A video designed to lure athletic recruits to the University of Southern California has been pulled by the school after backlash on its insensitive tone.
The video showed Trojans players and coaches attending a fake premiere and Hollywood Hills pool party. It was created by the school’s new BLVD Studios, a creative lab for athletic branding and content.
Next year, the NCAA will decide on new rules for college athletes to leverage their name, image and likeness. That could potentially mean huge money for prominent athletes, and USC was hoping to lure more of them to the school by emphasizing the opportunities available in one of the world media capitals.
However, the university took the video down after the scenes of unmasked players and coaches drew severe backlash. Athletic Director Mike Bohn issued a statement apologizing for the video.
“It was meant to be light-hearted in an otherwise tough year and we encouraged our athletes to participate,” Bohn said. “In retrospect, the themes and timing of the video were out of step, especially given the challenges everyone is facing today. I apologize to the USC community for this lapse in judgment. We know we can do better next time.”
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