Southern Cal hit hard by NCAA

Two-year bowl ban, sharp loss of football scholarships

LOS ANGELES — The NCAA threw the book at storied Southern California on Thursday with a two-year bowl ban, four years’ probation, loss of scholarships and forfeits of an entire year’s games for improper benefits to Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush dating to the Trojans’ 2004 national championship.

USC was penalized for a lack of institutional control in the ruling by the NCAA following its four-year investigation. The report cited numerous improper benefits for Bush and former basketball player O.J. Mayo, who spent just one year with the Trojans.

The coaches who presided over the alleged misdeeds — football’s Pete Carroll and basketball’s Tim Floyd — left USC in the past year. USC reacted with uniform outrage to the harshness of the sanctions, promising an appeal.

“I’m absolutely shocked and disappointed in the findings of the NCAA,” Carroll said in a video statement produced by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, who hired him in January. “I never thought it would come to this.”

The penalties include the loss of 30 football scholarships over three years and vacating 14 victories in which Bush played from December 2004 through the 2005 season. USC beat Oklahoma in the BCS title game on Jan. 4, 2005, and won 12 games during Bush’s Heisman-winning 2005 season, which ended with a loss to Texas in the 2006 BCS title game.

Bill Hancock, the executive director of the BCS, said a committee will meet to consider vacating USC’s 2004 championship. While no action would go into effect until USC’s appeals are heard by the NCAA, Hancock said there would be no 2004 champion if USC’s victory is vacated.

“I take the same stance as our university,” new football coach Lane Kiffin said. “There is some guilt, but the punishment is too severe. That’s why the appeal process is taking place.”

The rulings are a sharp repudiation of the Trojans’ decade of stunning football success under Carroll, who won seven straight Pac-10 titles and two national championships before abruptly returning to the NFL.

The NCAA says Bush received lavish gifts from two fledgling sports marketers hoping to sign him. The men paid for everything from hotel stays and a rent-free home where Bush’s family apparently lived to a limousine and a new suit when he accepted his Heisman Trophy in New York in December 2005.

The NCAA found that Bush, identified as a “former football student-athlete,” was ineligible beginning at least by December 2004, a ruling that could open discussion of the revocation of the New Orleans Saints star’s Heisman. Members of the Heisman Trust have said they might review Bush’s award if he were ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

“I have a great love for the University of Southern California, and I very much regret the turn that this matter has taken, not only for USC, but for the fans and players,” Bush said in a statement.

“I am disappointed by (Thursday’s) decision and disagree with the NCAA’s findings. If the University decides to appeal, I will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and USC, as I did during the investigation. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on making a positive impact for the University and for the community where I live.”

USC plans to appeal some of the football-related penalties, but with no resolution of any appeal expected until next spring at the earliest, that won’t help many of the current Trojans.

“It does stink to possibly not play in a bowl game,” said USC quarterback Matt Barkley, a freshman starter last season. “But at the same time, I came here to get a degree from one of the best universities in the country and to win football games. If we play 13 instead of 14, then we’re going to try to win all 13 of those.”

The NCAA took no further action against the men’s basketball team, which had already banned itself from postseason play last spring and vacated its wins from Mayo’s season. Floyd, now coaching at UTEP, resigned from USC last June, shortly after he was accused of giving cash to a middleman who helped steer Mayo to USC.

“As Coach has wanted to say publicly for a long time, ’It didn’t happen,’” Floyd attorney Jim Darnell said in a statement.

The bowl ban is the most damaging to Kiffin, who will have to ratchet up his formidable recruiting skills to entice players with no hope of postseason play before 2012. USC also will lose 10 scholarships annually from 2011-13, but Kiffin believes he’ll still land a large share of the nation’s top talent.

“I don’t think it’s going to have an impact on recruiting,” said Kiffin, who doesn’t plan to sign additional players this year before the scholarship sanctions take effect. “We’ve talked to a lot of people, from our team to our signees to recruits, and we do not feel the impact at all, because USC is still USC. We’re still going to play an extremely high level of football. They’ll still get a great education as they come to USC.”

The women’s tennis team also was cited in the report for unauthorized phone calls made by a former player, but the NCAA accepted USC’s earlier elimination of its wins between November 2006 and May 2009.

“The general campus environment surrounding the violations troubled the committee,” the report said.

The report also condemned the star treatment afforded to Bush and Mayo, saying USC’s oversight of its top athletes ran contrary to the fundamental principles of amateur sports.

“Elite athletes in high profile sports with obvious great future earnings potential may see themselves as something apart from other student-athletes and the general student population,” the NCAA report said. “Institutions need to assure that their treatment on campus does not feed into such a perception.”

USC’s saga reached its climax on a tumultuous day in college athletics, when Colorado’s defection to the Pac-10 from the Big 12 provided the first steps in what could be a radical nationwide conference realignment threatening to change the nature of amateur sports.

USC had long been known for its lenient admission policy at football practices, which during Carroll’s tenure were open to almost anybody from movie stars to regular fans.

Although Kiffin tightened the rules shortly after taking over, the NCAA also prohibited all non-university personnel, except media and a few others, from attending practices and camps — or even standing on the sidelines during games, a favorite pastime of Will Ferrell and other wealthy USC alumni.

The Trojans barely avoided further punishment that would have removed one of the sport’s most popular teams from television. The committee discussed a TV ban, but decided the penalties handed down “adequately respond to the nature of violations and the level of institutional responsibility.”

USC is the first Football Bowl Subdivision school to be banned from postseason play since Alabama served a two-year ban ending in 2003. The NCAA issued no bowl bans during the tenure of late president Myles Brand, but the NCAA reportedly regained interest in the punishment over the past year.

The Trojans have been under suspicion for years. The NCAA, the Pac-10 and even the FBI conducted investigations into the Bush family’s business relationships and USC’s responsibility for the culture around its marquee football team.

USC officials including Garrett and Kiffin appeared before the NCAA infractions committee in February to argue the school’s ignorance of Bush’s dealings.

The report also criticized “an assistant football coach” known to be running backs coach Todd McNair, putting him on a one-year “show-cause penalty” prohibiting him from recruiting, among other sanctions.

The NCAA condemned McNair’s professed ignorance of Bush’s dealings with sports marketers Lloyd Lake and Michael Michaels. Each sued Bush in attempts to recoup nearly $300,000 in cash and gifts they say were accepted by Bush’s family during his career with the Trojans while they attempted to sign him as their company’s first client.

“I know they did a very, very thorough investigation,” said Brian Watkins, a San Diego attorney who represented Lake in a lawsuit against Bush. “It surely wasn’t a rush to justice.”

Watkins said he spoke with Lake after the sanctions were announced.

“He was sad. He wished that wouldn’t have happened,” Watkins said.

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Comments » 180

orangecountyvols writes:

Cheer leaders Naffy, listentothemusic, and nosirree
will have all this over ruled. They will join together to utilize their considerable influence to overturn any NCAA action against USC.

RJ_Vol writes:

So, does Auburn win the national title in '04?

HallowedHill writes:

What a mess!

GO VOLS!

lomas98 writes:

in response to RJ_Vol:

So, does Auburn win the national title in '04?

Maybe Oklahoma and Auburn split it. Oklahoma was the team who USC beat in the bowl.

CrankE writes:

The NCAA's glacial speed in all of this (a mere 4 years to hand down sanctions) says as much about the state of college athletics as anything that the agents and athletes did.

HallowedHill writes:

I'm told that USC Juniors and Seniors will be eligible to transfer without sitting out a year. I'd say it would be fitting for us to reach out to USC players after what Ogeron did.

GO VOLS!

CrankE writes:

As for Quiffen; It's rare these days, but every once in a while, the architects of FAIL have to endure the consequences. Congratulations once again on your dream job. I know it's a dream come true for me.

easleychuck writes:

Ditto what all the previous posters said on the previous thread. The chickens have come on to roost at USC.

GreerVol22 writes:

Monte must be so proud...

jimr07 writes:

in response to HallowedHill:

I'm told that USC Juniors and Seniors will be eligible to transfer without sitting out a year. I'd say it would be fitting for us to reach out to USC players after what Ogeron did.

GO VOLS!

according to an announcement on yahoo sports only players with 2 years or less can transfer without sitting out a year.
Oh, by the way, Lane Kiffen is reported to be livid. Really?

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to easleychuck:

Ditto what all the previous posters said on the previous thread. The chickens have come on to roost at USC.

See the chickens.
See the chickens roost.
Roost chickens roost!

RJ_Vol writes:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010...

Just more craziness in this day of college football news.

mtowntim writes:

in response to jimr07:

according to an announcement on yahoo sports only players with 2 years or less can transfer without sitting out a year.
Oh, by the way, Lane Kiffen is reported to be livid. Really?

Livid? He may pass out. Quick, somebody get the mattress!!!

volzcrushm writes:

BAWHAHAHAHAHA !!!! Fabulous. GBO!...raid the USC cabinet!! ...so much for the 'DREAM JOB'.

RJ_Vol writes:

Doldrums may be making a quick exit. If true, I could live happily all summer just thinking of this irony.

RoadTrip writes:

Wasn't the Liar Surfer Dude an assistant coach, OC and recruiting coordinator during the Bush years? Bush played on the offense didn't he? How did he assist Pete and Bush? Is he now the HC at USC because of what he knew, who he knew, etc.? Will he be their fall guy in a couple of years as UCLA and the rest of the Pac eats their lunch? Will Monte stop swirling his doo and shave it all off in support of his snake oil salesman son? Inquiring minds want to know.

He who laughs last, laughs best. GBO!

chaos001 writes:

they lost more than 10 scholarships...they lost 30. 10 per year for 3 years.

and a host of other things: http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles...

orangelovinyankee writes:

I am really sorry to hear that USC got busted by the NCAA. I think Lame is getting off on the wrong foot.

FWBVol writes:

ESPN is reporting the two-year bowl ban, vacating wins of the games Bush played in while he was ineligible and a loss of 10 scholarships per year from 2011-2013.

USC should be OK this year because the hit in scholarships won't take place yet. But starting in 2011 and beyond people will find out whether or not Kiffin can really coach. The Trojans will be playing with 55 scholarship players in 2013 unless Kiffin redshirts about half of this year's class.

I guess the guy is really living his dream now. Bye-bye No. 1 signing class.

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

Today is my birthday and this is a great present. Happy birthday to Coach Dooley also!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to VOLS_SEC_RULES:

Today is my birthday and this is a great present. Happy birthday to Coach Dooley also!

HappyB Vols_Sec_Rules. A lot of Vol fans are glad about this news today.

USC = University of Scholarship Compression

NorfolkVol writes:

in response to chaos001:

they lost more than 10 scholarships...they lost 30. 10 per year for 3 years.

and a host of other things: http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles...

Correct College Football Live just confirmed 30 - 10 per year that is huge

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

And the best part is LK was there as a part of all this. Wonder what will come out after he is HC??

CrankE writes:

BLAME BUSH!!! (smirk)

spoolingup writes:

USC, Kiffin and Orgeron all getting what they deserve. We are better off.

keepitreal4vols writes:

HEY COACH, USC STILL A DREAM JOB?

Southland writes:

Kiffin would have them and would have had us in trouble given time. Now he inherits problems that he helped make and his motley crew of great assistants are back at the place they helped corrupt. It is sweet revenge that he inherited the job that he helped to damage. Had he stayed at Knoxville he would have had us in more trouble than USC because at USC as an assistant he didnt get to run his punk mouth and have everyone in the nation hating him. While in Knoxville he had everyone looking for reasons to bust him. So glad he is gone so so glad. He was a disgrace along with people that jumped on his punk bandwagon

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Wasn't the Liar Surfer Dude an assistant coach, OC and recruiting coordinator during the Bush years? Bush played on the offense didn't he? How did he assist Pete and Bush? Is he now the HC at USC because of what he knew, who he knew, etc.? Will he be their fall guy in a couple of years as UCLA and the rest of the Pac eats their lunch? Will Monte stop swirling his doo and shave it all off in support of his snake oil salesman son? Inquiring minds want to know.

He who laughs last, laughs best. GBO!

Kiffin's laugh is getting him millions of dollars.How many are you getting for yours?

For the money Kiffin is getting,he shouldn't care who laughs at him. I wouldn't.

westennvol writes:

This makes me very happy that Lame Kitten is back with Helen of Troy...Thank you GOD! I was upset at first when he left UT, I admit, I was on the bandwagon while he was here. But seeing all the dirty stuff that he did while he was at the fake USC, it's sweet, sweet poetic justice this happend to him. FIGHT ON!!!(with a bunch of freshmen, and no bowl game) LMAO!!! Couldn't have worked out better for UT in the long run! GO VOLS!!

agentorange writes:

usc = crippled. everyone knew they were cheating big time.

thevoice writes:

The most damaging part of this penalty is that LK will be on 4 years' probation. And every little "minor" violation will start to mean something. And the NCAA will be watching every tiny move. Better shape up "coach." 2-3 years before he's fired or forced to move on.

DoubleDs writes:

If anyone here is interested in contacting the USC listed number for Coach Lane Kiffin, that number is:

(213) 740-4176

bigorange61 writes:

Lets hope with nothing left to lose, CLK and his band of clowns don't disclose some shady dealings they did at Tennessee.

Maybe I'm just being cynical.

DoubleDs writes:

If anyone here is interested in contacting the USC listed number for Coach Lane Kiffin, that number is:

(213) 740-4176

It is now approx. 1:37 p.m. there, and I'm sure they'll appreciate any and all calls to sunny southern California the remainder of this afternoon, tomorrow, etc.

tigervol77 writes:

Couldn't have happened to a better school! How bout them apples Kiffin?

Vol737 writes:

I'm a HUGE believer in Karma. What goes around comes around. The former, one season coach (I will not utter his name) just got his. And you know he had as much of a hand in all this as Pete Carroll did. Surfer dude leaving was the best thing that could have happened to this program long term. This might have been UT in a few years. I'm going to go have a celebratory cocktail tonight over this.

Groundedvol writes:

Happy Birthday CDD! What a gift!

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

HEY COACH, USC STILL A DREAM JOB?

SWEET DREAMS SURFER DUDE !!!!

peerlessvolfan writes:

Couldn't have happened to a more perfect coach! Way to go, Kiff!

FearTheVols1252 writes:

What goes around, comes around! Enjoy digging yourself out of this hole lil lame! I'm sure all those recruits love the fact that you lied to them about your prediction of the NCAA penalties. As I recall he was telling recruits that the worst thing to happen would be that USC would have to vacate some victories from previous seasons. Great way to start off a new relationship with your team by completely losing their trust up front! Bahahahahaaaa!!!!

Troll_Here writes:

Just thought I'd drop by and celebrate the good news with the only people happier than Florida fans to see Kiffen get the royal shaft! So here is a hardy SEC friendly (once again)rival laugh to go along with what is an undoubtedly universal UT laugh. BBBWWWWAAAAAAHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

DoubleDs writes:

If anyone here is interested in contacting the USC listed number for Coach Lane Kiffin, that number is:

(213) 740-4176

It is now approx. 1:37 p.m. there, and I'm sure they'll appreciate any and all calls to sunny southern California the remainder of this afternoon, tomorrow, next week, next month, next 3 years, etc.

Vol737 writes:

Check out the USC message boards....panic is setting in about recruits bailing out!

AtlantaTide writes:

Kiffin - Is it still your 'dream job'?

You, Garrett and Ed O are getting some karma.

No tears here.

cloudodust writes:

Well, well. What have we here..?

mtowntim writes:

in response to Vol737:

Check out the USC message boards....panic is setting in about recruits bailing out!

Post a link so we can go trollin tonight.
Vols on the way up!

RJ_Vol writes:

I'm still amazed that we hired this guy. It's not like this is "new" news. He is absolutely the worst coach to ever wear the orange - but he really didn't like wearing orange anyway. I hope we never see the black jerseys again. Many on here warned of a "winning at all costs" mentality. Let's just hope we don't have a similar fate as his beloved "SC." What every happened to all of the recruiting issues(and subsequent NCAA talk) we had under Kiffin during his last few weeks? I don't think we are out of the woods. I still seriously question Mike Hamilton's decision to hire Kiffin. If we had made a similar decision in our workplace, I'd bet most of us would no longer be employed. This is black-eye on his decision making. Just be thankful Kiffin is gone. Can you imagine our university's image if he were still our coach today? Somewhere, Al Davis is smiling a crooked smile.

linebam writes:

Wasn't Lane at USC when all this was going down? If so, he can't claim ignorance and that his predecessor was the only one to blame. Guilt by association; so he's reaping what he (and the rest of the Carroll-led gang there) sowed!

Vol737 writes:

in response to mtowntim:

Post a link so we can go trollin tonight.
Vols on the way up!

VOLsince68 writes:

This just made my freaking year............

There is a football God!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!

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