I didn’t believe it when the Wizard of Odds crept into my RSS feed about it a few hours ago, and, much like Brooks, I’ll believe the L.A. Times-aided rumor that USC is negotiating to play homes games in the Rose Bowl next year if the ink on such a contract is ever dried. The Trojans have played in the L.A. Coliseum since 1923, and this is a ploy (if a necessary one) to get the Coliseum Commission to give up the fucking ghost and admit what the NFL said a while back: no pro team is coming to the Coliseum, so sign the 10-year deal and hand the operations over to the university, which is willing to pay for upgrades.
It may be a bullshit ploy for a negotiating tactic, but it’s overdue. The Coliseum Commission has a nice little tendency to drive tenants out of town — it sent both the Rams and Raiders packing, got the Kings, Lakers, Clippers, and the Trojans’ hoops teams to all bail on the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena (which it also runs) — and if stupid enough to let USC football walk, will only have soccer games to play host to, and we all know how that brings in the crowds in South L.A.
USC will get some compromise out of the Commission — it’s in the best interest of both sides to do so — proximity, history, etc. So, color me a bit less than concerned about the actual threat. But given the Commission’s track record, it might just be dumb enough to piss away the money train for some illusion of control.