Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

USC Football Blog Leads All-Access Space

Many laud USC head football coach Pete Carroll for his 180,000 Twitter Followers, but people who don’t follow the program might not know that Carroll’s embracing of social media has also produced the best all-access blog in the entire sporting landscape.


It’s called “USC Rips It” and it’s the official blog of the school’s football program. You want all access? Fans get pictures from practices, a look inside the weight room and quotes from closed door meetings.

The site is run by Ben Malcolmson, who has a remarkable story to tell. In 2006, his senior year at USC, Malcolmson, a journalism major, wrote an article for the Daily Trojan about walk-ons. Malcolmson did the story Plimpton-style and actually made the team.

Having built the trust with Carroll, Malcolmson has been writing the football team’s blog for three years now — the site's getting a massive boost from the emergence of new social media like Twitter.

He’s pretty much a one-man band who takes pictures, writes and posts to the blog, with links on his Twitter account.

What are the rules Malcolmson has to abide by?

“It’s basically a blank canvas,” Malcolmson said. “It’s amazing how much I can do, which is pretty much everything but publish the playbook or the game plan.”

Malcolmson said he frequently gets asked if Carroll or an athletic department employee has to read everything he writes. The answer is no.

“Coach Carroll trusts me,” Malcolmson said. “He knows I know what I can’t post. It’s not like I’m videotaping full team meetings and putting them on the Web site 10 minutes later.”

The only thing missing is live tweets from the games. Banned? Nope.

Malcolmson said he currently doesn’t tweet from games because the phone service is spotty in the stadiums on game day.

Malcolmson knows that Carroll’s trust in him has allowed him to be at the forefront of the all-access world. Seeing how Trojan fans have embraced it, Malcolmson said he’s surprised other teams haven’t kept up with the Trojans.

Questions?  Comments?