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Published:June 12th, 2010 14:53 EST
USC Falls Short in Compliance with NCAA Rules

USC Falls Short in Compliance with NCAA Rules

By Ron G Anselm

    

     The University of Southern California fell short of being in compliance with NCAA rules. The NCAA imposed very stiff penalties which included a two-year bowl ban which means no matter what, for the next two-years the Trojans will be ineligible for advancing to any post-season bowls.

    Also one of the big blows was Reggie Bush their once star back and now a New Orleans Saint, has been declared ineligible, or the investigation which is still on-going is starting to point in that direction.  The penalty imposes a back date of when the Trojans played in the 2004 National Championship moving forward.

     The Penalties were issued to USC citing A Lack of Institutional Control " This is really ashamed that a school this large and a school that has such a reputation for being a straight-shooter has been hit by something like this. This is almost like a rookie mistake on the part of USC. The Trojans have had some really great coaches in the past including Pete Carroll and to me with the great coaching staff in the past and more recently, this is almost hard to believe.

     The damage of the penalties also included USC being put on a four-year probationary period, thirty football scholarships were taken away which included all scholarship over a three-year period and all victories in which Reggie Bush participated were stripped from the win column of the Trojans.

     The penalties and the violations did not just touch the football program at USC, but included violations which were revealed by a four-year investigation that other improper benefits were given to certain players which also included other than Reggie Bush, O.J. Mayo from the Trojans Basketball program.

     With the violations revealed, the Heisman Trophy Trust said that if Bush is found completely ineligible by the NCAA, there could be a revocation of his Heisman award. Bush was quoted as saying, I have a great love for the University of Southern California and I very much regret the turn that this matter has taken, not only for USC, but for the fans and players. " (Bush, 2010).

     He went on to comment, I am disappointed by (Thursday`s) decision and disagree with the NCAA`s findings. If the University decides to appeal, I will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and USC, as I did during the investigation. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on making a positive impact for the University and for the community where I live. " (Bush, 2010)

     Reggie Bush to me is a very classy guy. He seems to always have an upbeat demeanor and a very positive attitude when it comes to playing in the National Football League. I know he cares about his community and gives back to the community in which he lives. He is a team player and cares about the Saints winning not just about himself. Hopefully this will blow over with very minimal damage.

     One of the major problems that star college athletes face today are the many sports agents that decide to approach them in some capacity to talk about their career and future. Some agents think they are above the college rules and basically push their way into the athletes favor without playing by the NCAA rules.

     Although a college athlete should know the rules when it comes to talking to sports agents when the athlete is still at the college level, the agent, if he or she violates the rules of the NCAA, also needs to share in any punishment that is handed out by the NCAA for violating the rules.

     The investigations did not have as large of impact on the basketball program as it did on the Trojans football program. The USC basketball program had already banned itself from post-season play last year and forfeited all the wins it had with O.J. Mayo. Mayo only played one season with the Trojans, so the wins that were forfeited were not that massive. As a result, the NCAA took no further action.

     I can tell you from being an athlete myself and at one time wanting to play professional football, baseball, boxing, and so on, that if any agent approaches you, of course you are going to be tempted to talk with that agent. Heck, that agent could turn out to be your meal ticket to the world of professional sports. This is why agents need to refrain from talking to athletes until those athletes are eligible for the NFL Draft, and any other draft. As we know in the world of sports, not only do players get pinged for this in baseball and football, but even in the Love 40 world of tennis.

     The USC women`s tennis team took a hit as-well. The NCAA cited one player on the team for unauthorized telephone calls. Maybe, phone calls to an agent? Maybe to John Mc Enroe, who knows, but to me maybe the NCAA needs to lighten up a little on some of their harder policies. I mean an unauthorized telephone call? Was she hungry and decided to call Dominoes to order a pizza and then got pinged by the NCAA for a phone call that was not approved first?

     I do agree with many of the NCAA policies when it comes to star athletes having to be in compliance with speaking to agents or with special treatment by the college they currently attend and play their sport at. The college player is no different than your average college student or anyone else. No one is better than anyone else and that star athlete needs to be treated the same as any other player without special privileges or having agents possibly line up his future professional sports career until he is eligible to do so.

     So, for me, since I am a huge USC fan, you know how it is, being originally from Southern California and all, it looks like the next two-years of watching the Trojans play will be the same has watching a practice game. The games will not have the same meaning as they would if the Trojans were in the mix for another BCS Bowl appearance. Of course, I could root for the UCLA Bruins for the next two-years while USC is riding out their imposed penalties, but I don`t think so. That to me would be the same as rooting for the Auburn Tigers of the Alabama Crimson Tide while I am living in Alabama. No way!

 

                                                                   Reference:

SI.com, Sports Illustrated, the Reggie Bush quotes used in this article.

     (http://sportsillustrated.com). Retrieved 2010.