Wisconsin = Class
USC = Not in the same class.
By Royce Feour
This is about the recruitment by USC of Penn State running back Silas Redd. (Redd rushed for 1,241 yards last season as a sophomore.)
USC coaches were after Redd before penalties were even announced by the NCAA against Penn State. USC coaches scoured the Penn State football roster for someone to help the Trojans and found Redd. USC coach Lane Kiffin said that on ESPN radio.
My first thought were the vultures were circling. Yes, yes, it is all legal. Penn State players are allowed to transfer and play immediately without sitting out a year. USC and any other school can take players from Penn State.
However, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielerna said he had no intentions to recruit Penn State players. Viva la difference!
A couple of points are interesting. No. 1, USC itself is under a scholarship penalty from the NCAA for violations and is limited to 75 scholarships for the season. No problem — USC said one player might be academically ineligible. If not, USC said it would take away a scholarship from a previous walk-on. That’s nice. The poor walk-on works his tail off, earns a scholarship and now Kiffin might take it away. Real classy.
USC went through Redd’s high school coach to see if Redd would be interested and made contact with Redd’s father that way.
Kiffin was at the Pac-12 dinner when he said, “I picked up the phone, in true SC fashion and called one of our great donors Ted Jones at Fletcher Jones Mercedes … .”
Kiffin said. “So he sent his big ole Mercedes jet which was in Vegas to pick us up in L.A. We got done with the Pac-12 meeting. We flew to White Plains, N.Y. It was myself, my dad, our running backs coach, our o-line coach.”
Nice of Ted Jones to do that. I would have liked to have seen Jones take the expense of sending the jet to New York and back and donate it to the Humane Society or to feed the homeless. But Jones can spend his money the way he wants and making the Mighty Men of Troy even mightier is more important, I guess. Which is nobler for a wealthy and prominent supporter of USC? And yes, I am sure Mr. Jones is a generous donor to charities. Heck, he should run for office. Maybe mayor. Or governor.
USC was already one of the favorites to win the national championship without Redd. Now the Trojans are even better. The rich get richer.
I also wonder if Fletcher Jones makes its corporate jet available to the UNLV and the University of Nevada athletic programs. The Fletcher Jones family of dealerships includes businesses in the Las Vegas area and Jones West Ford in Reno.
Actually, the Fletcher Jones empire extends to Northern California, Hawaii and Illinois as well. No wonder Lane Kiffin calls Ted Jones.
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