USC Trojans is currently battling it out with the Hawaii Warriors at Aloha Stadium. The game airs live on ESPN. During press and commentary of the game the controversy and sanctions imposed on USC has been highlighted.
Paul Dee, the chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, stated that the case involving USC “strikes at the heart of the principles of amateurism.”
Todd Dickey, USC’s senior vice president for administration spoke of plans to appeal the harsh sanctions imposed onto the Trojans.
“We acknowledge that violations occurred and we take full responsibility for them,” he added “However, we sharply disagree with many of the findings in the NCAA Committee on Infractions Report. Further, we feel the penalties imposed are too severe for the violations identified in the report.”
“We will accept those sanctions we believe to be consistent with penalties imposed upon other NCAA member institutions found guilty of similar rules infractions. We are hopeful that the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee will agree with our position on appeal, and reduce the penalties.”
The investigation which led to the sanctions centered on three players within the Trojan athletics and the department itself. This includes Reggie Bush and the football program, O.J. Mayo and the basketball program, Gabriela Niculescu of Romania and the women’s tennis program, and finally, the failure of the athletic department’s infrastructure when it came to overseeing and policing its programs and athletes.Some of the sanctions imposed by the NCAA onto USC includes:
- A postseason ban in football following the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
- A loss of 30 total football scholarships over the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.
- 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.
- The school will return $206,200 from its NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008.
- All statistics vacated for Bush, Mayo and women’s tennis athlete Gabriela Niculescu in the games which the NCAA deemed them ineligible due to rules violations.
- Bush and Mayo must be disassociated from USC athletics.
- 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 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.
- A reduction of recruiting days for the men’s basketball program in 2010-2011.
- In addition to Four years of probation.
“I’m absolutely shocked and disappointed at the findings of the NCAA,” Carroll said. “I never, ever thought it would come to this. … The agenda of the NCAA infractions committee took them beyond the facts. And the facts don’t match the sanctions. I absolutely support the appeal by the university and will do everything I can to contribute to their efforts.”
“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,” it read. “I am disappointed by today’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.”
Bush tweeted near the end of his Preseason which finished today; “The longer we wait to change ourselves the longer it will take to see the benefits of Change! Don’t stall your progression because of Pride!”
USC was a hot button issue in sports and the media throughout the summer.
In July Reggie Bush‘s ex-girlfriend Kim Kardashian was asked for her thoughts after USC removed the Heisman trophy Bush had won during his performance at the school. Kardashian revealed support for Bush, stating:
”I’m sure he’s going through a really hard time and knowing the type of person he is, I’m sure that he would do anything in his power to make it up to the school.”
Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart who was 37-2 as USC’s starting quarterback from 2003 to 2005 has said
“It’s tough but no one can take away what we did on the football field there in those years,” and added ”So whether they take the wins away or whatever it doesn’t affect us. Selfishly it doesn’t affect us as much as it affects the kids who are there right now, which is the hard part. I feel for the coaches and the team there now, but Lane [Kiffin] is going to do a great job there.