LOS ANGELES --The sight of three 40-foot Ducks in downtown Los Angeles has ruffled the feathers of some territorial Trojans.
In another sign that the power in Pacific 10 football now resides in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon has erected a billboard depicting Duck receivers Keenan Howry, Jason Willis and Samie Parker on the north side of the 12-story Hotel Figueroa, a short jog from USC.
The proximity of the 144-by-94-foot image to the campus of a conference rival doesn't sit well with current and former Trojans.
"I feel as if that's an insult," said senior receiver Kareem Kelly. "When I saw it, I was shocked."
Allan Graf, a guard on USC's 1972 national championship team, was among several former players at Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage who questioned Oregon's motives for putting up a billboard so close to USC. Last year, Duck running back Maurice Morris was depicted on a billboard adjacent to Interstate Highway 405 in the Los Angeles area.
"If they have to come down to L.A. and start doing things like that, I think it's pretty sad," said Graf, whose son Derek is a reserve center for the Trojans. "You don't see us putting billboards up in Eugene."
Former tailback Anthony Davis, a member of the 1972 and '74 national champions, suggested USC should take action.
"If our school lets them get away with it, I would question that," Davis said. "I saw the billboard on the 405 Freeway last year, but if this one's in the middle of town and specifically down near the campus, Mike Garrett and Steven Sample should call up there and say, 'Look, you need to cease on this billboard in the middle of Trojantown.' "
Garrett in USC's athletic director, Sample its presiden.t
Garrett indicated he has no plans of making such a call. "They can do anything they want," he said of Oregon. "It's a free world."
OHIO STATE: Hours after he was announced as Ohio State's starting fullback for Saturday's season-opener, junior Jesse Kline told coach Jim Tressel that he was leaving the team. He became the second Ohio State starter who may not see action in Saturday's game against Texas Tech in the Pigskin Classic.
Earlier in the day, Tressel said starting flanker Chris Vance would not be available for the game because of an unspecified violation of team policy.
OKLAHOMA: Jason White, whose tenure as Oklahoma's starting quarterback was cut short by an injury last season, has won the job again. White, a junior, was named the starter for the second-ranked Sooners by coach Bob Stoops on Monday after a training camp competition with senior Nate Hybl.
DOAK WALKER AWARD: Dahrran Diedrick is among 42 preseason candidates for the 2002 Doak Walker Award which is awarded to the nation's top college running back.
-- From wire reports