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  • 2006 USC News

  • Todd Marinovich (born July 4, 1969 in San Leandro, CA) is a former American football quarterback who played for the Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League.

    During Marinovich's successful high school career at Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo, California, stories emerged that he had been raised to be the perfect quarterback by his father, a former NFL lineman. These claims became nationally known after an article in Sports Illustrated magazine that appeared during his college recruitment. The claims included strict workout regimens during his early years and complete abstinence from fast food. While these stories were undoubtably exaggerated to some degree, they have since been seen by some as a cautionary tale for the ambitious parents of young athletes.

    In 1987 Marinovich racked up a national record 9,194 passing yards at Capistrano Valley High. His college choice was no surprise, joining the team his father formerly captained at the University of Southern California. Marinovich's college career took a bad turn after he led his team to the Rose Bowl as a freshman. His relationship with then USC coach Larry Smith became increasingly rocky, he was suspended from the team on multiple occasions—ostensibly for skipping class—and rumors of recreational drug use (hence his moniker "Marijuanavich"), became well established.

    In 1991 he left USC to test the waters of the NFL draft, finding a home in the first round with the Los Angeles Raiders and signing a 3-year, $2.27 million deal. He left the NFL after his first season while facing even more drug charges. After his departure Marinovich had stints in the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League but was always followed by drug problems and even rape charges. He was also charged with attempted murder of his drug supplier.

    In May 2005, Todd Marinovich was arrested in a public bathroom in Newport Beach, California, after being found with apparent drug paraphernalia.


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