The New York times on how the "NCAA sanctions will take a toll" on the Trogans:
“You can trade the bottom 20 guys or 25 guys on your roster for a great quarterback,” Kiffin said. “It’s more important.”
Kiffin may come to regret that remark because his depleted roster may be his biggest obstacle. It fell to 70 scholarship players Wednesday when the university gave a full release to the junior college linebacker Glen Stanley. Four reserves and two signees have bolted the program.
U.S.C. was already 15 scholarships short of the N.C.A.A. maximum of 85 before the reduction of 30 scholarships began. Kiffin said U.S.C. will be unable to exceed 75 scholarships in the next three years.
Kiffin said that U.S.C. had brought in just three offensive linemen in its past two recruiting classes. Eight to 10 would have been ideal, and he is feeling the numbers crunch.
“The margin for error is very, very small for me,” Kiffin said. “If we’re going to sign classes of 15 guys and other people are signing 25, the last thing we can do is sign three guys who don’t make it academically or two guys who end up getting kicked out of school.”
There are other signs that Kiffin’s tenure at U.S.C. could be more of a blip than a reign. He said Tuesday that the Trojans’ new athletic director, Pat Haden, has not mentioned anything about extending his contract to help him survive the sanctions. That is a common practice when a coach has to deal with the sins of a previous regime. [...]
U.S.C. still has tradition, a fertile recruiting base and plenty of recent success on its side. But as Kiffin’s first Trojans training camp starts next week, the long-term prognosis is not good as he stares at an emaciated roster and impending sanctions.
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