PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. -- The National Football Foundation board of directors will discuss vacating USC's 2004 national championship if the school loses its NCAA appeal later this month, NFF CEO and president Steve Hatchell told CBSSports.com Monday.
USC was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Bowl in 2004, signifying the foundation's national champion. USC's major penalties from June have caused various organizations to react negatively after it was found that tailback Reggie Bush was basically competing while ineligible in 2004 and 2005. For example, the BCS is on record as saying it will vacate USC's title from that year if the school loses its Jan. 22 appeal in Indianapolis. USC is arguing that the penalties -- a two-year bowl ban and loss of 30 scholarships -- are too harsh.
"We're going to wait for the appeal. That seems like what everybody is doing," Hatchell said following Monday morning's Football Writers Association of America annual breakfast here.
The FWAA asked USC to return its '04 national championship award, the Grantland Rice Trophy, in August. The Heisman Trust vacated Bush's 2005 winning of the Heisman Trophy in September. On his own, Bush said he would return the trophy. The Heisman Trust has not commented on whether it has received the trophy four months after Bush was stripped of the award.
The MacArthur Bowl, recognized as one of major national championship awards, has been awarded annually since 1959. The winning school gets to keep the MacArthur Bowl for one year after winning it. It receives a permanent plaque. Hatchell said if the foundation decides to vacate that USC's name would be removed from the MacArthur Bowl, which is named after Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
The National Football Foundation was established in 1947 to "promote and develop the power of amateur football". It also oversees the College Football Hall of Fame which is in the process of moving from South Bend, Ind. to Atlanta. The foundation's annual December awards dinner in New York is considered one of the biggest events on the college football calendar.