Tarnished Heisman: Simply following NCAA instructions to disassociate a cheating program from a proven cheater doesn't equal "cleaning house."
Billy Witz from the New York Times is describing the initial actions of Trojan "President-Elect" Max Nikias as "cleaning house." No doubt ESPN and rest of the traditional media are breathlessly zeroing on the following detail from today's story about Trojans caring about honesty and integrity:
Also gone, too, will be the images of Bush and Mayo.
The most significant will be the disappearance of Bush's Heisman Trophy that sits among the six others in the lobby of Heritage Hall, the building that houses most of U.S.C.'s athletic offices. It will be returned to the Heisman Trophy Trust, which will meet July 27 and could decide to rescind the award (Bush has a replica trophy) because one of its stipulations is that a recipient must be eligible.
That all sounds really dramatic (even though some Haden is all right with displaying the trophy phone by a criminal (and alleged double murderer). Yet anyone who read the report from NCAA's COI, will know that all the Trojans are doing is follow simple NCAA instructions. There is no reason they should be getting any kind of special pat of their backs for following simple NCAA instructions.
Specifically the COI laid out Section C of their report entitled "Penalties" (pp. 59-60) [HT razaksig]:
15. Disassociation of student-athlete 1. (Institution imposed)
16. Disassociation of student-athlete 2. (Institution imposed) [...]
18. Further, regarding the disassociations of student-athlete 1, student-athlete 2 and representative B, pursuant to NCAA Bylaws 22.214.171.124-(l) and 126.96.36.199, the institution shall show cause why it should not be penalized further if it fails to permanently disassociate student-athlete 1 and 2 and representative B from the institution's athletics program based on their involvement in the violations set forth in this report. These disassociations shall include:
a. Refraining from accepting any assistance from the individuals that would aid in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes or the support of enrolled student-athletes;
b. Refusing financial assistance or contributions to the institution's athletics program from the individuals;
c. Ensuring that no athletics benefit or privilege is provided to the individuals, either directly
d. Implementing other actions that the institution determines to be within its authority to eliminate the involvement of the individuals in the institution's athletics program.
So yeah, it's nice that the Trogans gained a little sense after all these days of whining and denying. They are flatly admitting they cheated. Yet this doesn't mean that they get to escape from rest of the penalties specified in that report from the COI. As you can see from the instructions above all the Trogans did today was check off some of the simple sanctions from the penalties imposed by the NCAA. This doesn't mean they get to escape those scholarship losses and two year bowl ban.
If the Trojans really want to claim that they are "cleaning house," they should be dropping their appeal and then put both Hello Kiffin and Ogre on notice. Until then all of this are basically smoke and mirrors for the gullible press. A tainted program which has cheated for years (if not decades) shouldn't be getting any kind of extra credit for "cleaning house" if all they are doing is follow through the simple NCAA instructions.