Tomorrow's NCAA sanctions announcement will be interesting. However, if the trogans are successful in avoiding the serious sanctions they deserve for their second major violation in five years, it will be in part because they sacrificed their basketball program. The Bleacher Report summarized it in the following way (emphasis added):
USC had previously self-imposed sanctions on its basketball team following admitted wrongdoing in the recruitment of former star O.J. Mayo. The Trojans forfeited all of their wins from 2007-2008 and banned themselves from the March Madness tournament, as well as cut scholarships. As most people close to USC know, despite a surprise Pac-10 Championship victory only two seasons ago, USC is a football school.
It is going to appear, no matter how it is sliced, that USC made its basketball program into a sacrificial lamb in order to protect its storied football program. . . So how would self-imposed sanctions from O.J. Mayo help alleviate punishment for Reggie Bush's alleged transgressions? According to Miller/ESPN, one of the biggest issues circling the NCAA's investigation has been whether or not USC had a lack of institutional control. . . . [The logic goes] It will be difficult for that to be enforceable with the way USC dismantled its own championship-caliber basketball program.
Putting aside the laughable comment about USC's "championship-caliber basketball team", if the NCAA goes soft on the Trogans, it will be a warning sign for non-football (or basketball in some cases) players at every ethically challenged school. Hey Alabama, next time you get in trouble just throw your basketball team under the bus. Or hey Kentucky, problems with your storied men's basketball team, well just punish your football team and you'll be okay. Here is hoping that the NCAA recognizes the Trogans priorities and penalizes the football team for what it did wrong and sees through the Trogans transparent effort to sacrifice its basketball team.