Wednesday, November 20

USC coach insults UCLA with profane remark


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Matt Stevens / Daily Bruin


There’s some major news that slipped way under the radar last week, and I don’t intend to let it go unnoticed.

After the USC women’s basketball team edged out the Bruins at the Galen Center two Sundays ago, USC’s first-year coach Michael Cooper took full advantage of his post-game press conference.

“My opening statement,” said Cooper, “is fuck UCLA.”

Well, isn’t that so very sportsmanlike?

The remark was apparently unprovoked. According to the Los Angeles Daily News’ Jill Painter, there “didn’t appear to be anything controversial on or off the court during the game.”

The Women of Troy won for God’s sake.

I don’t understand how this hasn’t yet caught fire in Westwood. And I fail to figure out why this isn’t a cause for alarm.

UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell, either trying to defuse the situation or take to higher ground, issued a “no comment” through a spokesperson in response to a letter of apology sent to her by Cooper.

Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott issued a formal “reprimand” on Thursday that equates to, well, nothing.

I’m sure Cooper didn’t lose any sleep Thursday night because the big, bad Larry Scott issued a big, bad reprimand.

No fine? That’s absurd. For a league that runs videos before every game asking fans to be docile cheerleaders, Scott has shown he is both a hypocrite and a coward in his first year on the job.

Nothing from USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett? Oh, that’s right, he’s too busy running from the NCAA.

The only reason this isn’t making national news is, of course, because it’s women’s basketball. My sports-crazy friend at USC knew nothing of Cooper’s remark.

If Pete Carroll says the same thing Cooper did moments after beating UCLA football, UCLA fans are burning public property by midnight, ESPN is grilling Pete the next day, and Jim Rome is using the material for his “Final Burn.”

Cooper may have been trying to emulate his newest colleague Lane Kiffin by ruffling some feathers and adding some excitement.

But Kiffin calling Florida football coach Urban Meyer a “cheater” makes him look angelic compared to Cooper’s potty mouth.

Kiffin was speaking to boosters, Cooper to assembled media.

The remark is moronic, distasteful and simply uncalled for.

“There is no excuse for it, and I realize it is outside the bounds of good sportsmanship,” said Cooper in his letter to Caldwell.

Whoopty do! Cooper has an ounce of common sense, but this is one of those cases where an apology won’t cut it.

A word of advice, Mike: Let your team’s play talk for you, and keep your mouth shut.

E-mail Stevens at [email protected]

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