USC (No. 18 BCS, No. 21 AP) and 17th-ranked UCLA issued a joint statement Wednesday urging fans of both teams to exercise sportsmanship before and during the schools' football game Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
"Anytime we have a home game, it is my expectation that our fans and everyone associated with UCLA will put their best foot forward and create a friendly atmosphere for all visitors at the Rose Bowl, including those from the opposing team," UCLA athletic director Guerrero said.
"While the game will no doubt be played with great enthusiasm on both sides, it is important to remember that UCLA and USC are part of the same Los Angeles community, and this rivalry should be celebrated with graciousness and class."
UCLA (8-2) is the home team for the 84th renewal of the classic rivalry against the Trojans (7-3). Adding to the traditional bragging rights, the game is for first place in the Pac-12 South Division and a spot in the conference championship game.
"The USC-UCLA cross-town rivalry brings out the best in both teams," USC athletic director Pat Haden said. "Let's make sure it brings out the best in our fans, too. If you are wearing cardinal and gold on Saturday, please show respect, sportsmanship and class to the fans and players in the blue and gold. Behaving properly will make this game a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone."
When the game was last played at the Rose Bowl in 2010, multiple brawls in the parking lot erupted before the game, and two people were stabbed. It was one of several high-profile incidents of fan violence in the Los Angeles area, a list that includes the Dodger Stadium beating of Bryan Stow.
Earlier this year, both UCLA and USC, as well as professional sports teams, institutions and venues, adopted the Los Angeles Sports Council's Southern California Code of Conduct. It is outlined on the UCLA athletics website.
The joint statement Wednesday reminded fans that the Rose Bowl parking lot will open at 9 a.m. ET (kickoff is as 3 p.m. ET) and that there will be no overnight parking allowed, even for recreational vehicles.