Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Armstead and family to meet with USC officials
By Pedro Moura
An update in the never-ending saga of Armond Armstead as he attempts to get medically cleared to play for the Trojans: his father, Guss, attended practice Wednesday and plans to meet with USC staffers this week to find a solution to what has become a full-fledged problem.
Armstead, of course, was hospitalized in March for unknown reasons but has not participated at full strength in any USC practices in the six months since. He and USC have both been very vague about the situation and nothing is known other than that Armstead and his family believe he's past due to be cleared and the USC medical staff disagrees.
Armstead already played three years for the Trojans and stood to get drafted fairly high in next year's NFL draft -- before this whole medical ordeal, of course. Now, his football future is in obvious jeopardy. He's missed the first two games of the 2011 season. There's no clear light at the end of the tunnel.
Enter his father, a basketball trainer in Sacramento. The elder Armstead's in L.A. this week, presumably to either convince USC to clear his son or find out why he won't be cleared. He talked to a number of USC administrators during Wednesday's practice, including athletic director Pat Haden and trainer Russ Romano. The younger Armstead wasn't in attendance.
There can't be much more wiggle room on this. Either Armstead is going to be cleared in the near future, or he's not. The season's over in fewer than 75 days.
Trojans coach Lane Kiffin hasn't said much on his Armstead's case ever, and he's said even less in recent weeks. He said on Sunday's conference call that he has not been involved in many of the discussions of late. On Wednesday, he said he'd be involved in a meeting with Armstead and his father in the near future.
"We have a meeting later this week, so right now that's where we are at," Kiffin said.
An under-examined part of this whole situation: Armstead's younger brother, Arik, is a high school senior currently committed to the Trojans to play both basketball and football. Arik Armstead is ranked by most recruiting services as one of the top prospects in the state of California and one of the top 25 seniors in the country.