USC penalties in '10 would have been "worse" under new penalty structure

LOS ANGELES -- USC’s crippling 2010 penalties would have been even more damaging under a new proposed penalty structure, AD Pat Haden told

Haden ought to know. He is a member of the NCAA Enforcement Working Group that is working on revamping the penalty procedures. The group came out of the NCAA’s August reform summit in Indianapolis.

“They [USC] would have had worse penalties,” Haden said recently from his office. “Without divulging the meetings we’ve had, there has been a lot of iterations of [adjusted penalties] and we’re still not finished. There were some things that were too draconian. I think people are fed up with [cheating] and they want to make it very, very tough.”

According to the penalty matrix obtained by’s Bryan Fischer, USC would have been in line for at least a three-year bowl ban and a fine of up to 2.5 percent of the total athletic budget. Scholarships would have been cut by a staggering 32-42 per year.

Almost two years ago (June 10, 2010), USC was hit with a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 30 scholarships over three years. Coach Lane Kiffin has since called the sanctions “the death penalty.”

After replacing Mike Garrett, Haden was part of an appeal of the sanctions that was eventually denied. Incredibly, it looks like USC is on its way to digging out of the penalties despite having suffered only one year of the three-year scholarship portion of the penalty. The Trojans are coming off a 10-win season that is their first in double-digits since 2008.

“I don’t know how you can lose more scholarships than we did and be more competitive,” Haden said. “It’s very, very difficult.

“At the end of the day everybody’s going to stub their toe one way or another. You just can’t have egregious mistakes. You just have to be constantly 24/7 vigilant. It’s difficult in a city like Los Angeles. However, we think we’re up to the task.”





CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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