In the days before last weekend's big hoops game at Berkeley, Trojans guard Gabe Pruitt was chatted up on AIM by a lovely from cross-town UCLA who said her name was Victoria. They hit it off, exchanged photos and made plans to meet in Los Angeles this week. Pruitt even gave up his cell phone number. Fast forward to the big game. When Pruitt goes to the free-throw line, the Cal crowd begins to chant VIC-TOR-IA and to serenade the Trojan with his own phone number. Turns out "Victoria" was a Cal supporter who printed up flyers with a transcript of their instant message chat. In today's Daily Trojan, associate sports editor Greg Wagner takes offense:
Yeah, Pruitt got duped, but Cal fans attacked his personal life. I'm all for taunting the opponent after air balls, when its coach blows his lid or if a player does something stupid - but to pull some prank over the Internet to mock someone? That's just wrong … and a bit sad.
Luckily for Cal fans, Pruitt, as kind and genuine as any athlete out there, laughed off the whole experience.
"I've never seen anything like that, that big; it's up there in the ranks," he said. "I kind of got a kick out of it."
Curious USC factoids: The Admissions Center pipes in Frank Sinatra songs to entertain prospective students and parents. The campus tour plays up the movies filmed on campus, the buildings named for Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, and includes a visit to Heritage Hall where O.J. Simpson's number 32 still hangs proudly under glass.
Photo of Tommy Trojan: USC website