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H&B poaches Unisys corporate property boss

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Students rally to support football team

first_imgWe are ’SC · Keyshawn Johnson, alumnus and former NFL player, spoke to players and students after the team’s practice Thursday. Jackson Dahl, a senior majoring in business administration, organized the rally for students to attend the practice before the team faces Notre Dame. – Maya Dondonayan | Daily TrojanAs USC football players left Howard Jones field after practice on Thursday, they were met with cheers, applause and chants of “We are SC!” and “Beat the Irish!” from students  on the sidelines.Students gathered for the team’s final practice before heading to face Notre Dame as part of a rally organized by Jackson Dahl, a senior majoring in business administration.“I was talking with a close friend and mentor Professor [David] Belasco, who has a lot of connections to the athletic program, and we were thinking, ‘It’s been a really rough week — it’s been a really rough four years,’” Dahl said. “We were thinking, ‘What could we do that would be really special?’ — hopefully lift [the team] a little bit as they go off to Notre Dame for probably the toughest game of the year.”Belasco, co-director and adjunct professor at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Marshall School of Business who teaches the popular class “The Leap,” said the idea for the rally came to him on Tuesday night.“I went here, I teach here. This is why they call it a Trojan Family -— we show up for each other when we need it,” he said. “This team has been through so much beyond their control over the last few years between sanctions and abrupt coaching changes that we just felt we needed to tell them, ‘It’s our team, it’s our University,’ and show up for them.”Belasco spoke to J.K. McKay, senior associate athletic director for football, and reached out to Dahl to get students involved. Dahl created a Facebook event for the rally and sent out emails to generate awareness.“When you want anything done, you get students involved quickly,” Belasco said. “You can tell that students were ready to receive this and support this because they all feel the same way: ‘What can we do to show our support for these players?’”Students joined the players in the huddle after practice where several former NFL football players who played for USC — Keyshawn Johnson, Willie McGinest and Keith Rivers — gave motivational speeches to the team.“It wasn’t us reaching out to the Trojan Family, it was the [Trojan Family] reaching out to us,” interim head coach Clay Helton said. “That’s what makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.”More than 500 students said they would attend the rally on Facebook, but actual attendance was closer to 50. Will Orr, a senior majoring in law, history and culture said that while he was slightly disappointed with the turnout, he was glad to be able to support the team.“Two years ago, we said ‘one team, one heart,’ and I think that message still rings true,” he said. “I think Helton’s a helluva coach, and I think we’re going to finish the season strong, the team’s really coming together.”Eric Hahn, a sophomore majoring in international relations and global business, said the turmoil surrounding USC football earlier in the week drove him to attend the rally.“We had a tough week, a lot of stuff’s gone down,” he said. “Sark’s gone, but the one thing that brings us together is football and the Trojan Family, so it’s always worth coming out and supporting our guys.”Dahl said he is considering hosting more rallies in the future.“[Today’s rally] was super grassroots. We planned it the day before, but it’d be cool to see something happen with a little more momentum,” he said.last_img read more