USC throws flag on Musburger

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Southern California formally complained that ABC-TV's Brent Musburger revealed privileged information in play-by-play commentary during Saturday's game against Nebraska.

The university sent a letter to ESPN, which oversees sports programming on ABC, saying Musburger, with less than 10 minutes to play and the Trojans leading 21-10, began describing how USC quarterback John David Booty lets receivers know he has spotted a certain kind of coverage.

"John David told us that his signal when he finds one-on-one and they're coming, it's that 'hang loose,' that familiar sign you've seen surfers use," said Musburger, referring to the sign in which the thumb and little finger are raised.

"We're supposed to be partners in this, but this is certainly going to make us think twice about trying to help them have as good a broadcast as possible," USC spokesman Tim Tessalone said.

Booty told Musburger about his "hang loose" signal last Friday, when announcers and producers met with coaches and star players as part of their game preparation.
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