From 1928 through 1982, both the USC and UCLA football teams played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. During this entire stretch of more than fifty years, both the Trojans and Bruins donned their home jerseys for the annual rivalry game. However, to the dismay of many, this tradition soon died when UCLA moved to the Rose Bowl in 1983.
Since being hired as head coach of the Trojans back in 2001, Pete Carroll has always wanted to bring back the home jersey tradition and even brought up the idea to former UCLA coaches Bob Toledo and Karl Dorrell. But now Carroll has finally decided to “go for it” this season.
Earlier this week, Carroll announced that the Trojans would be wearing their home uniforms on Saturday at the Rose Bowl against UCLA.
“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a while,” Carroll said. “From talking to coaches at UCLA over the years and seeing the teams wear their home jerseys growing up, it’s something we’re going to start up again this weekend. This has always been a colorful matchup and we hope everyone enjoys this recognition of both the past and the present state of the rivalry.”
While many applaud Carroll’s decision to wear the home jerseys for the game, the team will be penalized and lose one timeout. NCAA rules state that:
“Players of opposing teams must wear jerseys of contrasting colors. If the home team wears colored jerseys and the visiting team does not wear white jerseys, the visiting team will be assessed one timeout following the opening kickoff of the game. The game will proceed from that point with no further penalty for the violation."
After the Trojans are assessed one time out following the opening kickoff, UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel plans to call a timeout immediately following so that both teams will play with two timeouts in the first half with no further penalties. This is a great act of sportsmanship by Neuheisel, as he puts the tradition of the rivalry before his own personal goals.
While Neuheisel seems to be onboard with Carroll’s plan, most Bruin fans ( especially those at Bruins Nation) actually seem to be displeased with the decision:
Make no mistake about it. What Carroll is doing here is not some kind of grand gesture but a total disrespect of UCLA. This will just complement “own the Rose Bowl” rhetoric coming out of their mouths in coming days. They will use this PR stunt to amplify that rhetoric on the recruiting front.
Carroll made this move because right now he is in a state of mind that is well beyond confidence. He is basically telling the world that his team and his players can wear their home jerseys in our house and beat us with their hands tied behind their back. As I said above, we never heard about such concern for tradition and pageantry from the Trojans during our 8 game winning streak.
Whatever. At this point Neuheisel should call Pom Pom’s bluff and agree to give up one TO (in each half) and then call on Carroll to do the same next season at the Rose Bowl. But what Carroll did on Sunday w/o conferring with Neuheisel is a total sign of disrespect.
It seems a little silly to get so upset with Carroll for not having a prescheduled jersey discussion with Neuheisel. I’m sure that both coaches have more important things to do than talk about jerseys over the phone for a couple of hours. Carroll made his decision, Neuheisel made his, and that was that. No big deal.
It’s even more ridiculous to suggest that the restoration of this home jersey tradition is a recruiting tactic for the Trojans. Carroll has always admired the tradition, and he doesn’t need his team to wear their home jerseys in the Rose Bowl to sign any more five-star recruits. He does a good enough job as it.
In actuality, the Bruins should be thanking Carroll for thrusting the USC-UCLA crosstown rivalry back onto the national stage. The home jersey story is starting to garner a lot of national press, and the more coverage surrounding UCLA should only help their recruiting. It’s strange how Bruins Nation can twist such a nice little tradition into a recuiting ploy for the Trojans, as this is simply a great story for USC, UCLA, and the rest of the Pac-10.