Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush just announced that he will leave USC to accept the riches the National Football League would like to throw at him. Most likely stop in the draft: the Houston Texans. He follows the Trojans' LenDale White into the pros.
Also in the local sports world: The L.A. Times is losing its number two editor in sports. Dave Morgan, long considered an heir apparent to sports editor Bill Dwyre, is leaving to be executive editor for Yahoo Sports in Santa Monica. It's expected to be announced today along with other moves in the Times sports department. * It's announced: (11:55 am) Only the Morgan move. Some background: The LAT Sports section has been cut back considerably in recent years, something I hear lots of complaints about from readers and staffers. I'm convinced that the pared-down sports report is a factor in the Times' declining circulation. Times editor Dean Baquet told me during our Zócalo interview in November that he believed Sports had been cut too much. I don't know if any of that is behind Morgan's departure.
Dwyre's email to the staff this morning about Morgan is after the jump.
I will now make official what has become one of the worst-kept secrets ever.
I am sad to announce that Dave Morgan has decided to move on to another job, taking the position of Executive Editor of Yahoo Sports. His last day on the payroll will be Jan. 27, and I'm not certain how much more we will see of him around the office between now and then.
Morgan began here right out of Pepperdine with a job in Valley sports in 1985. He moved downtown to main sports in '88 and took over as deputy sports editor in 2000, with the departure of Rick Jaffe. At Yahoo, he will be in charge of building a sports online operation that will be geared to compete with the big guys, ESPN and CBS Sportsline. That will require extensive hiring and editorial oversight, and there is, frankly, nobody in the business more qualified than Morgan to pull this off.
At Times sports, he was our leader in vision and energy, our go-to guy (gotta have at least one cliche in a sports dept. memo) and the daily operational chief. He was always full of ideas and always good at motivating people to get them done. He had become as close to a co-No. 1 as I have ever had, and I've had some great deputies over the years (starting with Guttenberg). He had become part of the community and a major part of the national sports editing world. He was a regional chairman of APSE and certainly would have been its president in a few years. All of you who spent hours on the phone with him, working on stories and ideas and direction, know all too well what a huge loss this is.
Understand one thing. There is not one iota of disloyalty in this move. Quite franklly, the opposite is true. The offer Dave received was so sensational that the rest of us would have been out the door a month ago. He loved this place and always will and he struggled mightily with this, so much so that he really doesn't want any sort of farewell event.
I suggest that each of you take the time, if you haven't already, to call him and tell him what he meant to you and to this department. I know I have and I know I expect to continually stay in touch.
And remember, if he changes his phone numbers, you can always Google him.