11-on-11 scrimmaging was progressing as it usually does for USC at their 15th and final spring practice. But then, an altercation broke out between Michael Pittman, Briton Allen, Austin Jackson and other Trojans. After players cleared, Clay Helton stopped practice and had the entire team complete a series of up downs. Helton went on to address the team midfield and scold them for losing control of their emotions.
Post-practice, Helton put everything into context. “That was probably the best learning lesson that we could possibly have in camp because we just played all day,” he said. “And when you put guys in a competitive atmosphere and like I told them there at the end, that was the last learning lesson of this entire camp.”
Helton described how USC’s response to those kinds of situations will determine whether the 2019 Trojans will be a team more focused on winning, or caring about the perceptions of others.
“Anytime that you have emotion, the energy level goes up and it’s ok to have emotion, but have intelligent emotion,” he said. “There’s going to be guys that push and shove and you can’t push back. They understand that it costs everybody when you make that decision and you let emotion get the best of you.”