NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- By now you know that USC basketball self-imposed some fairly severe penalties. The Trojans are out to a surprising 10-4 start (2-0 in the Pac-10). Here's the gist of Sunday's press release that hit here about 10:42 a.m. PT...
The self-imposed sanctions for the men’s basketball program include a one-year ban on post-season competition following the 2009-2010 regular season, including the Pac-10 Conference basketball tournament; a reduction of one scholarship for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years; a reduction by one of the number of coaches permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting activities during the summer of 2010, and a reduction in the total number of recruiting days by twenty days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year.
In addition, because of Mayo’s involvement with Rodney Guillory, whom under NCAA rules became a USC booster due to his role in Mayo’s recruitment, USC will vacate all wins during the 2007-2008 regular season, which was when Mayo competed while ineligible. USC will also return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 Conference for its participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.
These self-imposed sanctions impact only the men’s basketball program, and do not affect any other program.
“We have very high standards for our faculty, athletic department, staff and students,” said USC Senior Vice President Todd R. Dickey. “We expect and demand that everyone associated with the University live up to these standards. Nothing is more important than the integrity of this institution and its people.”
AD Mike Garrett said, “We believe the self-imposed sanctions are consistent with penalties imposed at other NCAA member institutions which have been cited with similar rules infractions. Although we are disappointed that rules were violated, we look forward to moving past this matter and to the future success of our men’s basketball program.”
Kevin O’Neill, head men’s basketball coach for USC added, "I think the University did the right thing in self-imposing sanctions. I respect and understand the action that was taken. Our players have risen to many challenges already this season and I am proud of what they have accomplished. I am confident that they will rise to this latest challenge.
“As their coach, I will do everything in my power to make our program better on and off the court every day,” he said. “Our job as a team now is to move forward in a positive manner. We have 16 games left to play this season. I have no doubt that our players will prepare and play well in those games. While it is unfortunate that our players won't have the chance to compete in the post-season, that just makes every game for us now a post-season game.”
I'm wondering if this is USC getting out in front of itself on the football side too. The investigation into the Reggie Bush matter is now in its fourth year. This has to suggest that there is still some abiguity with the football investigation. The O.J. Mayo deal was a disaster from the start. USC knew exactly what it was getting into when Tim Floyd recruited the kid.
I keep hearing that something is something soon on the Bush matter but the fact that basketball was settled first -- don't forget the NCAA can still add additional penalties -- meant this was a much more pressing matter.
I guess my question is, could it be possible that USC could have postseason bans on BOTH major programs?
Probably not, but for sure USC is going to get slapped with institutional control which means football can expect to lose some scholarships. At least.