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USC Takes Steps to Avoid Scandal

Interesting blurb by Gary Klein over at the LAT's blog. 

Instead of boning up on the play book or something, our friends at Southern Cal spent the day in meetings yesterday to remind themselves of the difficult-to-understand notion that getting free rent, uh, isn't okay:

USC players sat through several meetings Tuesday, including one in which they submitted forms with their housing information.

The Trojans, of course, are no stranger to housing-related issues.

USC is awaiting the outcome of the NCAA's investigation of Reggie Bush, and one of the main issues concerns his family's living arrangements in a house near San Diego while the Heisman Trophy winner was playing for the Trojans.

In summer 2006, the NCAA ruled receiver Dwayne Jarrett ineligible because of his living arrangement with quarterback Matt Leinart the previous year. Jarrett had paid $650 a month, Leinart had paid $650, and Leinart's father paid the balance of the $3,866 rent for a luxury downtown apartment for 13 months.

Jarrett was reinstated without missing any games and was ordered to pay $5,352 to charity as a condition of his reinstatement.

But, in another example of the clear pro-Trojan bias at the LAT, Klein only tells half the story.  The "housing form" he mentions isn't just limited to housing. 

Fortunately, through my limitless network of contacts, I was able to obtain a copy of the form.  Here it is:

University of Southtern California Fall Compliance Form

Dear Student/Athlete:

As you know, USC is committed to excelence on the field.  However, it is important to remember to also play lip service to relevant NCAA regulations as well as those pesky California and federal laws.  Fortunately, our history of villainy at Southern Cal has permited us to compile this comprehensive form.  Please fill it out completely.

1.  In the past twelve (12) months, have you:

    a.  Allowed a tutor to write papers for you?  _____  [Answer: No.]
    b.  Solicited a prostitute (Song Girls excluded)?  _____  [Answer: No]
    c.  Committed felony assault with a deadly weapon? _____  [Answer: No.]
    d.  Purchased, used or displayed a replica firearm? _____  [Answer: No.]
    e.  Purchased, used or possessed 136 Ecstacy pills? _____  [Answer: No.]
    g.  Attacked a teammate (with or without fracturing jaw)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    h.  Committed spousal battery (whether or not deserved)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    i.  Committed vandalism? _____  [Answer: No.]
    j.  Committed false imprisionment? _____  [Answer: No.]
    k.  Committed indecent exposure? _____  [Answer: No.]
    l.  Trashed the dorms or other university property? _____  [Answer: No.]
    m.  Sucker-punched guy a frat party (whether or not deserved)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    n.  Exclaimed "I own the police" (truth is no defense)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    p.  Obtained free house for your parents from sport agents? _____  [Answer: No.]
    q.  Taken thousands of dollars in cash and gifts from sports agent? _____  [Answer: No.]
    r.  Committed sexual assualt? _____  [Answer: No.]
    s.  Accepted free rent from "teammates dad" or otherwise? _____  [Answer: No.]
    t.  Taken steriods (whether or not from Ting's dad)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    u.  Knocked up any Southern Cal athletes? _____  [Answer: No.]
    v.  Hit a fellow bar patron in the face with a drinking glass? _____  [Answer: No.]
    w.  Taken any classes from Senora Garcia (formerly known as Senora Ross)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    x.  Created or joined any racist Facebook groups (whether or not as "joke")? _____  [Answer: No.]
    y.  Arrested for marijuana possession (use is okay)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    z. Trained or neglected 20 or more pit bulls? _____  [Answer: No.]
    aa.  Attacked a teammate (with or without fracturing jaw) (yes, we need to ask again)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    bb.   Resisted arrest or obstructed justice? _____  [Answer: No.]
    dd.   Committed robbery (with or without use of handgun)? _____  [Answer: No.]
    ee.  Allowed your "slow" son to post a video on _____  [Answer: No.]
    ff.  Received thousands of dollars in illegal benefits from known agent and runner right under coaches noses? _____  [Answer: No.]

2.  If "Yes" to any of the above, please call Carmen Trutanich at (310) 555-4USC immediately. 

3.  If "Yes" to any of the above, please notify the Southern Cal Rapid Media Response team by pressing the large illuminated blue button at any "USC Crisis Station".

Signature:  _________________________   [If you cannot sign, you may make your mark (X) in the space provided or ask your official USC sponsored test taker for assistance].

According to Scott Wolf, the meetings are apparently having a big impact:

``I'm already bored and it's the first day,'' one player said after attending several meetings Tuesday.

Well, at least they are trying, I guess...