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News and Notes

We are offiicially in the dogdays of the off season as there is not much going on out there.

Just catching up on a few things while I have been getting slammed at work.

USC and the LA Coliseum Commission appear close to a long-term lease possibly for 25 years and possibly as long as 47 years

From The LAT :

The 25-year deal, which can be extended to 47 years, is the first long-term contract in a relationship that has lasted more than eight decades.

"The fact that we could get such a complicated transaction done in 90 days shows the commitment on both sides to make this happen," said Kristina Raspe, USC's associate senior vice president for real estate and asset management.

Although the document will be submitted today at the Coliseum's monthly meeting, it is unlikely that the commission will vote on it immediately.

I will believe it when I see it. We've done this dance before.

A couple of Basketball notes...

After failing to qualify academically last year it appears that Leonard Washington will in fact enroll in summer school making him eligible to play this fall.

A source close to the basketball program confirmed that Leonard Washington will enroll in summer school and play for the Trojans next season.

Washington signed with USC in November 2006 but didn't qualify academically and opened up his recruiting before deciding to stick with his original commitment. He gives USC another inside presence to go with Taj Gibson and is said to be a fierce rebounder even though he's only 6 foot 6.

That is great! Washington will give Taj a little extra help on the boards.

Demar DeRozan took his SAT's a second time just to make sure that he has the minimum standards needed to enroll in the fall.

USC-bound shooting guard DeMar DeRozan took the SAT for a second time on Saturday and should receive his results in a few weeks, Compton High Coach Tony Thomas said Wednesday evening.

"He said he's confident and feels good about everything," Thomas said. "Hopefully, it works out."

Thomas said DeRozan described his first SAT score as "right there" as far as giving him the necessary standardized test score for entry into USC, but the 6-foot-6 senior wanted to take the test again in the event that he fared poorly during his final high school semester and needed a higher SAT score on the NCAA's sliding eligibility scale.

I would have felt better if he had scored higher the first time that way we wouldn't have to worry about it but thats the way it goes.

I saw this lat week but I didn't get a chance to comment on it.

We all saw how impressive Everson Griffen was last season. This kid is just a beast and fast off the line. Well now that he has had a year under his belt he will have a higher profile role to deal with in 2008.

From ESPN:

In a program in which spectacular athleticism is commonplace, Griffen stands out. He's powerfully built at 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, but he runs like a tailback -- he's been clocked under 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

"He's one of those rare kids you find every once in a while who is really big and can really run," said defensive coordinator Nick Holt, who also supervises the defensive line. "His transition to major college football wasn't too hard."

Oh, there were a few bumps in the road, most notoriously when Griffen and the upperclassman whose job he threatened, then-junior Kyle Moore, got into a fight during a preseason practice. According to reports, Moore had been teasing Griffen because the freshman was complaining about his sore back.

"It wasn't anything big -- a big brother, little brother thing," said Griffen, who added that he and Moore reconciled and are now friends (notably, Moore is projected to line up at strong end, opposite Griffen, next season).

This will be another stout USC defense this season and we are really going to need them to step up and keep opposing offenses from scoring so that our offense can get in a groove this season.

Finally...

A lot has been made in some circles about USC's APR for the basketball. I am not really concerned about it as the penalty was dished out this past season so we can put it behind us. its disappointing that we even had the issue come up in the first place but I can lay all of this on Tim Floyd. Simply put, Pruitt, Stewart and Young just didn't care about what affect their actions had on the program going forward. I was happy with how we performed in the NCAA's last year but I am disappointed that that they didn't didn't have enough responsibility to see the semester through. I was disappointed in the way Jefferson handled his decision to leave SC, he could have been more courteous to Tim Floyd in at least letting him know what his intentions were. But I commend him for finishing his classes so that his early departure doesn't hurt USC going forward, Same with Mayo!

Of course I would prefer that USC recruit players that were more committed to the program and to their studies but that is not up for me decide. This falls on Tim Floyd and Mike Garrett and until we get burned badly I am inclined to trust their judgment.