USC may be ranked as the overwhelming number one team in the pre-season polls, but all has not been well for the Trojans. First, some star players like Emmanuel Moody have left the program, realizing that it's only possible to play 11 All-Americans on the field at a time. But there was a bigger test facing the team this week, and it was serious. The incoming Freshman class didn't like the dorm rooms assigned to them.
It used to be that the Freshman players were allowed to live in Cardinal Gardens complex, a university-owned apartment building. But a few too many players were arrested while living there, so the effort was made this year to integrate the new students with the rest of their slightly less athletic peers. Their hope was that the players would have some semblance of a normal student life. It was a rude awakening, as they quickly learned that normal life maybe wasn't what they really wanted.
Several freshmen balked at their campus dorm assignments, unhappy with the new living arrangements for first-year players.
"A lot of guys were mad because there was no air (conditioning) and the room was small," tailback Marc Tyler said.
After complaining to administrators, Tyler, tailback Joe McKnight, wide receiver Brandon Carswell and defensive end Trey Henderson were among those moved into a better dorm.
"It's a lot more comfortable," Tyler said. "Everybody is happy now."
That's some normal life, I guess. I can only imagine that the pre-med student or whoever Tyler was sharing a room with got the same traction with their adviser that he did upon complaining. The advice was probably something more like - "go buy a fan." The USC athletic department may been trying to bridge the gap between athletes and non-athletes, but their reactions to the complaints only showed the huge gap that lays between them. The Trojans have no excuse to lose now - they can't blame it on being overheated.