A Plea to Remember Tim Floyd

The name, Tim Floyd, doesn't resonate the way it once did on Jefferson and Figueroa.

Not that it ever resonated much to begin with, but at the very least, it did elicit some positive feelings. Some feelings of satisfaction, as opposed to simply feelings of disgust.

Months removed from then-athletic director Mike Garrett's decision to run Floyd out of town and to self-sanction the basketball team in January, few Cardinal and Gold backers remember what the Louisiana native accomplished in his all too short four-year stint at USC.

For those short on memory, it was three consecutive NCAA Tournament bids, a first in school history.

But playing into March remains a distant memory now, for a program coming off the heals of a postseason ban in 2010, where it's lone option was to simply play for pride.

Last year's 16-14 overall mark still remains the starting point for expectations for a Trojan hoops program still searching for its identity and placement amidst the college basketball landscape.

The point in all of this: Floyd set the bar for USC after 2009. From the 2006-2007 season onward, Floyd and the Trojans totaled 68 wins, while reaching the Sweet 16 and earning a Pac-10 Tournament title. Because of that, it's time to remove complacency from the equation.

USC is unquestionably a football school. There is little doubt in that. But over the past twenty years, it has also built its academic reputation, as well as athletic reputation in sports other than football. It's seen its academic standing rise to No. 23 in the U.S. News & World Reports annual ranking, while also earning national championships in sports such as soccer, tennis and water polo.

In short, it's no longer acceptable for this university to solely be good at football.

Administrators no longer accept the notion, and neither should fans.

Under Floyd, USC proved it could be more than just "competitive" in regards to basketball. It showed it had the capability of annually soliciting bids to the Big Dance, while reeling in highly regarded athletes on the recruiting trail such as DeMar DeRozan and O.J. Mayo, violations aside.

Those same expectations shouldn't be altered, because of the arrival of Kevin O'Neill, or a self-imposed one-year postseason ban.

Every single facet of this institution is held to a standard of excellence, whether the football program, the soccer program or the engineering department. So, why should basketball, simply because it lacks a strong track record of success, be held to a different standard?

Everything is in place for winning basketball-wise at USC: location, facilities, financial prowess and academics. Tim Floyd, from 2005-through-2009, proved testament to that notion.

Yet, it seems as if indifference remains the most fitting phrase to describe the athletic department, and fan reaction to USC basketball. It's something to occupy their time come January and February; purely an event to take football recruits to.

Floyd showed that 20-win seasons could become customary at USC; yet, sadly too few people seem to accept such a notion.

The 2010-2011 seasons tips off Saturday at home against UC Irvine. For once, I ask of you: "Go Galen" this year.

FIGHT ON!

Follow Joey on twitter @Joey_Kaufman

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