Notes and observations about USC as basketball finds way to overshadow football …
LOS ANGELES — At what point will USC basketball coach Andy Enfield make a statement about the scandal engulfing his program? His assistant coach, Tony Bland, is on administrative leave and two players could be ineligible after prosecutors alleged their families took money from a former sports agent.
Enfield often comes across as a smiling innocent but I’ve spoken to several college coaches who find it inconceivable a head coach would be unaware of what his assistant is doing, especially when he is having lunch with a former agent near the Galen Center.
It would seem logical for the coach to address the controversy in some manner.
The USC basketball program is effectively being held hostage with an internal investigation now joining the FBI’s extensive case against the program. Bland could potentially turn in others in an attempt to strike a deal with prosecutors. One can only guess how much damage Bland could do the program if he talks.
>> This is also the first test for Athletic Director Lynn Swann. Considering Swann has already expressed displeasure around USC over the football team’s play despite its 4-0 start, it’s not hard to imagine him being upset with Enfield for far more serious problems.
Swann spoke to a class at USC on Wednesday night.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and I will act when I smell smoke,” Swann said, according to the Daily Trojan. “I’m not interested in waiting until there’s a fire. Had we had any indication that something was wrong in any of our departments, we would have taken action sooner.”
>> USC basketball has not always been accused of taking bribes.
In 1951, USC forward Ken Flower was offered $1,500 to fix a game by a stranger in a Los Angeles hotel where the Trojans stayed before playing UCLA. Flower immediately told USC assistant coach Al Conti and eventually the police were contacted. A sting was set up and ex-con…