Friday, June 11, 2010

USC Gets the Hammer

80616514 With all of the rumors swirling around the Pac-10 and expansion talks, we almost forgot that one of their top programs, the University of South California, was being investigated by the NCAA for violations into practices involving their football and basketball programs.

Though the report mentioned numerous violations, the most significant violations involved football running back Reggie Bush and basketball player O.J. Mayo. The violations stem from allegations that the two were involved with agents during their time at USC and whether or not those actions lead to them losing their status as amateurs while at school.

For the violations, USC’s football program will have some significant sanctions levied against them. They are:

  • A two-year ban from all postseason bowls
  • A loss of 10 scholarships a year for the 2011 through 2013 seasons
  • The school must vacate all wins that Reggie Bush played in, including their BCS Championship against Oklahoma
  • Four years probation

These sanctions will compound the difficulties for new head coach Lane Kiffin, who took over the program when Pete Carroll left for the NFL and Seattle. Recruiting will be especially more challenging with the loss of scholarships and the ban from postseason bowl games. Let’s not forget that Kiffin has had himself some issues with NCAA violations while in his only season as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.

Most in the Volunteer State would probably say he deserves it for hightailing it to the West Coast once Carroll left, but not even the almighty Kiffin could have planned for this. With things not going so well last season at Tennessee, Kiffin has yet to prove himself as a head coach and the sanctions will make things only worse.

As for programs vacated wins, they include all the wins during Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy season. The next question is whether or not Bush may be stripped of his Heisman Trophy and reputation at USC. I’m sure there will be a big debate on both sides of the fence, but only the Trust will have the last word on Bush’s trophy. Also, there is the question of whether or not the Trojans will lose their 2004 BCS National Championship, which then opens the discussion on who would be in line to receive it.

As for the final impact of the sanctions, only the future will tell. The quickest effect will be felt on the Trojan’s recruiting efforts, especially with the loss of scholarships and bowl ban. In the coming years we will see the mighty Trojans fall from the top of the Pac-10 to the middle of the pack, whether it be 10 or 16 teams in the future.

Article first published as USC Gets the Hammer on Blogcritics.


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