USC willing to give up timeout to wear red at UCLA

Updated: December 2, 2008, 7:57 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

USC coach Pete Carroll says the NCAA can have a timeout from Saturday's crosstown rivalry game with UCLA. He just wants his players to wear their home colors.

Carroll said on Monday that the Trojans would wear their cardinal red home jerseys on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. That violates an NCAA rule that requires visiting teams to wear white, and the infraction will cost a timeout.

The Pac-10's interpretation of the team wearing the wrong colored jersey is that they are penalized a timeout at the start of the game. UCLA is taking USC's side in the dispute. The Bruins plan to call their own timeout immediately after USC is assessed that penalty at the start of the game to even it out. Both Carroll and UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel had talked about restoring tradition back at the Pac-10 media day in July.

The last time the Trojans and the Bruins both wore home jerseys -- the Trojans in red, the Bruins in blue and gold -- was in 1982, when the schools shared the Los Angeles Coliseum.

"I just thought it was a really cool tradition," Carroll said.

As for losing a timeout? "I don't care about it right now," Carroll said. "I think it's the fun thing to do, and I think the fans will appreciate it over time."

Carroll said the decision to wear home jerseys is not meant as a sign of disrespect to UCLA, adding that he discussed restoring the tradition with former UCLA coach Karl Dorrell and with Neuheisel, the current coach.

"It's exciting," Neuheisel said. "I think wearing the home jerseys is a great tradition."

In the meantime, the Pac-10 has forwarded a request to NCAA football rules committee secretary Rogers Redding, seeking to change the rule. Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said he expected a decision by Tuesday.