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USC/UCLA Game Security

 
USC/UCLA Game Security
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The police and security presence will be increased significantly for today's UCLA-USC football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, according to the athletic directors for both schools.

Staffs from the two schools are ``coordinating efforts with local, state and federal agencies, among others, to minimize any safety concerns on game day,'' USC athletic director Pat Haden and UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero wrote in a joint letter.

"You will notice increased staffing presence and bike patrols to go along with a host of enhancements behind the scenes,'' Haden and Guerrero wrote.

The Coliseum's standard tailgating policy of only one parking space per car and no amplified sound will be strictly enforced, the letter said.

USC will attempt to avoid a repeat of fans rushing the field, as they did following the 20-17 upset of Stanford Nov. 16, by making announcements before and during the game and having an increased security presence on the field, according to sports information director Tim Tessalone.

Haden and Guerrero reminded fans that if they have any questions or see anything of concern to notify the closest staff member, call the Fan Behavior Hotline at (213) 765-5291 or text COLISEUM and the issue and location to 69050.

There were 20 arrests at the 2012 UCLA-USC game, which was played at the Rose Bowl: 15 for suspicion of being drunk in public and four for suspicion of going onto the field after the game, Pasadena Police Lt. Bruce George said at the time.

The other arrest was made on suspicion of violating Pasadena's municipal code, which George said was likely for scalping tickets.

According to George. the arrest total was less than ``the last three or four'' UCLA-USC games at the Rose Bowl.

In 2011, when the game was last played at the Coliseum, there were three arrests: two on suspicion of public drunkenness and fighting and one for what police described as an argument between a man and his wife, Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Al Labrada told City News Service.

Haden and Guerrero called for fans to display sportsmanship.

``Sportsmanship is every bit as important off the field as on,'' the two athletic directors wrote.

``Respecting those around you demonstrates respect for yourself and your university.''

USC Sustainability will distribute recycling bags to tailgaters as part of the university's efforts to divert waste from landfills. Aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers can be recycled in the bags. Zero Waste Tailgate volunteers and Los Angeles Conservation Corps members will collect filled bags and dispose of them in the appropriate place.

A toy drive will be held for children in need. New unwrapped toys can be left in bins outside the Coliseum before the opening kickoff.

Fans will have the opportunity to take pictures with the Heisman Trophy at the Fan Fest outside the Coliseum from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Matt Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, will participate in a ``chalk talk'' session with ESPN anchor Neil Everett from 3-3:30 p.m. and sign autographs from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

A second former USC quarterback, Rodney Peete, the runner-up in the voting for the 1988 Heisman Trophy, will participate in a chalk talk session with Everett from 1-1:30 p.m. and sign autographs from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

The game is a near-sellout, with a limited number of tickets available, Tessalone said.

The opening kickoff will come shortly after 5 p.m. The stadium gates will open at 3 p.m. The first 50,000 fans will receive a pom-pom.

Mayor Eric Garcetti will toss the coin that determines which team will receive the opening kickoff.

The stakes in the final regular-season game for both UCLA (8-3, 5-3 in Pacific-12 Conference play) and USC (9-3, 6-2) include a better bowl berth and Trojans interim coach Ed Orgeron bolstering his chances of getting the position on a permanent basis.

USC is 6-1 since Orgeron was appointed to replace the fired Lane Kiffin on Sept. 29, including victories in each of its last five games.

The Bruins were 38-28 winners in last year's game, ending USC's five- game winning streak in the series. UCLA has lost its last seven games at the Coliseum, with its most recent win there coming in 1997.

The Bruins last recorded back-to-back victories over the Trojans in 1997 and 1998 when they completed an eight-game winning streak against their cross- town rival, the longest streak by either team in the series that began in 1929.

USC leads the series, 46-29-7, although its victories in 2004 and 2005 were later vacated due to NCAA penalty.

UCLA is ranked 22nd in The Associated Press poll, one spot ahead of the Trojans.

The winning team will be awarded the Victory Bell, a 295-pound bell originally hung atop a Southern Pacific freight locomotive.

The bell was given to the UCLA Alumni Association in 1939. In 1941, it was taken by a group of USC students.

A year later, the student body presidents of both schools signed an agreement providing that the winner of the football game would keep possession for the next year, a tradition that has continued.

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