The recent drama surrounding the USC football team took a turn on Thursday morning, when USC’s senior cornerback-turned-running back Anthony Brown quit the football team and used social media to voice his reasoning for doing so, alleging that head coach Steve Sarkisian was a racist.Gone, baby, gone · Senior running back Anthony Brown racked up 43 tackles during the three years he played cornerback for USC. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanBrown posted a quote on his Instagram account Thursday morning that read, “COULDN’T PLAY FOR A RACIST MAN!!!!” with the caption “Sark treated me like a slave in his Office…Can’t play for a racist MAN!!!!! #Fighton” The post has since been removed from Brown’s Instagram.A Facebook post with the same message was posted by Brown and was later removed as well.Though the news only went public this Thursday, Brown officially quit last Thursday, Aug. 21, according to ESPN.Sarkisian confirmed this Thursday that Anthony Brown had in fact decided to leave the team. Sarkisian responded to Brown’s comments on his social media accounts with livid shock and disagreement.“As far as what [Brown] said … I think it’s ridiculous,” Sarkisian told ESPN Los Angeles. “Any of you guys that know me and if you ask anybody in our building, any of our players — feel free to — that’s about the furthest thing from the truth. Quite honestly, I’m shocked.”Both former and current players of Sarkisian immediately rushed to his defense on social media platforms.Redshirt sophomore linebacker Scott Felix tweeted, “Coach Sark is a great coach and [an] even better person. Accusations like that couldn’t be more untrue. #FightOn.”Former Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart, who played at USC while Sarkisian was an assistant, echoed that same sentiment.“I know Sark as well as anyone,” Leinart tweeted. “He is the farthest thing from a racist. This is a ridiculous claim!”Just two days from the start of the 2014-15 season, the news of Brown’s departure from the squad seemingly has very little effect on the roster depth.Brown, who prepped at Kaiser High School in Fontana, California, was listed as the sixth running back on the depth chart.During his first few years as a cornerback, Brown accrued 43 tackles in six starts, but had been limited because of injuries to his ankle in 2013.Sarkisian converted Brown to a running back during fall camp, per Anthony’s request, hoping that accommodating his wishes would both encourage him and provide him with more playing time.But after hyperextending his elbow during training camp, Brown was discouraged and did not want to keep playing.“It’s a bit unfortunate because we could have used him,” Sarkisian told ESPN Los Angeles. “We think he could have helped us.”Sark reiterated that he believed in Brown as “an asset,” but his continued efforts to retain Brown on the squad were in vain.“I thought he could get healthy … I didn’t want him to quit,” Sarkisian said. “I wanted him to come back and play and he chose not to.”Brown fired back later that day, though, by providing his side of the story in an interview with Annenberg TV News.“[He] called me a coward several times,” Brown said. “I never felt like that. Twenty-three years old, and I’ve never been talked to like that … He said a lot of things that put me in a situation where I was belittled, like trash, like I’m nobody.”The Trojans will start the 2014 season against Fresno State this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. without Brown.
Nigeria kicked off their Confederations Cup campaign with a predictably facile 6-1 victory over a game but painfully limited Tahiti side.Nnamdi Oduamadi helped himself to a hat-trick, Uwa Echiejile struck twice with two deflected efforts, while Jonathan Tehau also put through his own net.The latter also struck at the right end, with a towering header, but despite their best efforts, the OFC Nations Cup champions could have lost by a lot more, with their opponents having spurned numerous one-on-ones by rather disrespectfully trying to walk the ball into the net.With Tahiti having arrived in Brazil boasting just one full-time professional player, it was always expected that they would be on the receiving end of some heavy beatings.Unsurprising then, that the neutrals in attendance were very much behind the side from the South Pacific, cheering every early touch and greeting the first shot of the game, from Vincent Simon, like a goal.Their sympathy for the side from the South Pacific only intensified after watching the desperately unfortunate way in which they fell behind. Not only did a speculative strike from Echiejile take two deflections on its way past a helpless Xavier Samin, the ball had only arrived at the feet of the Nigeria full-back because Joel Aguilar had got in the way of an attempted Tahitian clearance. Nigeria’s second goal, which arrived just five minutes later, was only less calamitous, with Heimano Bourebare, under no pressure at all, passing the ball straight to Ahmed Musa deep inside his own half. The CSKA Moscow ace immediately fed Oduamadi, who cut inside Teheivarii Ludivon before coolly slotting the ball high past Samin.Tahiti gifted their opponents another goal on 27 minutes, with poor Samin spilling the most routine of low crosses at the feet of Oduamadi, leaving the forward with a two-yard tap-in.Nigeria could have added further goals before the break, with Anthony Ujah and Sunday Mba both guilty of butchering one-on-ones. However, Tahiti really should have got off the mark on 43 minutes but the lively Steevy Chong Hue, who tormented the Nigerian back four with his pace and quick feet every time he got on the ball, wastefully headed wide from a most inviting cross from Ricky Aitamai.Nigeria continued to squander gilt-edged opportunities after the restart, with Musa firing wide with the goal at his mercy, and their profligacy was finally punished – much to the delight of a now partisan crowd – when Jonathan Tehau rose majestically above Efe Ambrose at the back post to head home a Marama Vahirua corner.Unfortunately for the two men involved in arguably the most famous goal in the history of Tahitian football history, they were also both involved in their side falling three goals behind once again on 68 minutes, with Tehau putting through his own goal, after Vahirua had turned the ball over in midfield before then deflecting a cross goalwards as he tried to make amends for his error. There was to be no sensational comeback, though, because Aide Ideye came off the bench to set up Oduamadi for his hat-trick goal, leaving the forward with the simplest of finishes with a low cross, before Echiejile got his name on the scoresheet for certain with a low strike from eight yards out.