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NCAA smacks Trojans hard

LOS ANGELES — The NCAA threw the book at storied Southern California on Thursday with a two-year bowl ban, four years’ probation, loss of scholarships and forfeits of an entire year’s games for improper benefits to Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush dating to the Trojans’ 2004 national championship.

USC was penalized for a lack of institutional control in the ruling by the NCAA following its four-year investigation. The reported cited numerous improper benefits for Bush and former basketball player O.J. Mayo, who spent just one year with the Trojans.

The coaches who presided over the alleged misdeeds — football’s Pete Carroll and basketball’s Tim Floyd — left USC in the past year.

The penalties include the loss of 30 football scholarships over three years and vacating 14 victories in which Bush played from December 2004 through the 2005 season.

USC beat Oklahoma in the BCS title game on Jan. 4, 2005, and won 12 games during Bush’s Heisman-winning 2005 season, which ended with a loss to Texas in the 2006 BCS title game.

The NCAA says Bush received lavish gifts from two fledgling sports marketers hoping to sign him. The men paid for everything from hotel stays and a rent-free home where Bush’s family apparently lived to a limousine and a new suit when he accepted his Heisman in New York in December 2005.

The rulings are a sharp repudiation of the Trojans’ decade of stunning football success under Carroll, who won seven straight Pac-10 titles and two national championships before leaving for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks last January. Floyd resigned last June, shortly after he was accused of giving cash to a middleman who helped steer Mayo to USC.