago, specifically because USC was kind enough to accept me into their grad school. And one thing that excited me about moving 3000 miles to a Boyz N the Hood-adjacent neighborhood - a real football team! Not that I didn't love my undergrad days, throwing the goalpost into the Schuylkill River after beating Cornell. But facing Notre Dame or UCLA on a national stage... nothing beats it.
I never expect my teams to be made of saints. I've been a Mets fan during their cocaine-fueled 1986 triumph. Allen Iverson thugged his way through ten years on my b-ball team. And my favorite football player recently defended himself by saying his underage hooker only put on a penetration-free show.
I've seen Blue Chips too many times to assume much more from college athletes. Throw a lot of money at a 18-year-old, and how do you expect him to take the high road. So why I am so angry at my alma matter? Why do I feel cheated? Because even though I learned at an early age to not expect much from my "heroes" (I'm looking at you Doc Gooden), I do expect more from my alma matters.
Of course the student-athletes always take a little something-something for their unpaid labor. A truck here. A new suit there. (Though I think the USC football groupies would be enough payment for 20 lifetimes). But USC's job is to keep them somewhere in the vicinity of the straight and narrow. And they didn't even bother.
My tuition, season ticket prices, and donations would barely cover Reggie Bush's nightly bar tabs. It is, however, enough money for me to expect all those home games I paid to see not get removed from the record books like it was the Chicago F'ing Black Sox.
Does this mean I'll stop rooting for the Trojans? I doubt it - some of my favorite LA memories happened inside the Coliseum. Unless the XFL comes back, the Trojans are the only REAL football we've got around here. But I think my donation money will go to a more reputable organization - like my son's college tuition fund. Or his Chuck E Cheese's fund. Besides, my wife had a great idea: let's try to get a refund for those games from 2005, since technically they were never played! That'll take the sting out a little. At least until they let the PAC 10 serve beer again. With all those recruits jumping ship and scholarships getting flushed, us Trojan fans will need it.