University Of Special Cases: More Things Change, More They Remain The Same For Trogans

Section2Rocks from Bruinzone.com makes an excellent catch:

Listening to Trogan radio 710 yesterday, their hack host was playing carefully selected clips from the HBO interview with Cheaty Petey. This 710 hack went on to argue ad nauseam that U$C had been victimized and that he expected them to win their appeal. John Ireland later came on and gave a LAME counter-argument. The way Ireland remembers things, when Deshaun Foster got busted for driving some mediocre actor/director's leased SUV for two or three weeks (cost of lease was $600/month), UCLA got slammed with a one-year bowl ban by the NCAA. No, John. Because the incident involved just one item for 2-3 weeks, the value of the benefit was much less than $1000, and most importantly b/c UCLA acted (suspended Foster indefinitely) within 24 hours of when UCLA learned of the issue, the only NCAA penalty was to ban Foster from any more play that season (his last, and he was a leading Heisman candidate at the time). Of course, nobody among the mediots ever mentions that U$C was on PROBATION when Bushgate happened, and that other stuff, like the extra, illegit, assistant coach, went down. They all seem to regard those little issues as totally irrelevant.

Anyway, with all this phony baloney confidence that U$C will win something through this appeal, I was reminded of the old SI story about how U$C reacted to NCAA sanctions back in 1982. Like their uberhero OJ (still grandly honored at each and every U$C home game), Trogans are never guilty or ashamed about anything. They just constantly sense that they are victimized due to "envy" from the rest of the world.

Of course, they were mad in 1982 b/c the NCAA actually gave them a real penalty: a TV ban (two years).

Heh. Mediots. I think we are going to have to use that here on BN.

I will post a little excerpt from that old SI story Section2Rocks was referring to another one from SI.com's vault after the jump. The similarities in what took place 30 years ago and what is happening now is pretty surreal. I think it will allow everyone to appreciate the perspective folks like Fox71 and others have when it comes to mocking institutional cheating that is integral part of the corrupt culture at Southern Cal.

So back in 1982 Trogans were busted for "extensive" and "well organized" cheating scandal that was "generating cash payments to football players through an elaborate ticket-scalping scheme that had been in operation from 1971 to '79." It was ugly and systematic cheating and the petulant response from the Trogans will be very familiar to everyone on BN:

MAKING COST-OF-LIVING AND OTHER ALLOWANCES FOR CHEATING AT USC

Ethical standards often come into conflict. They did for Coach Goux. By beginning to sell players' tickets, he chose compassion and a chance to meet the severe financial needs of certain students...

-James H. Zumberge

With those words of self-justification, the president of mighty USC angrily threatened last week to bring suit against the NCAA. Zumberge was reacting to the NCAA's imposition of a three-year probation on the Trojan football team, which has won eight national championships and 19 bowl games. Less happily, USC has also been tainted by scandal. In 1980 it was barred for one season from bowl games by the Pac-10 for academic abuses involving athletes. That year the school also released the findings of an in-house probe that over the previous decade the USC athletic department had skirted normal admissions standards to get 330 "academically marginal" athletes into school. Then, two weeks ago, the NCAA found USC guilty of generating cash payments to football players through an elaborate ticket-scalping scheme that had been in operation from 1971 to '79.

According to the NCAA, USC players turned their complimentary game tickets over to an assistant coach, Marv Goux, who sold them for the athletes' benefit to boosters for considerably more than face value. As many as 33 players profited in a single season, pocketing as much as $2,000 apiece. Indications are that the amount received over the years by all players exceeded $200,000. In punishment for what it called a "flagrant example of willful circumvention of NCAA legislation," the NCAA banned the Trojans from bowl games following the 1982 and 1983 seasons and from TV appearances in 1983 and 1984. It also froze the salary of Goux, a 25-year veteran of the coaching staff, for two years and ordered the athletic department to sever all ties with 16 of the outsiders who bought scalped tickets.

Although Zumberge insisted that he wasn't making light of the infractions, he said that the school was considering legal action on grounds that the NCAA penalties were discriminatory and unduly harsh. In suggesting that Goux had acted out of "compassion," Zumberge argued that a campus housing shortage had obliged Trojan athletes to live off campus, where the amount of scholarship money permitted under NCAA rules proved "unrealistic" in the face of L.A.'s high rents. When a reporter asked about the NCAA's contention that the scalping operation had given the Trojans a competitive edge by generating cash that recruits might find alluring, Zumberge replied, "Against whom would we get a competitive edge?" His implication: USC had only been doing what everybody else was doing.

The NCAA sanctions could hurt USC recruiting and cost the school $1 million in lost TV revenue. Still, Zumberge was off base in invoking what he called mitigating circumstances. For example, he argued that the NCAA punishment was too severe coming on top of the earlier Pac-10 penalties, which may be the first time a defendant has ever cited repeated offenses to justify a lesser sentence. Zumberge also made a point of saying there was no evidence that Athletic Director Richard Perry or Football Coach John Robinson, both of whom took over when John McKay left those jobs in 1975, had been aware of the ticket scalping. But it's hard to believe that Perry and Robinson were in the dark; the ticket-selling scheme was an open secret on campus, and Goux reportedly discussed ticket sales at team meetings, on at least one occasion writing ticket prices on a blackboard. In a 1979 Miami News story that first reported Goux's scalping operation, former Trojan Tight End Joe Shipp recalled that Robinson had instructed players not to discuss the ticket deal with outsiders.

Zumberge was being disingenuous in other ways. Although ticket scalping has long been common at other schools, there's no proof that it has ever been as extensive or as well organized as at USC. And as Delaware Athletic Director Dave Nelson notes, "There's a lot of difference between a kid who's doing it on his own and when a coach is involved."

Then there's Zumberge's contention that Goux acted out of compassion for disadvantaged athletes. That claim might be more persuasive had tickets been sold on the basis of need. In fact, ticket proceeds were divvied up according to what amounted to a salary scale, with All-Americas commanding higher prices than bench warmers. As Shipp told the Miami News, "If you became a star, they took care of you a little more." As for USC's supposed housing crunch, interviews with former Trojan athletes and sources in the school's housing office suggest that football players who wanted campus lodging usually could obtain it, that most of those who lived off campus did so by choice and that off-campus rents were comparable to those charged in the dorms. Dick Hannula, captain of the 1978-79 USC swimming team, says that he lived his first two years in a dormitory and his last two in nearby apartments. "If you lived near campus the cost wasn't any greater than in the dorms," he says. "I was able to pay my rent entirely with my scholarship money. It's ridiculous to say the kids needed more money and had to live off campus. That's not the point. They cheated." And so did their school.

There were few points that wereinteresting.  First, note the references to penalties imposed by the Pac-10. Fast forwarding to today's Trogan cheaters, I wonder whether we will see any action or comment from the Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott about how his office plans to deal with the extensive cheating scandals methodically documented by NCAA's COI. Scott and his officials for some reason have been very quiet about all of it as they have not even issued any kind of statement expressing concerns about it. IMO that is pretty weak on the part of Pac-10. Of course none of the mediots in LA have bothered raising this question or pressure the Pac-10 from issuing any kind of statements.

Second, Joe Shipp mentioned in that excerpt is none other than the Dad of JS. Guess JS and his siblings were wiser than their old man. Third, note the reference to "academic abuses" by Trogans from 1980. A 1980 SI.com piece entitled "University of Special Cases" tells us what we need to know:

USC: THE UNIVERSITY OF SPECIAL CASES

It was troubling enough when USC, which is currently celebrating its 100th birthday-it opened its doors on Oct. 6, 1880-was disqualified with four other schools from this season's Pac-10 football race. That penalty, announced in August by the chancellors and presidents of the conference schools, was imposed in USC's case because of "unwarranted intrusions by the athletic department into academic processes," a reference to a speech course for which 32 Trojan athletes were to receive credit while doing little or no work. Then, last week, USC's new president, James H. Zumberge, released an in-house study suggesting that academic transgressions involving USC athletes went far beyond that lone speech class. Among other things, the study charged that over the past decade some 330 "academically marginal" athletes had been admitted to USC "based chiefly on athletic prowess as judged by the athletic department and without normal admissions office review."

Ay Dios Mio. That will make even Senora Ross blush today.

Interestingly as the 1982 SI.com piece noted Pac-10 barred Southern Cal from bowl game for one season following the academic scandal report (which again stands in remarkable contrast from the silent treatment afforded to the recent Trogan scandals by today's Pac-10). In any event, recounting these reports simply makes the point what we have seen out of Southern Cal is unprecedented in terms of what happens in a normal and legit college athletics program, but seems to be the SOP for a "school" which has cheating in its bloodstream.

GO BRUINS.

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