Photo Credit: thematrixatenemo (flickr)
So, earlier this week we read about a nuclear eruption in Alabama if the NCAA lets the Trogan skate away from their pile of scandals. We then read about Michigan fans not feeling confident at all about NCAA's decisions on Southern Cal before "dishing out justice" on Michigan's self reported violations which the Wolverines have been handling and dealing with in an exemplary manner.
Now it looks like Penn State fans are also keeping a very close eye on all this as they have made it clear that they want Trojan "blood." Charlie writes over at Nittany White Out (emphasis added throughout):
Why should anyone be bent up over something that happened a few years ago? Because while everyone had to win by the rules, USC reaped the benefits of an athlete being pampered and basically paid during his years at USC. He may single handedly be the reason why they won some of the games they did, Fresno State 05′, Notre Dame 05′, etc. So while everyone was running the marathon in their standard sneakers, USC took a taxi to the finish line. So you better bet that I'm pissed and want blood.
The stalling tactic employed by the NCAA is embarrassing. It seems as if everyone has seen this coming for years now, including the BCS. When both the football and basketball programs are allowed deteriorate to the point of being investigated for 2 major NCAA violations, one has to wonder how the NCAA defines ‘lack of institutional control'. The fallout has already cost Tim Floyd his job, and 21 vacated wins, all before the NCAA even concluded their investigation.
At this point anything but dropping the hammer on the Trojan program would undermine the credibility of the NCAA organization itself.
Charlie makes some good points. However, we have to point out two specific disagreements. First, we will keep reminding everyone that this is not just about Reggie Bush and OJ2. There is also the matter of Joe McKnight and so much more that piled up in the most corrupt and shadiest program in the modern history of college athletics.
Second, Charlie missed another crucial point. He noted that Southern Cal was not on probation when alleged transgressions related to Reggie Bush were taking place. That is not accurate as we have noted if the current NCAA investigation finds that Southern Cal committed a major violation of NCAA rules before August 23, 2006, the Trojans should be deemed as a repeat violator. In other words, death penalty discussion should not be off the table. More after the jump.
Charlie did provide some helpful provides details of specific sanctions NCAA has leveled at other institutions over the years:
In 1987, Southern Methodist University, a WAC conference team was handed the NCAA ‘death penalty' because 21 players received approximately $61,000 in cash payments from a booster while they were on probation for another violation. The penalty was downright shocking. A loss of 55 new scholarships over 4 years, loss of 3 coaching positions for 2 years, cancellation of the 1987 season and a limit of only 7 games (all on the road) for the 88′ season, and a 2 year bowl, TV ban. The consequences of the penalty was so severe that the school voluntarily canceled the 88′ season as a lost cause.
In 1989, Oklahoma State was levied with a 2 year TV ban, 3 year bowl ban, and loss of 5 new scholarships for 3 years for 1 athlete receiving cash payments and a sports car at no cost during his first 2 years with the team.
Yeah, I thought the example on the Oklahoma State was very interesting. Once again, keep in mind in Southern Cal's case we are talking about lot more than just one athlete and also an institution that went out of its way not to self-report, delay and stall the investigations (a point conceded by its own fans). Charlie did note that in 1996 NCAA imposed no sanctions on Florida State "when players were taken by prospective agents on a documented $6000 shopping spree at Foot Locker including dinner outings and small cash payments" because the NCAA "found little evidence of the school's knowledge or participation during the violations." How was the Florida State situation different from Southern Cal?
[F]lorida State knew nothing of the violations when they happened if they found no evidence of it many of you will say. Well, in USC's case, it is well known that sports agents wander Heritage Hall where USC's athletics offices are located.
Read rest of Charlie's post here who also makes the astute point that even the BCS is more prepared (to strip Southern Cal of its stained "national title") while NCAA has been lollygagging all these years.
Once again it just underscores the point that it is not just the Bruin fans, who are closely monitoring what the NCAA will be doing with Southern Cal. At this point if the NCAA imposes anything that resembles like a wrist slap, it will send a clear cut message to rest of the world that playing by the rules is not necessary to win championships in collegiate athletics. Not just the Bruin fans who are looking for Trojan blood. No wonder there is a hint of fear and panic among some Trogan faithful with just a little grip (not much though) on reality.