NCAA penalties to Southern Cal’s program weren’t unfair

Published 1:09 am Monday, June 14, 2010

Put the handkerchiefs away. There are no tears to be shed.

Forget all the talk that the NCAA came down too hard on Southern Cal. This isn’t the first time for them. It’s not even the second or third. It probably won’t be the last.

The only thing that was wrong with the NCAA sanctions and penalties against the Trojans football and basketball programs was the real culprits got away: the agents and AAU coaches.

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There were other guilty parties who were virtually unaffected as well.

Tim Floyd is coaching at Texas-El Paso. Pete Carroll took an even more lucrative coaching job than USC with the Seattle Seahawks. Reggie Bush is making millions in salary and commercials in the NFL and O.J. Mayo is doing quite well in the NBA.

My favorite part of the whole post-sanctions announcement was the dismay of Carroll. He was “absolutely shocked” at the penalties. He said it was unfair and that the coaches and USC officials had no idea any of this was going on.

You’re kidding me, right?

There were reports of marketing agents hanging around the practices. The coaches had no idea that Bush’s parents were living in an expensive beach house. And almost all poor college kids drive nice, expensive cars fully equipped with all the bells and whistles not to mention the other items such as wireless phones (the bills were paid), televisions, meals, airfare, etc.

The sidelines and locker room had a revolving door allowing anyone who was anyone access to the players. Because of the undesirable people, fans like Will Ferrell are no longer allowed to be associated directly with the players.

So, was Pete Carroll running the program or those three monkeys? You know the ones, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil.

The two-year bowl ban and loss of 30 scholarships will severely cripple the Trojans’ football program. Their dominance is gone and there is no guarantee it will come back. It’s as close to the death penalty as a school can get.

And because of this lack of institutional control, there are no tears to be shed in the wake of the near-death of this tradition-rich program.

In fact, I can’ help but chuckle.


Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.