Sidney stays in Los Angeles.

Highly touted prep basketball star Renardo Sidney announced his intentions to play at USC next season. The 6-foot 11-inch high school senior at L.A. Fairfax is projected to be an NBA lottery pick once he decides to go pro.

The announcement was made in an elaborate ceremony at the Fairfax basketball gym, in front of more than 100 friends and family members.

Sidney is the second blue-chip recruit to commit to USC since 2006, when then-prep star and current NBA rookie O.J. Mayo spurned many national programs to play just south of downtown Los Angeles.

This season, Sidney earned McDonald’s All-American honors while averaging 24 points and 10.3 rebounds for Fairfax.

While Sidney made his announcement on Sunday, he cannot sign his letter of intent until April 8.

Trojan Football No. 1 Again … in Coach’s Salary

Phil Jackson earns about $6 million per year for coaching the Los Angeles Lakers. President Barack Obama earns about $250,000 per year for leading our nation.

Fittingly, college sports are a reflection of the real world. According to a report released on Monday, USC football Head Coach Pete Carroll was the highest paid private university employee in the United States for the 2006-07 fiscal year.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Carroll earned $4.4 million in total compensation, four times more than the earnings of USC President Steven B. Sample.

Carroll is not alone in earning more than quadruple his school’s president. Reportedly, Texas’ Mack Brown, Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and Florida’s Urban Meyer also earn about four times as much as each respective school’s president.

Carroll earned his paycheck in more ways than one, though. Since his hiring in 2001, USC won two national titles, seven consecutive Pac-10 Conference championships and appeared in seven consecutive BCS bowl games.

Beyond the on-field success, USC has also benefited in the revenue department during Carroll’s tenure. According to reports, revenue for the school’s athletic department almost doubled from $38.6 million in Carroll’s first season to more than $76 million in 2007-08. Those figures include donations and endowments, which increased from $13.7 million in 2001-02 to $39 million last year.

Perhaps Carroll is in the wrong profession. He should enter politics. If he can help a university double its revenues, perhaps he can find a way to increase revenues to solve the nation’s economic woes.

USC basketball loses grip on tourney invite.

The Trojans could definitely use some of Carroll’s magic at Galen Center.

OK, so USC defeated the lowly Washington State Cougars last Thursday evening, defending its home court and improving to 7-6 in Pac-10 play. Entering into its contest against nationally ranked Washington on Saturday, a Trojan victory would have opened the floodgates in the battle for the conference crown.

The Huskies were a conference-best 10-4 entering the match-up. After UCLA lost earlier in the day in Westwood, the Bruins needed a Trojan victory to keep its first-place hopes alive. Oh, and USC needed a Trojan victory to keep its national tournament hopes alive.

Of course, the Trojans were anything but alive after tip-off. USC (16-10, 7-7) was outscored 14-1 in the final 5:43, losing 60-51 to the quicker and longer Huskies (20-7, 11-4). The Trojans, who lost for the fourth time in five games, shot 38 percent in the contest.

USC could certainly use a little help inside after Washington junior forward Quincy Pondexter burned the Trojan frontcourt for 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting.