As I predicted a while back, USC has been hit hard by the NCAA. It appears a two-year bowl ban and a substantial loss of scholarships is in order.
Here’s what I wrote back in January, when USC hired Lane Kiffin:
There sits on the desk of the USC general counsel’s office a letter from the NCAA. In this letter is spelled out the charges that have been made by the NCAA against USC athletics, specifically the football and basketball programs. Believe it or not, my understanding is that the Reggie Bush part of the probe is not as prominent as the media has been touting (keep in mind the letter has come before the pending deposition). However, the letter does contain several allegations of violations that by themselves are not that major, but when added together form a solid case for a lack of institutional control on the part of USC.
USC has responded to these charges with a giant, multi-hundred page rebuttal. In February, another meeting will be held by the NCAA to determine the punishment.
So, with the NCAA on the warpath, USC is about to take a big hit. No one knows the extent of the penalties just yet, but the penalties are coming for sure.
A lot of USC people chose not to believe this was coming and instead blindly listened to the assurances of Trojan coaches and administrators that everything was going to be fine. Turns out those coaches and administrators were either really stupid or lying.
And I’m sure hiring a known NCAA scofflaw like Kiffin during a time when the Commitee on Infractions was deliberating on USC’s punishment didn’t help. As I wrote when he was hired, this was akin to giving the NCAA the middle finger.
Well, USC just got the middle finger back.
Not all is lost for the Trojans. Kiffin now has his excuse for failing and he will likely be off to the NFL even sooner than he would’ve been before. Assuming USC hires a legitimate coach to replace Kiffin–granted, no sure bet–it’ll be back on the national stage in no time. Meanwhile, USC’s overtalented roster can finally be put to some use, as some guys who would otherwise be stuck deep down the depth chart might actually get a chance to play and develop. Also, the USC athletic department now has a chance do some long-overdue house cleaning. So there are bright spots.
In the meantime, you won’t be seeing any Heismans out of USC for a while.