Trojan Troubles

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Ex-USC QB Todd Marinovich. Mugshot from TMZ.com

We’re three days from opening kickoff and still the sports headlines seem fixated on dog fighting, drug charges and vandalism. No, we’re not talking about Mike Vick’s rap sheet, we’re unfortunately talking about three Trojans that have recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Two of the Trojans have had their dark past come back to haunt them; the third could only wish to travel back to his former USC glory days.


Todd “Marijuanovich” Marinovich

Former USC quarterback Todd Marinovich had it all lined up. His father Marv Marinovich, an NFL lineman, was claimed to have bred Todd for the sole purpose of playing football. By the time he finished high school, Todd Marinovich was a national football star. After joining the Trojans he enjoyed similar success, leading the team to a victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Then it all started to fall apart. While at USC he was accused of substance abuse and rape. Then after an unsuccessful stint in the NFL with the Raiders, Marinovich fell into downward spiral repeatedly getting into trouble with his favorite vices, drugs and women, among others.

Now 38, Todd Marinovich is back in prison for what will be his 6th drug arrest. As reported by Garrett Therolf of the Los Angeles Times,

Police said they observed Marinovich, 38, skateboarding with a guitar case in hand about 1:15 a.m. Sunday near the Newport Pier boardwalk. Skateboarding is not allowed on the boardwalk, and Marinovich fled to a nearby home’s carport.

When police found Marinovich there, they searched him and discovered a small amount of methamphetamine, a metal spoon and a hypodermic needle, said Newport Beach Police Sgt. Evan Sailor.

HIGH SPEED PURSUIT – What makes the story even more pathetic: This isn’t the first time Marinovich has tried to evade police officers on something as ridiculous as a skateboard. When Marinovich was stopped by police back in 2005, he attempted to flee from ensuing officers on a child’s bicycle.

Frostee Rucker

Cincinnati Bengals defensive-end Frostee Rucker will miss the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens due to an incident that stemmed back to his time at USC. In August of 2005, Rucker was involved in a fight with his ex-girlfriend that later included charges of battery. A lengthy legal process ensued culminating with Rucker’s guilty plea, on one count of false imprisonment and vandalism this past May. The battery charge was dropped.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that Rucker will appeal the one game suspension.

Todd McNair

Last but not least, current USC running-back’s coach Todd McNair is having his past come back to bite him; all thanks to Michael Vick and some Los Angeles Time’s muckraking. If you happened to miss the Gary Klein article in the LA Times sports section, apparently Todd McNair was convicted of cruelty to dogs some 14 years ago. Although never convicted of dog fighting himself, authorities believed he was training his dozens of pitbulls to fight.

As reported in the Times article, McNair had this to say:

“I really don’t want to comment on something 14 years ago, and especially something I was cleared for.”

Best let sleeping dogs lie…

And here’s something to remember Todd Marinovich by…
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Famously flicking off a UCLA defensive lineman after a sack.

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