USC Sanctions: Getting Specific

USC Sanctions: Getting Specific

zz The Buckeye Battlecry

USC Sanctions: Getting Specific


We got so many positive comments about the last soundtrack, let’s do it again:

For the sake of analogies, Benny is NCAA and everyone else is either Southern Cal or their fanbase.

If you haven’t already read the NCAA’s report, you should at least take the time to read through the summary.

If that’s too much for you, here’s the details. Let’s look at these point by point…

A postseason ban in football following the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

What I like to call the “Rodriguez” option- no bowls for two years. This will also be felt by the rest of the Pac-10, since they revenue share bowl spoils. It also has an impact on the Trojans in terms of training (no bowl practice) and recruiting, although that may not matter, since Southern Cal has also received:

A loss of 30 total football scholarships over the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.

  • 2011 – They are limited to 15 for the year and 75 max
  • 2012 – They are limited to 15 for the year and 75 max
  • 2013 – They are limited to 15 for the year and 75 max
  • 2014 – They are limited to 25 for the year and 85 max

This is the big one, because it keeps them from stockpiling the fifteen running backs that they usually do. It also keeps them from having a monster class in 2014 once the ban is over… that sound you hear is Rick Neuheisel rubbing his hands together gleefully.

On the other hand, this could be a coup of sort for Kiffin and Orgeron; when they offer a student, they can legitimately say “we’ve only got a few of these, and we want to offer you one. When you get here, we’ll be back in the hunt.” That is, if Kiffin can keep from being Kiffin.

A vacation of all football victories starting in December 2004 and running through the 2005 season. This includes the national championship win over Oklahoma on Jan. 4, 2005.

Word from Kansas City- the BCS has already stripped the Trojans of their Orange Bowl Victory. In other news, Vince Young did the same for the 2006 Rose Bowl victory that everyone awarded to USC prior to that game.

Also imposed are limitations for the access granted to boosters and non-university personnel to team charters, sidelines, practices, locker rooms and camps for men’s basketball and football.

Sorry Snoop and Will. What can you do? Oh, and I’m guessing this guy won’t be too popular on campus, either.

All statistics vacated for Bush, Mayo and an unnamed women’s tennis athlete in the games which the NCAA deemed them ineligible due to rules violations.

A vacation of wins in the women’s tennis program from May 2006 to May 2009, for long distance telephone violations committed by a student-athlete.

Tennis? They cheated at tennis? Is nothing sacred?!? I didn’t even know that AT&T was a Southern Cal sponsor…

Bush and Mayo must be disassociated from USC athletics.

That will limit Reggie’s ability to “continue to cooperate with the NCAA and USC, as (he) did during the investigation.” and his ability to “focus on making a positive impact for the University”, but it will also keep him from getting those annoying calls from the alumni office fundraisers. So there’s that.

An acceptance of USC’s self-imposed penalties on its basketball program, which included a forfeiture of all wins in 2007-2008 and a one-year postseason ban.

All titles won during ineligible games must be vacated and trophies and banners must be removed.

A reduction of recruiting days for the men’s basketball program in 2010-2011

John Calipari giggles.

Four years of probation.

This is where things get interesting, because it’s a result of the “lack of institutional control” finding. And that’s why the hammer finally fell.

There’s also a lot of stuff about an assistant football coach and his knowledge of the situation between Student Athlete #1 (don’t think I’m not looking into a customized USC jersey with that on the back- ht NorCal Buckeye!) and the agents who were providing his family benefits. The NCAA found that a) this coach knew and didn’t report and b) this coach was less than truthful as a part of the investigation. Here’s a part of HBO’s investigation, including a recording of this coach and one of the agents.

Our friends at SBN’s Bruins Nation have also dug up the following from the NCAA’s full report:

At least by January 8, 2006, the assistant football coach had knowledge that student-athlete 1 and agency partners A and B likely were engaged in NCAA violations. At 1:34 a.m. he had a telephone conversation for two minutes and 23 seconds with agency partner A during which agency partner A attempted to get the assistant football coach to convince student-athlete 1 either to adhere to the agency agreement or reimburse agency partners A and B for money provided to student-athlete 1 and his family. Further, during his September 19, 2006, and February 15, 2008, interviews with the enforcement staff, the assistant football coach violated NCAA ethical conduct legislation by providing false and misleading information regarding his knowledge of this telephone call and the NCAA violations associated with it. The assistant football coach failed to alert the institution’s compliance staff of this information and later attested falsely, through his signature on a certifying statement, that he had no knowledge of NCAA violations.

Other gems from the NCAA-

The general campus environment surrounding the violations troubled the committee. At least at the time of the football violations, there was relatively little effective monitoring of, among others, football locker rooms and sidelines, and there existed a general postgame locker room environment that made compliance efforts difficult. Further, in recent years, the NCAA has made efforts to encourage universities to curb excesses in the entertainment of prospective student-athletes making visits to college campuses so as to avoid a perception by prospects of special status or entitlement. Yet, in this case, the committee reviewed information that, during the official paid visit of a highly recruited football prospect, his host – student-athlete 1 – did not pick up the prospect until nearly midnight the evening following a home football game and that he was taken out until the early morning hours. There also was information in the record that the assistant football coach knew that the prospect was not picked up until nearly midnight by student-athlete 1 and that the prospect was taken to a club at which alcohol was served. These activities and others referred to during the hearing fostered an atmosphere in which student-athletes could feel entitled to special treatment and which almost certainly contributed to the difficulties of compliance staff in achieving a rules-compliant program.

And, the reason for the sanctions being so significant:

This was the institution’s sixth major infractions case. Most recently, the institution appeared before the committee in June 2001 for a case involving the football and women’s swimming programs. Accordingly, USC is considered a “repeat violator” under NCAA Bylaw19.5.2.3. The institution also had infractions cases in 1986, 1982, 1959 and 1957, all of which involved its football program. [page 3]

Southern Cal is appealing the ruling. Until the appeal process is final, the sanctions are on hold. However, you’re more than free to buy items of clothing with catchy slogans:

I'm guessing this was done in Westwood

Later, I’ve got some thoughts on several aspects of this that surprised me.

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