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Adewale Steps Aside

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It's the smart move. With Adewale graduating this year USC has asked Senior Jody Adewale to give up his final year of eligibility in order to free up his scholarship. Of course I can hear all the SC detractors whining about how Coach Carroll is only thinking of himself and that he will do ANYTHING to win, including screwing this kid out of his last year of eligibility.

The fact is Adewale has not produced much for the team this year and it's obvious that his football future would be at an end at SC regardless of whether he kept the year or not. His future is in taking care of his family, not playing football.

From Plaschke's column:

In four years at USC, Adewale has zero rushing attempts, three pass receptions, 32 total yards. But during that time, no Trojan has shouldered more hopes or covered more ground.

Because, while playing for one of the nation's premier college football teams, he has also had to prop up his own poverty-stricken family.

For four years, he has kept one foot in the bright lights and another foot in Boyle Heights, straddling the line between this city's shiniest and bleakest.

When this Roosevelt High star became one of the few East Los Angeles athletes since Mike Garrett to earn a paid journey to USC, little did he know that he would spend the next four years repeating that trip again and again on a near-daily basis.

When Adewale is not on the field earning his scholarship stipend, he's giving big chunks of that money to his parents for their rent.

This kid gets it and has his head on straight. In exchange for giving up his last year SC will keep him on as a graduate assistant in the athletic dept. Adewale essentially get 2 more years of school to complete his masters degree free of charge and will be able to keep ties to the football program. It's a win/win for the school and Adewale.

Said Adewale:

"Why stand on the sideline when I can get my master's?" Adewale said. "It's their decision. It'll pay for two years of school."

We often hear a lot about players behaving badly; drugs, booze, trouble with the law etc. SC has a their share of missteps over the past few years and we have to take our fair share of criticism. But we often don't hear about the good that some of these players do. It's a selfless act on his part, and his family will win in the long run. When I hear detractors call SC a thug program I am often amused that they can never find any good. No program is EVER all bad.

I think this also shows that Pete Carroll is able to balance the needs of the program as well as the needs of the players. Like it or not D-1 football is big business and at the end of the day the school controls the scholarships and winning is important so in order to keep at that high level schools sometimes need to make tough decisions. This is one of those times.

This kid is a class act! We wish Jody luck in his studies and we thank him for him always being available to meet the needs of the team.