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Category: Pacific 10 Conference

USC baseball assistant Tom House announces retirement from coaching

Former major league pitcher Tom House, a USC assistant for four seasons, on Tuesday announced his retirement from coaching, effective after Sunday's final game.

House, who played for USC in 1967 under legendary coach Rod Dedeaux, joined the Trojans' staff under former coach Chad Kreuter, who was fired last August. Frank Cruz, who served this season as interim coach, was named full-time coach last week.

"This was the most rewarding coaching experience of my career," House said in a statement. "I was trying in a small way to do for these kids what Rod Dedeaux did for me here. It was extremely fulfilling."

USC entered Tuesday's game against Pepperdine 22-29 overall and 12-12 in the Pacific 10 Conference. The Trojans play a three-game home series against Washington State this weekend.

House gained fame on April 8, 1974, when, as a member of the Atlanta Braves, he caught Hank Aaron's 715th home run, the one that broke Babe Ruth's all-time record, in the bullpen. USC said House would "focus his attention on the RDRBI (Rod Dedeaux Research and Baseball Institute) and serve as a non-coaching Life Skills Advisor to the USC program."


Trojans finalize August trip to Brazil to play basketball exhibition games

USC names Frank Cruz full-time baseball coach

--Gary Klein

Photo: David Thompson (left) warms up with some pitches during his visit with renowned pitching coach Tom House at Dedeaux Field on the USC campus on August 3, 2010. Credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

USC names Frank Cruz full-time baseball coach

USC logo Frank Cruz, who has been working this season as interim head baseball coach for USC, has been given the job full time, Athletic Director Pat Haden announced Thursday.

Cruz, 51, was a volunteer assistant at USC in 2009 and 2010. He succeeded Chad Kreuter, who was fired last August after USC finished 28-32 overall and 7-20 in the Pacific 10 Conference, which put the Trojans in last place. The Trojans were 111-117 in four seasons under Kreuter and finished no higher than fifth in the Pac-10.

Under Cruz, USC is 20-28 overall and 10-11 in the Pac-10 with six conference games remaining. The Trojans are two games out of fourth place.

Last week USC won a series against Arizona State for the first time since 2004.

Continue reading »

UCLA football: Psalm Wooching, running back from Hawaii, commits to the Bruins

UCLA logo Psalm Wooching, a running back/linebacker from Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, said he has committed to play at UCLA.

Wooching, who will be a senior in the fall, is the second running back from Hawaii to commit to UCLA this week, joining Honolulu Punahou's Steven Lakalaka.

Wooching, who is 6 feet 3, 210 pounds, also was considering Washington, Utah and Colorado. He said UCLA defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield "broke down the campus, the academics they have to offer, the facilities. It's the right fit for me."

Wooching, considered a quality player on offense and defense, said he doesn't have a preference between running back and linebacker.

"Any position they put me at, I'll beat out whoever they have there," Wooching said.


USC's Matt Barkley teams with Pat Haden and J.K. McKay in commercial

Troy Polamalu graduates with history degree

-- Chris Foster

Photo: UCLA logo.

College basketball: Where does former USC recruit Lamont 'MoMo' Jones' exit at Arizona leave the Wildcats?

Lhvkgqnc Monday night's news that Arizona guard Lamont "MoMo" Jones, the Wildcats' brash floor general during their run last season to the NCAA West Regional final, is transferring shocked many who keep close tabs on Pacific 10 (or 12) Conference hoops, along with an incoming teammate

Not only did the Wildcats lose their second-leading scorer, who cited family reasons for his departure, but his exit from the team that won the regular season league title last season and finished with a 30-8 record also comes not long after Derrick Williams' early exit to enter the 2011 NBA draft.

Williams, a sophomore stud forward and All-American who averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds last season, will likely be a top-five pick. Many knew he'd leave for NBA millions well before he did.

That wasn't the case with Jones, a junior who averaged 9.7 points and 2.4 assists.

Continue reading »

USC football: Matt Barkley teams with Pat Haden and J.K. McKay in commercial

USC, still awaiting word from the NCAA regarding its appeal of sanctions, is in the midst of a drive to sell individual game tickets.

As part of the campaign, quarterback Matt Barkley, Athletic Director Pat Haden and senior associate athletic director J.K. McKay appear in this commercial titled "Water Cooler Talk," which you can watch in the video above.

Earlier this year, USC also produced a commercial titled "The Briefcase," which featured Coach Lane Kiffin. You can watch it below.

USC opens its season Sept. 3 at the Coliseum against Minnesota.

-- Gary Klein



USC football: Troy Polamalu graduates with history degree

Lg0keunc Troy Polamalu has made history as a Super Bowl winner with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Friday, he went through graduation ceremonies at USC after earning his degree in history.

Polamalu, an All-Pro safety, left USC for the NFL after the 2002 season. He was the 16th player chosen in the 2003 draft.

Polamalu was among more than 30 current and former players who were scheduled to go through graduation ceremonies, including Tim McDonald, who also was an All-American safety at USC and an All-Pro for the San Francisco 49ers.

I wrote about McDonald's quest for his degree during spring practice, as his son T.J. prepared for his junior season.


Receiver Brice Butler will remain with USC

Nine Trojans selected in NFL draft

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Troy Polamalu. Credit: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

USC football: Trojans ready for graduation Thursday

Lcy15inc At least 30 current and former USC football players are expected to participate in Thursday's student-athlete graduation ceremony at the Galen Center.

Athletic Director Pat Haden said on the school's website that that former players Tim McDonald and Keith Rivers, who came back to school this spring to earn their degrees, would speak at the ceremony.

These players were also scheduled to participate, according to a school official:

Armond Armstead
Taylor Ashton
Steve Blackhart
T.J. Bryant
Brandon Carswell
Martin Coleman
Omari Crittenden
Ross Cumming
Nic Curry


[Updated May 16

Rhett Ellison]


Continue reading »

USC football: Kickoff times set for five more games

USC USC's Sept. 3 season opener against Minnesota at the Coliseum will kick-off at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised by ABC, USC announced Tuesday.

Kick-off times and television plans for four other games also were announced:

--Sept. 24 at Arizona State, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN).

--Oct. 29 against Stanford, 5 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2).

--Nov. 12 against Washington, 12:30 p.m. (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 oe FSN).

--Nov. 19 contest at Oregon, 5 p.m. (ABC).

Here's the schedule, with four kickoff times still to be determined:

Continue reading »

UCLA football: Bruins may get offensive line help from transfer Albert Cid

Ucla UCLA has reached into the community college ranks again in an effort to shore up its offensive line.

Citrus College’s Albert Cid has committed to the Bruins, Owls Coach Ron Ponciano said. Cid, who is 6 feet 3, 325 pounds, has three years of eligibility remaining.

However, Cid still needs to complete his degree at Citrus to be admitted into UCLA so he can participate in training camp in August.

UCLA had two starters on its offensive line who were community college transfers last season, center Ryan Taylor and guard Eddie Williams. The Bruins’ line was a concern during spring practice after tackle Jeff Baca suffered a broken ankle.


Football: Morrell Presley, Courtney Viney to transfer

Basketball: Dan Guerrero reverses decision on student seating

-- Chris Foster

USC football: Receiver Brice Butler will remain with Trojans

Brice-butler_250 Brice Butler, a USC receiver who did not participate in spring practice and contemplated transferring, will remain with the Trojans, the school announced Monday.

"We are pleased with Brice's decision to continue his development as a student-athlete at USC," Coach Lane Kiffin said.

Butler, a fourth-year junior from Georgia, caught nine passes for 112 yards and a touchdown last season.

Butler's father Bobby, a former NFL player, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in January that Kiffin did not give his son a fair chance.

Butler's absence from spring practice cost him a chance to work with new receivers coach Ted Gilmore. It also gave senior Brandon Carswell and sophomores Markeith Ambles and De'Von Flournoy a chance to compete for the starting spot opposite sophomore Robert Woods.

Butler will now compete for playing time with that group as well as redshirt freshman Kyle Prater and incoming freshmen George Farmer, Victor Blackwell and Marqise Lee.


Three Trojans selected in a row during NFL draft

Final spring scrimmage is a showcase for defense and running game

--Gary Klein

Photo: USC receiver Brice Butler makes a reception in front of Arizona State's Brandon Magee during a Pac-10 game at the Coliseum last season. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

UCLA football: Morrell Presley, Courtney Viney to transfer

Kq1ru0nc UCLA tight end Morrell Presley and cornerback Courtney Viney will transfer, according to a source in the program that was not authorized to speak on the subject.

Presley was considered a coup when he committed to UCLA. Bruins’ Coach Rick Neuheisel went head-to-head with USC’s Pete Carroll and was able to lure him to Westwood. But Presley, ranked the top tight end in the nation by some scouting services, did not develop and became mired in off-the-field troubles.

Presley was suspended for a game after violating an unspecified team rule his freshman season. He was academically ineligible for the EagleBank Bowl that season. Last season, he was suspended one game after testing positive in a drug test, according to sources in the program.

In two seasons, Presley had 11 receptions for 63 yards. He will have two years of eligibility, plus a redshirt year, remaining.

Viney, as a fifth-year a senior, will be eligible to play immediately.


Pac-10 reportedly has new TV deal with Fox and ESPN

USC football: Nine Trojans selected in NFL draft

-- Chris Foster

Photo: UCLA Football players, left to right, Courtney Viney and Morrell Presley. Credit: Don Liebig/UCLA


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