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USC Football

Heritage Hall Sending A Message?

May 10, 2021

There was a time when USC women's hoops had more national attention than the men's program, and for a good reason.--Actually, for a couple of National Championship reasons.  

Cheryl Miller's name will be the first face that will be carved into the Women's Mount Rushmore of Basketball should that monument ever be built.  Cheryl is a sibling from a family of athletes that includes Reggie and Darrell, but it's Cheryl that has not only one, but two national championship rings on her fingers, while brother Reggie's claim to fame is giving the choke sign to Spike Lee.  

Cheryl Miller led USC to back-to-back national titles before women's basketball was considered mainstream in the early '80s.

Remember Lisa Leslie?  Wasn't she the first female to dunk a basketball in a live game?  She also led the University of Southern California to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances while earning the 1991 National Freshman of the Year and 1994 the National Player of the Year awards.  But since then, the women's program has been lapped by everyone.

Fastbreak forward 30-years and the new Athletic Department headed by Mike Bohn and Brandon Sosna have quietly stuck to their plan in their short tenure.  

Their plan is to win now and provide the best opportunity for USC's student-athletes to compete at the highest levels, including building the sports programs from the inside out.

So how does the hiring of new Women's Basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb touch the whole athletic department?  

No. 1, it shows there was a serious financial investment which made Gottlieb leave the NBA after an aggressive USC pursuit to bring her back to the Pac-12 conference, that includes a massive upgrade in program salaries and resources with hopes of restoring USC to the elite of women's college basketball, sources said.

Has the shot across the bow been heard by the I hate a particular coach crowd?  

Lest we forget that USC's baseball and football programs have a couple of dozen national championships under their belts too.  

Have the staff for each of USC’s programs been served notices to win now and not later?

Using the financial resources available at USC is not and has never been an issue when changes and upgrades are necessary.  Sure, in the past, there's been some questionable decision-making when it comes to hirings and contract extensions.  However the bottom line is this; when USC needs to cut a check, the checkbook can cover the expense.--And then some.  

Of course, the timing of how and when to spend needs to be considered too; if you haven't been paying attention, 2020 was kind of a wonky year.

And smart spending starts by putting the proper infrastructure in place first to support the rest.  

Spending financial resources on the staff for each program is not an issue at USC; Just look at some of the investments that are taking place since AD Bohn took over.  Whether it's more support staff for the football program across the board, or whether it's sending care packages to the athletes at home during the pandemic that were filled with meals and workout equipment, the student-athletes at USC are well-taken care of.  

You cannot put a price tag on those kinds of things because it's building a different type of infrastructure for future student-athletes that are considering USC.  But it’s tangible and it’s something USC can point to when selling the brand.

The next time you're on campus, take a peek at the new look Loker Track Stadium, which is another piece of the infrastructure build-out to support the program as we advance into the future.  The new stadium and USC’s recent dominance over rival UCLA will continue to keep the track program strong again.

The message should be clear to the "hater's club."  

If USC is willing to spend money on non-revenue programs, and yes, both basketball programs do not make money, and track & field makes even less; In that case, if and when the time comes to spend resources on the revenue-producing program, the checkbook will be able to cover the investment.

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Heritage Hall Sending A Message?

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