A promising recruit has a long road ahead if he’s going to make any type of contribution in the coming season.
It had previously been confirmed by USC that Trevon Sidney would not participate in spring practice because of hip surgery. What hadn’t been previously confirmed is that, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, Sidney actually underwent surgery on both hips.
The Daily News writes that head coach “Clay Helton said he hopes Sidney can return in the fall.” It appears, though, that the wide receiver’s availability for the upcoming season is, at bare minimum, significantly in doubt.
Sidney was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2016 recruiting class. He was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 26 receiver in the country; the No. 20 player at any position in the state of California; and the No. 141 player overall in that recruiting website’s composite rankings.
As a true freshman, Sidney took a redshirt.
Depending on your vantage point, this is either tremendous news when it comes to stability or another sign that the league will continue to remain stuck in neutral behind the two current conference behemoths.
According to a report from Pete Thamel of SI.com, Larry Scott has reached an agreement on a contract extension with the Pac-12. The new deal would keep Scott as the conference’s commissioner through 2022.
Scott had one year remaining on his old deal.
Thamel writes that “terms of the deal aren’t known.” According to a report from USA Today‘s Steve Berkowitz in May of last year and based on tax return filings, Scott was paid nearly $4.1 million for the 2014 calendar year, making him the highest-paid commissioner in collegiate athletics. By comparison, the Big Ten’s Jim Delany pulled in $3.1 million for the same period.
Scott’s tenure with the Pac-12 was initially marked by what was a then-record television deal with ESPN and FOX Sports in 2011. Since then, that conference has watched both the Big Ten and SEC secure new deals that earn its members anywhere from $8 million to $13 million more annually than their Pac-12 counterparts.
And then there’s the inability of the Pac-12, under Scott’s guidance, to secure a distribution agreement with DirecTV for its collection of conference networks, causing it to lag well behind the networks offered by the Big Ten and SEC.
At least in this instance, Osa Masina (pictured) and Don Hill have caught a legal break.
Both former USC football players had been accused by a female acquaintance of Masina’s of raping her July 14 in Los Angeles. Tuesday night, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced that it has decided not to pursue sexual assault charges against either individual.
The Orange County Register writes that “[p]rosecutors determined there was ‘insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.'” According to the Los Angeles Times, the woman at the center of the accusations refused to meet with investigators in Los Angeles.
Masina is still facing three felony charges in Utah in connection to the alleged rape of the same woman two weeks after the alleged incident in Los Angeles. A trial on those charges will commence later this year.
The two were initially suspended by the Trojans. Not long after, they were both removed from the roster entirely.
One now-former USC defensive lineman may have left the Trojans, but he’s not leaving the Pac-12.
On his Twitter account, Noah Jefferson confirmed that he will be continuing his collegiate playing career at Arizona. At the moment, Jefferson will be forced to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, although his new school is expected to at least look into applying for a waiver that would give the defensive tackle immediate eligibility.
A four-star member of USC’s 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson played in 14 games, starting one of those, as a true freshman. After starting the season-opening loss to Alabama, Jefferson never played another down for USC and ultimately opted to transfer from the Trojans.
Injuries and personal reasons and academic issues led him to be sidelined after that opener, ultimately triggering his decision to transfer.
After losing his starting job at USC after just three games last season, paving the way for young rising star Sam Darnold, Max Browne knew he needed to find a new place to play his final year of eligibility if he wanted to start again. Pitt wound up being the destination for the quarterback, and he’ll be bringing a motivation with him driven by the way things ended for him at USC.
Browne was pulled out of the starting job after a rough three-game start that included losses to Alabama and Stanford. Because Darnold fit in so well with the Trojans offense, leading the to a strong second half of the season and a wild Rose Bowl victory over Big Ten champion Penn State, the writing had long been on the wall for Browne that his opportunity to lead USC’s offense was gone. In December, Browne announced he was leaving the Trojans and moving to Pittsburgh to play with the Panthers.
“A lot of frustration, confusion, disappointment,” Browne said in an interview with Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com when describing his reactions to being informed by USC head coach Clay Helton he would no longer be the starting quarterback. “I don’t mean to be negative, but I also don’t want to be fake. That situation was not the easiest one on me, but I was happy to see my guys finish the season out the right way and get that Rose Bowl win, but it was tough.
As you might imagine, Browne is now provided with a little bit of extra motivation to make things right and prove he is worthy of a starting job, even if it comes in another program in a different conference in a completely new region.
“It’s in my blood, it’s 100 percent fuel to the fire, definitely drives me,” Browne said. “I think at this point in my career, being a fifth-year senior, you have to find your spark, and that’s definitely it. That’s what is definitely sparking me and wanting me to lead Pitt to a great season.”
Browne has just one final year of eligibility, and he is expected to be Pitt’s new starting quarterback after the Panthers lost Nate Peterman to graduation.