On Thursday, USC announced its arrival to college football's coming name, image and likeness era with a slick video.
Produced by a Dallas-based creative agency, USC's "The Premiere" was all LA glitz and glamour. This is how I described it in my original article:
And while there’s nothing novel about USC aligning itself with the coming rule change — they’re not the first program to do it, they’re not even the first to partner with J1S Creative — no one has done it like this.
And by like this I mean, for lack of a better term, Hollywood as hell.
In these three minutes, where quarterback Kedon Slovis and wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown feature prominently, USC takes the viewer: on a trip down the red carpet, into a Grauman’s Chinese Theater with Matt Leinart and his Heisman, through a tour of LA in a helicopter and a McLaren, and to a house party where we meet the USC Song Girls and “influencers” Sydnee Goodman, Presley Tennant, and Chloe Tess Miller — all to the soundtrack of an original song by Chase Paves.
If all that subtext misses the mark, the video literally closes with a lingering shot of the Hollywood sign.
The program was clearly proud of the video, as they should be. It was well done and got the point across, clearly and crisply. Multiple staff members retweeted my review of the video, and the USC football account later tweeted still photos from the video, tagging the FootballScoop staff account in the process.
We'd love to show you what we're talking about here, but we can't. USC deleted all evidence of the video from Twitter. We grabbed the stills before that tweet was deleted too.
To be clear, the partnership with J1S Creative is still on, as is the iniative behind it -- The Blvd.
But in a statement published Friday, USC AD Mike Bohn said the program did not read the room releasing the video. The Trojans must have gotten a bunch of "You're going to promote young people having a good time together.... in a pandemic???" feedback, because in addition to deleting the evidence, Bohn apologized for putting the video out in the first place.
"In retrospect, the themes and timing of the video were out of step, especially given the challenges everyone is facing today," Bohn said. "I apologize to the USC community for this lapse in judgment. We know we can do better next time."
Maybe in 2021 the nation will be prepared to once again accept the idea of college students having a good time, but it's apparently too much for us in 2020.
As always, stay tuned The Scoop for the latest.