Blog Entry

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

Posted on: January 21, 2011 1:50 pm

This seemingly is going to be a great and horrible weekend for USC.

Talented recruits will visit the campus, possibly adding to an already loaded recruiting class. At the same time, a contingent of USC officials have landed in Indianapolis for Saturday's NCAA appeals hearing. AD Pat Haden is trying to get some relief from the crippling NCAA penalties that he inherited when he took office in August.

That it could be both a great and horrible weekend for Troy is a sign of the strength of the football program. Haden admits that the school's appeal is a long shot. He's hoping to halve the two-year bowl ban and the reduction of 30 scholarships over three years. It's not an all-or-nothing argument. The NCAA could honor none, some or all of USC's request.

"Our primary contention," associate AD J.K. McKay told reporters, "is, given what we were found to have done, these are the harshest penalties ever meted out."

At the same time, Lane Kiffin continues to pull big-time recruits -- possibly more than he can sign. The roster is down to 60 scholarships players. While the appeal is working its way through the system, though, the scholarship penalties are stayed. That means, conceivably, Kiffin could sign 25 players -- the NCAA limit -- get the roster up to 85 maximum and begin taking scholarship hits beginning in 2012.

Delaying a 30-scholarship hit doesn't seem to improve the situation unless, of course, Haden and USC get their way. They, and we, won't know for the next four-to-six weeks. That's the usual time for an appeal to be completed. If USC delays the scholarship hits, it couldn't sign a full class until 2015. If the 2011 bowl ban is upheld, USC could possibly be the poison pill in the first Pac-12 race. It could win the South Division but wouldn't be eligible for the conference's first (Pac-11?) championship game. Nothing says drama like a second-place team playing in a conference title game.

The thing is, it doesn't seem to matter. The quality of the current top-five class suggests that USC is going to weather the penalties relatively quickly either way. That is somewhat amazing for a program climbing out of penalties that were deemed to be death penalty-like. Kiffin has 17 commitments -- two over the limit if the appeal is denied. Nine other players who signed early count towards the 2010 class. Kiffin said after the penalties were handed down that the staff would have to be extremely selective and accurate because of the reduced scholarships. He also said that because it's USC the program might be able to get through the penalties relatively intact.

Hubris? Optimism? How about reality?

It has to be said: Kiffin and USC are killing it so far. Players still want to come to the program for the same reasons that have applied for decades -- it's L.A., it's sunny, it's a winning program and you can get to the NFL from there. It's the reason quarterback Matt Barkley didn't transfer knowing he may never play in another bowl game (assuming he stays only three years). It's the reason talented prospect Dillon Baxter came in last year's class pretty much knowing the program was about to be hammered.

The Trojans won eight games in 2010, the first year of that probation and should have won 10. It lost to Notre Dame for the first time since 2001. It got boat-raced by Oregon, the new power in the Pac-12. Depth was an issue. So was the offensive line and the front seven. But if this is as bad it gets, then USC will have absorbed a punch to the gut and kept on trucking.

Kiffin has a top-five recruiting class because he was able to get two of the top five recruits in the country -- receiver George Farmer and athlete De'Anthony Thomas. There are two other kids from USC go-to talent base Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. That's the home of Barkley and Matt Leinart as well as two Heisman winners (Leinart, John Huarte). 

As bad as things eventually turn out Saturday in Indianapolis, USC football may be turning the corner toward national prominence. Saturday could be horrible. The future, though, looks great.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2011 1:09 pm

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

 Oregon is a powerhouse and CAL and Washington are going to be much improved this year.  Fear the tree.

Oregon and Stanford have 1 great year. Yes and I'm happy for both of them and they both represented the WEST with a lot of Pride. But gee golly guys.. 1 year, now all of sudden the ducks & trees are a powerhouse!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


C'mon boys & girls.. SC is here to stay.. too much tradition, power, money, prestige, history to fade away into oblivion.

Won't Happen..

Starting this year or next SC will be in the PAC12 Conference Championship Game every year if not every other year!


Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2011 10:28 am

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

Some of you trojan fans should try reading comprehension before showing your ignorance.  I said USC never beat the best team in the SEC and you dispute that by saying USC beat Arkansas the year Arkansas lost the SEC CG.  Therefore, USC never beat the best team in the SEC.  How basic does this have to be for some of you guys to understand basic English and recognize basic logic.  Both LSU and UF have more BCS titles than USC, and USC will probably lose the ONE that they have.  USC had a great decade, but one title does not make you dominant.  Of course, with the logic many of you have already displayed, I would not expect some of you to get this.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2011 9:24 am

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

USC is smart to load up while they can.  Even if the appeal fails (and there is only about a 10% chance that it will succeed), they still will have plenty of top players to get through the 3 year period, and starting in 2012, they will be bowl eligable.   Oregon runs a gimmick offense.  Cal figured it out, and should have defeated Oregon.  Auburn followed Cal's lead and did defeat Oregon.  Other schools will follow.  USC plays Oregon twice in 4 years, and this is the year that they travel to Eugene.  This was either a very furtunate break for USC, or part of the scheduling deal for the Pac 12 that also saw USC and UCLA playing out of division rivals Cal and Stanford every season.  By getting the trip to Eugene out of the way when they still may be banned from bowl participation, USC opens the door for the next 3 years when they will not be banned.

Once again a schools reputation and excellence in their football program will superceed NCAA penalties.  USC may have a tough year or two in their future, but certainly not tough enough to keep them off national T.V. or out of Bowl Games.  USC, like all of the NCAA powerhouses, will take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

Since: Jan 22, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2011 9:18 am

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

Two dirty programs USC and Auburn.  USC has already been caught and Auburn is well on the way to getting caught and Cam Newton is the least of the worries on the plains.   Taylor and Orgeron need to get out of the game.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2011 5:26 am

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

USC will be back but when they are all the way back they will still face an Oregon team that will be a powerhouse for a long time to come.  Oregon probably has the most passionate head football coach in the country in Chip Kelly.  The guy is football through and through no time for a wife just married to football.  Furthermore when it comes to recruiting Oregon has state of the art facilities.  Players that want to make it to the NFL will know they will get some solid endorsements from alum and benfactor Phillip Knight and players that want a safety net in case they do not make it to the NFL can always figure a career at Nike afterwards.  Plus the timing of the USC sanctions gives Oregon an advantage over SC in Los Angeles and Southern California where the most competitive and talented football players play their high school football.  Even when SC is back Oregon will be established and the program is not likely to stop as long as Nike makes shoes and other athletic apparrel.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2011 12:53 am

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

Tedford, CAL coach, is the highest paid employee on the state of California payroll.  With a good recruiting class there's a chance they could return to the Holiday Bowl again some day.

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 10:41 pm

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

Cal- Berkeley has  a great incoming class as well - actually higher rated per recruit than USC. 

Yet another cal pot smoker...nice claim to fame.

Lynch came through though with the best run in the history of the Seahawks.

Wow, the best in seahawks history, the storied program from washington...wahoo!! What an

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 10:33 pm

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

USC is an embarrassment to the Pac 10 - how many of these recruits will later turn out to be paid?

Cal- Berkeley has  a great incoming class as well - actually higher rated per recruit than USC.   Cal makes for some classy pros  Tony Gonzalex and Aaron Rodgers are  great smart people both on and off the field. On the other hand  De Sean Jackson and Marshawn Lynch have had attitude issues in the past. Lynch came through though with the best run in the history of the Seahawks.

Cal's stadium and the new facilities are to die for.  Stanford and Oregon are also classy  schools but not near as pretty or wild.

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 10:32 pm

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

 Fear the tree.

Another homosexual from the bay area. Anyone that says fear the tree has got to be gay. To each their own, but this is the primary draw of schools up north.

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 9:44 pm

USC makes NCAA appeal, kills it in recruiting

Hahahaha irrelevant in the 90's because of cheating in the 80's.  Had to get back on top so they started to cheat again.  USC will also have been known as the so called, "most dominate" team to have the worst loss in college football history with that pathetic outing against that aweful Stanford team.  I can't wait to hear the appeal failed and to watch Kiffin's face as he loses to Notre Lame every year.


Funny you should throw stones at a glass house. Who was that school that rolled up 31 first half unanswered points on your tired arse team in 2008 after being voted the BSC NC in 2007. That is a joke. Your team was a mear pimple on the arse of CFB greatness compared to USC.... Know it!!! Understand it!!! and love it!!  2003 to 2008 USC would have bounced your team from wall to wall. USC just didn't have the sackhangers to support them, that "y'all"  have. LOL

If ya want to talk about cheaters, lets do some math. 31 of the 120 FBS schools have been sanctioned by the NCAA for violations. However, 9 schools from the SEC have seen the same. That's 1/3 of all teams that have been caught cheating that came from the SEC. WOW !! freaking WOW, keep talking about cheating, Einstein!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or