Stafon Johnson Files Lawsuit Against USC Over Weightlifting Accident

Former USC running back Stafon Johnson has filed a lawsuit against USC surrounding the weightlifting accident that almost took his life. Johnson stated that his weightlifting coach struck the bench press bar that crushed his neck.

In September of 2009, Johnson was bench pressing 275 pounds in the USC weight room as part of the required football regimen. Jamie Yanchar, an assistant strength and conditioning coach, was spotting Johnson during the workout. Johnson claims that while he was trying to grasp the bar on his own, Yanchar struck the bar knocking it off balance and causing it to slip from Johnson’s hands. The bar fell on his neck causing a severe injury and ending his college football career.

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Two Unbeaten Teams Fall, but Top of College Football World Steady

iowa hawkeyesWe’re down to five unbeaten teams in college football following a pair of shellackings in Week 9. Three of those five are from non-automatic qualifier BCS schools, so those hoping for a BCS-buster cleared two roadblocks away (albeit small ones).

1. Sparty Stomped— Well, now we know why Michigan State was considered the underdog against Iowa despite a higher ranking. The Hawkeyes avenged last week’s loss to Wisconsin with a 37-6 whipping of MSU that wasn’t even that close. Mark Dantonio’s team was down 30-0 at halftime, victims of the most dominating half of football I’ve seen all year, considering the competition. The Iowa win opens up the Big-10 for all kinds of fun scenarios, as the Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin quartet all have one loss in conference to one of those four. Read the rest of this entry »

Major Shakeup Ahead? Week 9 College Football Preview

USC trojansWe’re getting down to the nitty gritty of the college football season, and this week could provide a massive shakeup, as three unbeaten teams all face exceptionally tough road games. Let’s jump on in.

1) #2 Oregon at USC— There’s been a lot of talk that this is USC’s “National Championship” game, what with those pesky bowl bans in effect. Ok, I’ll buy that, but USC’s ability to score makes this interesting. The Trojans have an elite offense that averages 37 points a game, which makes them well-suited to keep up with Oregon’s blur offense. Let’s face it: No team is likely to shut down the Ducks with less than a week’s prep time, so you’ve gotta outscore them. Oregon’s defensive numbers look good, but they allowed 600 yards to Arizona State and 520 to Stanford, so teams can move the ball on them. The Trojans should be OK for a half; Oregon tends to let teams hang around, but the Ducks usually turn on the jets in the second half. Read the rest of this entry »

Earn a Master’s of Arts in Teaching Through USC Online

mathteacherTeaching is by far one of the hardest professions I can think of. No matter what level you teach at, it takes a certain level of patience and a love for learning and students to be an effective teacher. The profession of teaching is highly overlooked and underrated, but teachers are responsible for educating us all at various levels. Even teachers that want to learn have to look to other teachers for their knowledge. For those that are already teachers or want to be teachers, there is an online master’s degree made just for you.

USC has a master of arts in teaching that is available online that has gained a lot of high praise. USC is a world renowned research institution and their Rossier School of Education is top notch. Students that apply to this program can also apply for scholarships and a fellowship at the same time they are applying for admission. Earning a teaching degree from USC typically would not be possible for everyone, but with this degree you don’t have to move to California to attend classes; you can do this online from anywhere in the country.

The curriculum combines your interactive learning with field-based experiences that you complete in your area. The only reason you would have to go to the physical campus is for graduation after you’ve completed your degree. With this online degree you will receive everything you need to become a great teacher including preparation for state teaching credentials in your home state. Read the rest of this entry »

Reggie Bush Gives Back His Heisman

reggie bushUSC running back Reggie Bush announced he would return his copy of the 2005 Heisman Trophy, the latest fallout from NCAA findings against him and the school.

However, Bush should not be praised for what he did. The move was simply a public relations decision, something done to gain him some sympathy in the public eye. This is not being done for the greater good of the game, or future players, despite what Bush said in his statement:

“I would like to begin in this effort by turning a negative situation into a positive one by working with the Trustees to establish an educational program which will assist student-athletes and their families avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I am determined to view this event as an opportunity to help others and to advance the values and mission of the Heisman Trophy.” Read the rest of this entry »

Reggie Bush Forced To Give Back Heisman Trophy

reggie bush heismanUSC announced today that it will give the 2005 Heisman Trophy, won by the school’s former star tailback Reggie Bush, back to the Heisman Trophy Trust. The Trust will meet July 27, and according to Rivals they have declined comment on what will come of the trophy.

In June, USC was slapped with a laundry list of NCAA sanctions after it was discovered that Bush, and former basketball star OJ Mayo, were both receiving “benefits” under the table, which is not allowed in the NCAA. The sanctions included a ban from bowl games for two years, a loss of 30 scholarships for three years, and the removal of their 2005 national championship over the Sooners from the record. Read the rest of this entry »

Robots to Teach Children with Developmental Problems

Remember the Jetsons? The futuristic-cartoon sitcom, complete with a robot maid and flying car, was supposed to take place in the year 2062. It’s only 2010, and while we haven’t totally caught up with the whole flying-car thing, The University of Southern California is testing a robot that can teach.rosie jetsons

These teaching robots stand three feet tall and can maintain eye contact with its student. This recent technology has been proven to be most successful in children with developmental problems. Currently, it can only teach simple skills like vocabulary and household tasks.

Right now, these robots have mostly been used in experimental settings, and they’re directed by artificial intelligence software including speech recognition and motion tracking.

These “teacher’s aids” seem to be best used in settings that require the most repetition like foreign language or for teaching autistic children. Read the rest of this entry »

USC NCAA Sanctions Include Football Bowl Ban, Scholarship Loss [UPDATED]

UPDATE: On July 20, 2010, USC president Nikias announced that the university would return Reggie Bush’s Heisman to the Heisman Trophy Trust, as well as remove his and OJ Mayo’s murals and jerseys from the campus.

UPDATE II: On September 15, 2010 Reggie Bush returned his own Heisman Trophy.

If you follow college sports, you’re probably aware that the University of Southern California was recently hit with a series of punishments by the NCAA. usc-sanctions

“The NCAA has ruled that the University of Southern California athletic department exhibited a lack of institutional control from 2004 to 2009 for a wide array of rules violations committed in its football, men’s basketball and women’s tennis programs,” per

The main penalties were doled out to the football team and include a two-year ban from Bowl games and a loss of 30 scholarships over three years. What’s interesting to me is the part where USC was ordered to vacate victories in football for the time period in which tailback Reggie Bush was deemed ineligible.

With rare exceptions, I find vacating wins to be a pointless endeavor. Does it send a message? I guess. But is there any tangible harm done to the school? Read the rest of this entry »

Valet Parking Introduced at Florida International University

florida international universityParking on campus has long been one of most popular gripes of college students. But Florida International University has found a solution for its parking problems – valet! The West Miami-Dade campus has 38,000 students and 14,000 parking spaces, and it doesn’t take a math major to know that some students are going to be left scrambling for a space to make it to class in time.

The valet service is an experiment, with the pilot program running for three months. The service costs $5 for the first two hours and up to $12 per day; campus parking meters cost $1 per hour and up to $8 per day. Read the rest of this entry »

Cindy McCain’s College Record

Cindy McCain, the wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, may fool you. With her cheerleader blonde good looks — and, indeed, she was a college cheerleader — the first impression that many people have of this child of wealthy parents is that she’s a bit of a trophy wife to her significantly older husband.

But don’t let appearances fool you.  She’s no spoiled snob.  Did you know that Cindy McCain was a special ed teacher?

Cindy McCain — whose maiden name was Cindy Lou Hensley — graduated from Central High School in Phoenix, Arizona in 1972, where she earned the title of Rodeo Queen and was voted Best Dressed.  She then went on to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (which, according to unconfirmed rumors throughout the blogosphere, John McCain has referred to as the “university of spoiled children.”)  McCain earned a BA in education in 1976, and then earned an MA in special education in 1978.   Although McCain came from a privileged background, she declined a role in her family beer distribution business, and instead went on to become a special ed teacher who worked with children with Down’s syndrome.

Pretty impressive, especially compared to her husband, who graduated 894 out of 899 in his Naval Academy class.

Read more about the college records of Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney.


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