USC announced today that embattled head coach Clay Helton is being retained for the 2020 season. The backlash to the announcement has been swift and fairly vicious, but at least one analyst thinks it’s unwarranted.
Taking to Twitter, Danny Kanell called USC’s decision to retain Helton “a smart move.” He explained that “most experts” think Helton is “a really good football coach.”
Kanell then called on USC fans to “step out of 2003” and understand the wisdom behind retaining Helton.
Clay Helton being retained by USC is a smart move. Most experts agree he is a really good football coach.
Hopefully USC fans who are criticizing it step out of 2003 and recognize giving him another year is a great decision.
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) December 4, 2019
Naturally, Kanell has quickly taken heat for saying that.
Heltons teams have gotten worse every year in his *almost* five full seasons as head coach, so the comparison to Pete Carroll and 2003 make no sense
— Charles Pfirrmann (@CKPfirrmann) December 4, 2019
You obviously haven’t watched a single USC football game in the last four years.
— Strawberry Zachary (@ZWG55) December 4, 2019
Not that Kanell has any skin in the game, though. He’s an FSU alumnus, and probably not a regular donor or season-ticket holder to USC games.
But it would also be unfair to not give Helton credit where it’s due. His Trojans started the season 2-2 only to finish 8-4, and one game out of the Pac-12 title game.
In four years and change at USC, Helton has a 40-21 record with four bowl appearances, a Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl title.
However, that isn’t on the level that USC fans have come to expect. And considering the program’s considerable financial resources along with the appeal of playing in southern California, USC can have any coach who wants to work for them.