The NCAA didn’t give USC any leeway when it came to the punishments given to the college Thursday. The Trojans are banned from all postseason play for two seasons, lost 30 scholarships that extended over the next 3 years and must vacate all wins from December 2004 through the entire 2005 season. I understand that punishment is given where punishment is deserved, but taking away scholarships from potential or current students doesn’t sit right with me. A lot of students strive to succeed, both academically and physically, to earn an athletic scholarship. Since they aren’t giving out these 10 scholarships per year over the next three years to the athletes, then they should put them aside in a new program and offer it in some other way.
So what did the Pac-10 team do? USC was cited for; lack of institutional control, impermissible inducements, extra benefits, exceeding coach staff limits and unethical conduct by a running backs coach Todd McNair. Not to mention the team was already cited for different violations in 2001 and with that they are considered a “repeat violator”. The severity of these penalties exceeds Alabama’s in ’02 and Washington’s in 1993 and is USC’s sixth case of major infractions since 1957. As you can see the NCAA does not take the school’s actions lightly and the seriousness about the case that has been building up against USC is far from mediocre.
The Trojans do have a chance to appeal the ruling, but that will only run the risk of delaying the penalties further into the future. Fortunately for USC juniors and seniors to-be on the Trojan’s football team, the NCAA announced they will be allowed to transfer to other FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs without having to sit out a season. Unfortunately, not all colleges are willing to let that rule apply. USC officials also announced that the Pac-10 would not waive the one year transfer ineligibility rule, leaving most to believe there won’t be any transfers within the conference.
First year head coach Lane Kiffin said he hadn’t heard from any schools with possible interest in a USC player, and when asked if he was worried he replied with “if someone wants to leave the best place in the country to play football, we won’t stop them.” The bowl ban is the most damaging to Kiffin, who will have to intensify his impressive recruiting skills to entice players with no hope of postseason play before 2012.