USC Gets Railroaded

I know many of you out there are just plain happy that USC has been hit hard by sanctions.  Naturally, it will give your school a competitive advantage if the most successful program of the last decade gets knocked down a peg or two.

The details of why USC is getting hit hard probably doesn’t interest many of you.  I doubt that you read the NCAA report on the investigation, or the USC response to it.  Why should you?  All you need to know is that USC got put on probation and that’s good enough for you.

Much of the media, I think, feels the same way.  Many of those who for eight years enjoyed extraordinary access to USC’s program and who enjoyed the openness of its practices and the personal, up-close nature of Pete Carroll are now saying it was an out-of-control situation that was begging for sanction.  Typical.

There are some notable exceptions out there, however, who understand that, while USC clearly deserved sanctions, the actual penalty as enacted by the NCAA probably doesn’t fit the crime.

I’m one of those in that boat.

Over the years, I’ve criticized USC a lot.  Probably more than most in the media.  When Lane Kiffin was hired, I don’t think anyone offered a harsher criticism of that move, especially in the context of the pending NCAA investigation.

My first reaction upon hearing of the penalties was to not be shocked, as I knew something like this was coming down.  However, my second reaction has been one of shock, but mainly at the shoddiness with which the NCAA conducted its investigation.

A closer perusal of the documents shows that, in essence, the NCAA believed the word of a convicted felon over that of USC, the institution.

As everyone agrees–including USC–Reggie Bush took money and was clearly ineligible for the 2005 season.  What is at question here is his status for the 2004 season and the issue of whether USC in general–and running backs coach Todd McNair in particular–knew or should have known about what was going on.

To come to that conclusion, the NCAA took several leaps of faith.  Under direct questioning, the principle accusers involved never actually admit to having knowledge of USC knowing anything about the situation.  Nonetheless, the NCAA reverse engineers the process to reach that end, not unlike the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.  First the verdict, then the trial.

Do I believe that Pete Carroll ran a loose ship that encouraged all kinds of unsavory characters and actions to take place in the last few years?  Yes.  I do.

Was USC arrogant about what it was doing?  Yes.   We are hearing that word a lot, and deservedly so.

But…there’s no NCAA rule against arrogance.

And it doesn’t–or shouldn’t–mean that the NCAA should be able to come in and enact harsh sanctions without some sort of proof to back it up.  I understand that the NCAA does not follow the rules of a court of law.  But its bylaws do require a level of evidence to its charges.  If the NCAA has the goods on something happening, they should do something about it.  But if you look at the documents of this investigation, four years of digging didn’t really produce much outside of what was reported by Yahoo in the first place.  In the end, the NCAA decided to believe Lloyd Lake’s version of the story and that was that.

Again, USC deserves sanctions.  Without a doubt.  But, it should’ve gotten a one-year bowl ban (as penalty for Bush being ineligible in 2005) and a less harsh scholarship reduction.  This program did not pay its players, nor did its boosters pay recruits, as we have seen in recent years in other leagues.  This was a hard-to-manage issue with a would-be agent who was an ex-con who, for all we know, was trying to extort the Bushes along the way.  The charge is that USC should learn to police its high profile athletes.  Well, hell.  Seemingly every athlete at USC these past eight years has been high profile.  Does a school have the resources to know what Reggie Bush is up to when he’s not on campus, much less Matt Leinart, LenDale White, Dwayne Jarrett, Shaun Cody, Mike Patterson, and so on and on and on?

This is all I’ll say on the issue and then we’ll go back to talking about the coming season.  I think the NCAA is acting in bad faith and has overplayed its hand.  I’ll leave you with this rather interesting video that leaks the actual testimony by convicted felon (not sports marketer, as many in the media report) Lloyd Lake:

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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42 Responses to USC Gets Railroaded

  1. TrojansAreWhiners June 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Cheat On for ol’ SC
    Our men Cheat On to victory
    Our Alma Mater dear,
    looks up to you
    Cheat On and win
    For ol’ SC
    Cheat On to victory
    Cheat On!

  2. Non E Mouse June 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    The problem with that argument, as well as the Trojan defense, is that if they DIDN’T know, that implies “Lack of Institutional Control”, the most punishable offense in the NCAA rules and regs.

    If you didn’t know your superstar running back wasn’t taking cash when his poor parents moved into a house they couldn’t afford, and he was riding around in a new, expensive car, that shows a desire to NOT know. And if that doesn’t get punished (and severely), you just go back to the old system of boosters giving $100 handshakes, no-show jobs, and so forth, and the school will just make sure it doesn’t know about it.

    Also, minor point of contention, but the most successful program of the last decade is Boise State. Go ahead, look up the winning percentages.

  3. Anonymous June 14, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    re: poor parents and house they couldn’t afford

    The house they couldn’t afford comment applies to a ton of people in America today who have crappy mortgages and are now in danger of foreclosure or were already foreclosed. The fact they moved into a house (really, 500k in san diego is a run of the mill house for all intents and purposes) isn’t a big deal – its not like they moved from Compton to Bel Air

  4. Anonymous June 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    By new expensive card you mean 9 year old impala?

  5. AUman76 June 14, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Well well……exactly the words I expected from a man employeed by USC during said incidents! Just another version of the AD’s arrogance. Above the law cause we win lots of game and live in LA LA Land with all the useless overpaid celebrities. But all in all…Bush wasn’t as overpaid as some folks I know. At least he produced. With Lame Kitty at the helm USC could be facing the death penality very soon. Guess what? The football world would get along just fine without the Trojans just like noone but ND and the media miss the Irish. And the other guy is right Boise State has more wins in the decade.

  6. Anonymous June 14, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Some of these comments reflect just what the HP has stated. Some of you are just happy playing “creative flamer”.

  7. ChloroxingTheGenePool June 15, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    If it weren’t cheating assholes, there wouldn’t be a need for the NCAA, now would there? But once money began to become more and more involved in collegiate athletics, pertinently, football, then having a governing body became necessary so as to ensure amateurs were playing and that no school had an advantage over its peer institutions.

    I also love–love because it shows just how immature & arrogant, out of touch, and in need of a throat punch most of the USC fans are–the talk of not needing the NCAA. Always come into play when some big school gets the hammer. Well, fuck, then just leave the NCAA. I am sure the rest of the Pac 10 conference and teams around the nation will follow. Lets see how that works out for you/USC, you bunch of fucking whining bitches.

    HP, you lost a lot of journalistic credibility with this column. Doing the right thing is considered to be a sign of maturity and intelligence in the adult world. Please try for that in the future.

  8. ChloroxingTheGenePool June 15, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    PS Why no talk about Brennan Carroll’s organized prostitution setup for USC’s players that was discovered by the NCAA?

    PS 2 Why don’t you talk about the need for stricter performance enhancing drug testing at USC? You might, especially, with regards to PS2, actually save someone’s life, HP. Do some good during your time as a journalist, and you might find yourself somewhat respected at the end of your career and life…..

  9. slippy June 15, 2010 at 2:54 am #

    Non E Mouse: How many NCs did Boise win in the decade? Heisman trophies? BCS bowls? Yea, tell me W-L record is the only measure of success.

  10. Jim June 15, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Wow, the comments here back up HP’s claim that people don’t want to know the truth, they want to degrade a great institution because they feel threatened by it for some reason.
    My favorite so far is “Why no talk about Brennan Carroll’s organized prostitution setup for USC’s players that was discovered by the NCAA?”
    How bitter are you??

  11. HP June 15, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Again, I’ve been a frequent critic of USC, which is why I am free to defend them when it merits defending. A lot of you people are not dealing in the actual facts of the case. Try doing that and then perhaps you can get beyond your blind homerism.

  12. PAC 10 Pundit June 15, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    HP…you are the most vocal proponent of USC I’ve seen in any media setting (outside of a USC coach) and you’re asking your readers to be less biased. That is the height of irony and hypocrisy.

  13. PAC 10 Pundit June 15, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    Oh, wait, now I learn that you had very close connections to USC…did you work there or volunteer their or something? Hmmm…homer???

  14. PAC 10 Pundit June 15, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Wow…HP you are unbelievable, incredible, ie. lacking credibly. Last year, after a year of checking HP once a week or so, I wrote on the site that I would stop visiting your site because you have such a pronounced PAC 10 and USC bias. I had made comments on many articles asking for clarifications or corrections to errors produced byt PAC 10 and USC bias. Not only would you not address the particular issues, but you consistently denied your bias. Today is the first time since then that I’ve looked at your site…only because of the importance of the expansion halt, and I was hoping to see a PAC 10/USC biased take on the BIG 12 not merging with the PAC 10 as you were always the place to go for a PAC 10/USC take on things even if you wouldn’t admit it. So, imagine my surprise when I come to the site and it’s dominated by USC stories and a pro USC spin on the stories. HP, please have the integrity to rename your site: PAC 10 Pundit or even USC Pundit.

    And for you and anyone else who wants to chalk this up to irrational USC hatred, you can believe that if you want to. It has nothing to do with USC or the PAC 10 or ESPN or the SEC or the BIG 10 or the BIG 12, I merely want open and honest reporting…if you have a PAC 10/USC bias, that’s fine – just don’t PRETEND you’re unbiased.

    Good bye HP, you’re too disingenuous to be worthy reading. Not to mention your bias prevents you from digging deeper on issues to provide expert and balanced analysis. You remind me of MSNBC and Fox News…you can always count on them for a biased perspective (one to the left and the other to the right). I guess you’re “fair and balanced.”

  15. Alex June 15, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    Plenty of people are more than aware of the facts of the case. I thank you for posting the report so that I was able to read it. However, you’re clearly reading it with rose colored glasses. In the end, it really doesn’t matter whether or not USC knew about the activities. The issue was the complete lack of institutional control over the situation. As the report states, there were 2 employees in the compliance office outside of the director for much of this period, as well as a period of time where the director was the only employee. I don’t know how you can possibly defend such a lacking effort to oversee the obvious issues that arise from star athletes playing in the LA area. USC should have had the largest compliance staff in the nation, yet they instead chose to employee just 2 people. Please explain how you call that anything other than a lack of institutional control.

  16. Anonymous June 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    HP biased towards USC? Do you guys even read the site – he shits on USC all the time.

    As for the post above – I’ll agree 2 employees in compliance doesn’t seem like enough. I honestly have no idea, but how many do other schools of similar sized athletic programs typically employ?

  17. Heismanpundit June 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Alex, I specifically ripped USC on Jan. 13 for not having enough compliance people back when it hired Kiffin:

    “Had the announcement been concurrent with a move to hire more NCAA compliance people–USC has just four on staff to oversee 19 sports (compared with its eight equipment guys and five video staffers, for example)–then maybe we could acknowledge a serious move on its part to instill some discipline in a department that has been under the pall of investigation for the latter half of this decade. But that didn’t happen.”

    I am not questioning whether there was a lack of institutional control. I actually worked there and I agree that there was a lack of control. But the NCAA still has to have some proof and can’t or shouldn’t be able to decide this based on really loose hearsay. If you look at the findings, the connection between Lake and McNair is completely bogus, yet it is the linchpin to the notion that USC should have known about Bush and Lake.

  18. Anon June 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    I agree with Alex. USC should have made compliance a priority rather than an after-thought, especially since they were still on probation from their last cheating scandal. Even now, the AD says the NCAA is just jealous. Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them.

    And HP is only kidding himself by pretending he’s not a USC homer.

  19. Heismanpundit June 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Thanks Anon. I love to kid myself, ya know.

    I guess any defense of USC is because of homerism, right?

  20. Anon June 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    “I guess any defense of USC is because of homerism, right?”

    Any defense of USC that starts with you suggesting you’re not a USC homer is not credible.

  21. Non E Mouse June 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    “If you look at the findings, the connection between Lake and McNair is completely bogus, yet it is the linchpin to the notion that USC should have known about Bush and Lake.”

    The notion is that USC should have known about Bush and Lake.

    Lake and McNair’s meeting was merely one definite point when USC should have known. The largess of the penalties isn’t from Bush’s actions alone. It’s from the deliberate and willful disregard towards finding out and ensuring it didn’t happen in the first place.

    Lack of Institutional Control. If USC had had a properly staffed compliance department, it would have known, been able to investigate, and been able to get in front of this. Instead, they’ve spent half a decade denying and obstructing, and still have an atmosphere promoting a lack of control (enter Lane Kiffin, the walking secondary violation).

    I agree you’ve often criticized USC, and I think a lot of the people who are calling you a “blatant homer” are misguided, but in this instance I have to disagree. Lack of Institutional Control is the NCAA’s most serious charge, and there’s evidence aplenty that not only was there a Lack of Institutional Control, but that there still is, and there’s no real momentum towards changing. Without real punishment, they’re not going to get serious about reform.

    The moral of the story is: get a real compliance department, keep an eye on things, and if you smell smoke, investigate for fire, don’t just ignore it.

  22. desertman765 June 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    HP, your spot on! Thank you for telling it as it is.

    This story is just getting started. The head of the Compliance department was Athletic Director at Miami when they were directly paying dozens of players. They received a far less penalty for far worse behavior.

    Does USC deserve punishment, sure. Reggie and his parents threw USC under the bus.

    But after years of investigation by the NCAA and yahoo and others, all they really have is Bush’s dealings.

    If Florida, LSU, Texas,etc were subject to the same level of investigation, I wonder what we would find out.

  23. AUman76 June 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Final Score: NCAA “1” foot up USC’s ASS-
    USC 0! lmao Keep spinnin it HP we aren’t as big a haters as you wanna think…we’re just right. USC CHEATED. GOT IT? To be fair I know my AU Tigers have been on probation far too often and it pisses me off. Not just that we got caught but that we actually did wrong. Guess I’m able to see through the BS and know that at times my team has been far from perfect on and off the field. But the only other place we’d ever see this much arrogance and comtempt for authority would be in South Bend should the NCAA drop the hammer on the Choir Boys. No wonder California is bankrupt. Seems as though the State’s soul is also bankrupt. Quiet an empty feeling huh?
    Now tell us what you knew while workin for USC? Afterall Chris, you were there?

  24. so what June 16, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    if they really could have established that USC knew about the money, USC should have gotten the death penalty. The sanctions are fair.

  25. triple h June 16, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    “the most successful program of the last decade”

    BCS Titles the last decade:

    Florida – 2
    LSU – 2
    .
    .
    .
    6 teams tied with 1, including USC

    Nice try though. It is exactly that kind of arrogance that people are referencing
    when slamming USC. If you had said “arguably” the best, rather than acting like it was a settled point, that would have been one thing.

    And before you mention how many Pac-10 titles they won, remember that they are about to lose their only BCS title…

  26. Anonymous June 16, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Sadly, the comments on this thread perfectly reflect USC biggest overall failure — one of p.r.

    When asked to respond to the facts of the case — including the Enforcement Committee investigators’ misconduct — the immediate response by most on here is to level a charge of homerism at the HeismanPundit…. which, incidentally, is hilarious given that actual SC homers tend to loathe the HeismanPundit for being too hard on Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin and SC in general.

    The bottom line is that SC allowed the press to take over the story. Facts went out the window and innuendo and assumption rule the day. The NCAA findings bore no resemblance to reality. But no one cares about that.

  27. ECAL June 16, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    Pundit is right; the crime and punishment don’t match-up here. Heck, over the years SEC schools have flat out paid recruits. The NCAA over reached because of the media firestorm, I would not be surprised if some of the penalties are reduced upon appeal.

  28. SEChater June 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    HP I agree that this story has many holes.

    Non E Mouse how is USC supposed to know that Lake was paying Bush? You probably havent looked at the questioning and making half-hearted assumptions but Lake was an aspiring sports agent. Lake stated that he was starting “New Era sports marketing” quitely, he met mcnair at marshell faulk party. So using deductive reasoning, every person mcnair meets he must assume that they are paying bush without any indication? I guess reggie driving a 1999 chevy impalta is pretty suspicious

  29. SEChater June 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    HP I agree that this story has many holes.

    Non E Mouse how is USC supposed to know that Lake was paying Bush? You probably havent looked at the questioning and making half-hearted assumptions but Lake was an aspiring sports agent. Lake stated that he was starting “New Era sports marketing” quitely, he met mcnair at marshell faulk party. So using deductive reasoning, every person mcnair meets he must assume that they are paying bush without any indication? I guess reggie driving a 1999 chevy impalta is pretty suspicious

  30. ChloroxingTheGenePool June 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    The Southern Cal athletic programf defenders in the above replies are as delusional as the anonymous source who said that the NCAA’s decision was acceptable if you were a UCLA fan, Mike Garrett’s saying that the NCAA members who handed down these sanctions are just jealous they aren’t Southern Cal alumni, etcetera, etcetera. D-E-L-U-S-I-O-N-A-L.

    Hithertoforward, USC = University of Smug Cheaters…………….

  31. Cardinal June 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    As has been pointed out by other, the comments on this page continue to show the ignorance behind the majority of public opinion in this matter.

    Florida State got caught in an academic fraud scandal involving university employees including 61 athletes across 9 sports: All they had to do was vacate wins.

    Alabama boosters paid out over $169k plus 3 cars to RECRUIT players who wouldn’t have come to the university otherwise. Alabama was also on probation during this time, and was considered a repeat offender, and they received a lesser punishment than USC.

    USC had ONE player in NINE YEARS who’s PARENTS took money from a wanna-be agent, and said wanna-be agent (a.k.a. a convicted felon) claims RB coach McNair “must have known, just because …” and that is sufficient to offer USC the worst penalties since SMU!? One player in NINE years is a lack of institutional control?

    USC should be punished, but the punishment should fit the crime. I just cited two examples of violations that were clearly worse, with substantially less penalties. You don’t give a man the death penalty for stealing a bicycle.

  32. wolfe June 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    USC isn’t the team of the decade? that’s laughable. if you’re going by BCS titles, congrats! you’re right!

    but how about overall record? that mean anything anymore?

    USC was the program of the decade, and is far superior to LSU or florida as a football program. that’s not even debatable. ‘bama. michigan. notre dame. oklahoma. those are some other great programs. no one in their right mind would list LSU or florida amongst those super powers. good effort, though.

  33. SoldierHorn June 17, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    HP… YOU left out some very important facts. This whole issue is bookend with sanctions from 2001 and more issues in 2009/2010. The harshness of the penalties have a lot to do with the fact that SC is a repeat offender from 2001 as stated investigation. Then you have the McKnight situation, which is a lot of the same stuff as the Bush crap. Additionally, not only did SC, Carroll, Bush, or Mayo not help with the investigation dragging it out for 4 years but the McKnight crap and hiring Kiffin in the process shows an arrogant disregard for what is going on and what has happened. To say that they dont deserve this result is utter nonsense.

  34. alkiers June 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Horn,

    Facts instead of bullcrap would be helpful in your argument.

    McKnight’s car turned out to be a non-issue. It belonged to his girlfriend, whose boss, and UW booster co-signed for it. It was not mentioned in the report.

    Last I checked, hiring Kiffin was not a NCAA violation, although you seem to think it is.

    Please give me an example of Pete stonewalling anything. Bush did but he was no longer at USC. Mayo was a non-issue in this since USC self-penalized itself.

    Yes, the NCAA was pissed off at USC’s (Garrett’s) percieved arrogance, but that is not a violation.

    All the NCAA did with their judgement is prove they can do whatever the hell they want to do, and don’t need facts to bolster their penalties.

  35. wolfe June 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    SoldierHorn-

    those sanctions in 2001 that you allude to were enacted in that year, but punishable for offenses committed in 1997-8. the ncaa’s math works out really well there. just further illustrative of how ridiculous their whole punishment crap is meted out.

    congrats on texas running a clean program, though. they will never be investigated for any transgressions. or any other team whose fans are posting here. your teams are clean!!

  36. ian June 18, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    you sound like little girls crying, crying, crying how they cheated. regardless what anyone says nothing and i repeat nothing made any difference on the field. the biggest fact that you people are missing is nobody knows for sure what happened. but all you do. they cheated waaaaah waaaaaah. on the field nobody cheated. so keep making shit up and enjoy your myths.
    i did not realize how good USC was till i came here…

  37. Heismanpundit June 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Soldier Horn, i alone in the media ripped USC for hiring Kiffin while being investigated, postulating that it would make their sanctions worse.

    I am not debating the reality of the situation, but rather pointing out that the NCAA does not have much hard evidence to go by.

    I do agree sanctions are warranted. But I think these are a bit much given the flimsy evidence of LOIC presented by the NCAA.

  38. Anonymous June 21, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    HeismanPundit claims:
    “i alone in the media ripped USC for hiring Kiffin while being investigated.”

    Here’s just one example: “USC Stays in the Gutter by Hiring Kiffin” by Jay Mariotti

    It’s clear that you think Kiffin is bad for USC. It isn’t clear how this proves you don’t have a USC bias. Now go back to telling us how car, house, money and trip giveaways show USC has institutional control.

  39. AUman76 June 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    Anon…you do know ol’ HP was running the Heisman PR department at USC during the time in question don’t you? If I’m wrong about the time frame please correct me HP. It’s not HP’s distain for USC that makes him hate Lame Kitty…it’s his love for the Trojans and all that is USC that draws his ire! As for Mike Garrett and his dumb ass statement that we all wanna be Trojans? FU Garrett! Never have I wanted to be anything but what I am, an Auburn Tiger. GOT IT dumbass? SC isn’t the only team with a winning tradition or a Heisman winner. Hell even bammer has more rings than SC. HP, the SEC has 6 BCS titles while the pac1 has how many? One? Nope…that’s now ZERO, Zip, Notta, 0. Now… those aren’t just stats, they’re also good old of ther past your Trojans F’d up big time and it has come back to bite you in the butt. So stop bitching grippin and moanin and take your punishment like a man. It hurt like hell but I did just that and got on with the reality of life. Hell it’s just a game afterall. We all make this shit out to be more important than it really is. The Sun came up today and all of us on here got to see it. If the same happens tomorrow we’ll be doin alright again. I love my Tigers but I love life and the people that make it so wonderful much more than any sport. Just took this over grown kid a while to grasp that reality. Hp..SC will slip a lil but y’all will still be USC. Without Texas invading the pac1 ther’s no need to worry. Two years will pass in no time. It’s the thoughts of Lame Kitty and Garrett still being there that would concern me if I were a Trojan fan or alum.

  40. Dave June 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    If you read the NCAA’s report, the opening summary concludes with the “former compliance director” noting that for most of the period under investigation, USC had 1 or 2 people on the compliance staff.

    Not 1 or 2 for the football program. 1 or 2 for a university with over 20 sports and an open admission policy for the locker room and sidelines.

    USC created a “star culture” around the football program, but at the same time, they eliminated any possibility of effective compliance. No compliance people on staff. A coaching staff that’s on record saying that pressing the boundaries of the rules represents the essence of competition.

    Add it all up, and USC seemed to me to be one of the most troubling cases I’d seen in awhile. Somewhere along the line, they got far too cute adhering to letter of NCAA rules while thumbing their nose at the spirit of them. You saw it in Lane at UT, although it would be a mistake to assume he formed those views at USC.

    I’m glad to see the NCAA telling universities that they have to take compliance seriously, and if they want to immerse their kids in a “star” lifestyle and culture, then they have to take it more than seriously.

  41. Heismanpundit June 27, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    Dave, USC does not have ‘over’ 20 sports, it has 19 sports. Stanford by comparison has 36 sports and four compliance directors. Which means that it has the same ratio of sports to compliance officers (9 to 1) that USC had.

    As for creating a ‘star’ culture, that’s nonsense. USC is in the entertainment capital of the world and does not have a pro football team. To wit, it has distinct advantages in this area that other schools do not. Hollywood people are not hanging around South Bend or Athens because they don’t live near there. USC is being punished because it has this advantage (so to speak) that other schools can’t provide. Well, it can go both ways, too. I’m sure there are a lot more oil tycoons hanging around Big 12 teams like Texas and Oklahoma than there are in the Pac-10. But that’s an entirely different culture that somehow is not seen as encouraging non-compliance with NCAA rules. USC should not be penalized because Will Farrell (as USC alum) like to go to practice when he probably lived 20 minutes away.

  42. Anonymous July 4, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    “A closer perusal of the documents shows that, in essence, the NCAA believed the word of a convicted felon over that of USC, the institution.”

    Damn Straight and Fight On!

    RedFlare……….