USC Trojans lose scholarships, face two-year postseason ban from NCAA

By Adam Silverstein
June 10, 2010

Reports from ESPN and the Los Angeles Times Thursday morning stating that the USC Trojans football program would face a two-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships and a forfeiture of wins when the NCAA released its sanctions for the university later in the day were confirmed by the organization at 3:00 p.m.

Specifically, USC will lose 30 scholarships over a three-year period (can only accept a maximum of 15 per season), may only have 75 players under scholarship at any given time in that same span, and will vacate the 2004 BCS National Championship and every victory from the 2005 season.

Though the NCAA could not force Southern California to relinquish its 2004 Orange Bowl win against the Oklahoma Sooners, the BCS came out Thursday evening and did just that. It is currently meeting to finalize a decision to have the 2004 title vacated; a new National Champion will not be named. Additionally, the Associated Press will not strip the program of its 2004 title.

Under investigation due to numerous violations in both the football and men’s basketball programs (specifically involving stars Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo), the Trojans had been awaiting a ruling from the NCAA Committee on Infractions for months. The postseason ban will specifically relate to the football team, but the NCAA has handed down penalties to the basketball program as well. The NCAA’s penalties are listed below:

– Two-year postseason ban; four-year probation (June 10, 2010 to June 9, 2014)
– Loss of 30 scholarships over three years (maximum 15 allowed per season)
– Reduction of outstanding scholarships to 75 per year over three years
– Vacated 2004 BCS National Championship*
– Vacated 2005 season – new record: 0-1
– $5,000 fine
– Bush’s individual and team records erased; he may not assist the university financially or with recruiting; complete disassociation
– Boosters and the like disallowed from traveling with the team, attending practice, participating in camps or having access to the sidelines or locker rooms

– One-year postseason ban from Pac-10 and NCAA Tournament (already served)
– One less scholarship for 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons
– Three recruits released from respective National Letters of Intent
– One less coach allowed to recruit for 2011 class
– 20 less days to recruit for 2011 class (from 130 to 110)
– Vacated 2007-08 season – new record 0-12
– $206,020 returned to NCAA as payment for 2008 NCAA Tournament appearance
– Four-year probation (June 10, 2010 to June 9, 2014)
– Mayo’s individual and team records erased; he may not assist the university financially or with recruiting; complete disassociation
– Boosters and the like disallowed from traveling with the team, attending practice, participating in camps or having access to the sidelines or locker rooms

Women’s tennis:
– Former student-athlete used the athletic department’s long distance to make 123 calls (cost: $7,000) to her family during her admission
– Vacated all wins from Nov. 2006 to May 2009 in which the player participated

As far as Bush’s Heisman Trophy goes, the NCAA could not strip him of the award, though the organization might. “The Heisman Trophy Trust will have a comment at the appropriate time,” the group said Thursday. “Until that time, it will have no comment.”

The NCAA’s report claims USC showed “a lack of institutional control, impermissible inducements, extra benefits, exceeding coach staff limits, and unethical conduct by an assistant football coach.”

The Trojans have released statement through the university’s Sports Information Department stating that the university will appeal some of the penalties imposed by the NCAA. Due to this appeal, punishments will not go into affect until a decision is rendered – possibly delaying the inevitable and extending the school’s sentence. From Todd Dickey, senior vice president for administration:

We acknowledge that violations occurred and we take full responsibility for them. However, we sharply disagree with many of the findings in the NCAA Committee on Infractions Report. Further, we feel the penalties imposed are too severe for the violations identified in the report.

We will accept those sanctions we believe to be consistent with penalties imposed upon other NCAA member institutions found guilty of similar rules infractions. We are hopeful that the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee will agree with our position on appeal, and reduce the penalties.

Read the NCAA’s report on USC’s violations here

OGGOA will continue updating this story throughout the day.


  1. JW says:

    Can’t wait to read the Tennessee blogs today!! They’ve got to be loving this.

  2. Kevo110% says:

    DeAnthony Thomas needs to decommit and come to Gainesville….just saying.

  3. John Shanks says:

    The stonewalling didn’t pan out the way USC was hoping. I guess the six other guys that passed on the job before Lane knew what they were doing.

  4. John Shanks says:

    Why did Henderson sign?

  5. Mr2Bits says:

    This just made my day. Now I hope they go undefeated the next two seasons and miss out on the NC because of this

  6. ReptilesRule says:

    ‘Bout Time!!!

  7. ReptilesRule says:

    Henderson signed because he only has NFL stars in his eyes and Daddy wants to be a rap star. You see, it wasn’t about S.C. or their sanctions, that was just for show……it was all about the Hendersons

  8. brlgator says:

    I hate that they take away scholarships I know they do it to hurt them competively but in effect it really only hurts the kids and means x amount of potential-student athletes will not recieve a college education. Its a shame. If you really want to hurt the school take away home games or something that hurts the school in their pocket. all scholarship reduction does is hurt potential student athletes who had absolutely nothing to do with what went on at usc 6 years ago.

  9. John Shanks says:

    Oh Lane, I miss you. I guess he’ll need to start talking again to stay relevant.

  10. brl – They will still get a college education – at another school.

  11. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Good for Lane….it is really crazy how long this investigation took and I am surprised they are actually going to hit them this hard….hope Lane enjoys reccruiting with this over his program…not to mention have fun motivating your kids to play for nothing the next two years…and by the time this is over they will be in the PAC-16 and looking at Texas in their conference…I LOVE IT

  12. brlgator says:


    yes and no. lets say they lose three scholarships, those three kids will end up at cal or ucla or something like that but it creates a domino effect and anyway you look at it there are 3 less scholarships available that year in D1 football. and three kids will lose out on the oppurtunity for higher education.

    a great idea would be to hand out those other scholarships to school that say meet certain academic thresholds. like usc you have to give your 3 scholarships for cheating to standford because standford’s graduation rate was 90%. Now thats an idea

  13. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    30 Scholly’s over 3 years….that is going to take 4-5 years to recover from….Lane got what was coming to him!!!!

  14. j.b says:

    Couldn’t happen to a better school, or a better group of coaches (current and former).
    So, ol’ Petey skates away scot-free? Is there no repurcussion to Carroll at all? Crazy. And what of the 2004 BCS Championship? Any word on if the BCS will re-award it to say…I don’t know…Auburn?

  15. brl – Plenty of teams do not use their full allotment of scholarships. It would trickle down, but you’re talking about ONE program, not 10. It’s minimal and not worth getting worked up over.

  16. John Shanks says:

    Ouch…the world just got tougher for USC. Oregon, Stanford and UCLA have emerged. The potential expansion will add a powerhouse or two to the conference, and a conference championship game. That NT will be hard to replace.

  17. El Meester says:


    Help me clear something up. I’m a little confused about the 75 “limit” over 3 years. Isn’t the normal scholarship limit 25 per year? So wouldn’t 75 over 3 years be normal? 15 for 3 years should only allow them to sign 45 players in a 3 year period, no?

  18. Charles says:

    So what year did Auburn go 13-0? I think it was either 2003 or 2004, if it was 2004 are they now the BCS National Champions?

  19. O-town Gator says:

    Welcome to PROBATION, Lame Kitten! Boy, karma’s a bitch………

  20. Meester – They have to give up 30 scholarships over three years with a maximum of 15 per year. Meaning they cannot accept like 5 scholarships one year and give up 20 that year, for example. It has to be over three years.

    I’m a little confused about the 75 as well. Will look into it – that is the number I read.

    Charles – As indicated above, the BCS title cannot be forcibly vacated by the NCAA. That has to be done by the BCS. And just because it is taken away does not necessarily mean it will get re-awarded. Same goes for the Heisman.

  21. Meester – I clarified it above. USC can only have 75 total scholarships on the team per season for all three seasons. Can never exceed that number.

  22. O-town Gator says:

    If USC thought they could get off easy, they were sadly mistaken – the NCAA won’t look the other way when schools break the rules. Bobby Bowden and the school out west thought the penalties laid on them were too severe, but the punishment that was meted out to them stood.

    USC now must own up to what they let happen and reap what they sow. For Lame Kitten, it may be guilt by assocoation but I for one refuse to feel any sympathy for that twerp, especially after all the stunts he pulled last year. He walked into a mess, so I say let him – and the men from Troy – deal with it.

  23. BosGator says:

    Hilarious that they get cited for ‘Lack of Institutional Control’ and think that they can appeal the punishment!

  24. BosGator says:

    Not to mention that they are a “repeat violator!”

  25. BosGator says:

    What is amazing to me is this: The NCAA committee found that USC assistant coach Todd McNair not only knew about Bush’s dealings with would-be agents and sports marketers, he lied about what he knew to NCAA investigators. Lane Kiffin had the gall to keep him on staff as RB coach. A 1 year ban on all recruiting activities for him just seems like too little.

  26. El Meester says:


    Wow, that really IS bad. Hah. Thanks for the clarifications.

    Crazy last few days in college football. More to come…

  27. John Shanks says:

    Here is the official USC response:

    Translation: Reggie Bush is the victim here. We still don’t get it. You can’t do this to us, we’re USC. We thought we were immune.

  28. John – That’s what I posted at the bottom of the article.

  29. To clarify AGAIN…

    USC may only ACCEPT 15 new scholarship athletes per season for next three years.

  30. John Shanks says:

    Adam –

    Didn’t see it my bad. Feel free to remove it.

    Also, in your last comment that they may only add 15, does that mean that their existing recruits are protected? No clearing Pete’s guys out to make room?

  31. El Meester says:

    Still wrapping my brain around all of this. USC really made a huge mistake hiring Lane Kiffin. He has not proven that he can run a clean program at all, and most would actually argue that he notoriously ran “shady” programs at both USC and UT. He is the wrong coach of which to head into a 4 year probationary period. Remember all those minor infractions he racked up at UT within his 1 year there? Yeah, those won’t be so “minor” once your program is under probation…

  32. O-town Gator says:

    Bos, Lame Kitten’s a SLEAZEBALL. After that sideshow he pulled on Rocky Top last year, I’m glad he’s finally getting a dose of payback with what transpired today. The fact that he hired McNair shows that he has no scruples. His new sidekick Ed Orgeron’s no saint, either.

  33. O-town Gator says:

    Here’s the latest – Lame Kitten actually tweeted a shout-out to Reggie Bush, who so happens to be at the front and center of all this USC mess.

    Matt Patchan really hit the nail on the head when he called Kiffykins a “bozo” last season.

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