NYT On U$C*/NCAA: "Highly Improbable" Trojans Will Get Away With A "Wrist Slap"

Pete Thamel in the New York Times offered up the following analysis from his observations in recent NCAA hearings examining the unprecedented pile of sleaze and (alleged) corruption coming out of Southern Cal (emphasis added throughout):

[T]here were signs from the hearings that make it highly improbable U.S.C. football will leave this multimillion-dollar, four-year investigation with a wrist slap. The first and most glaring hint came from a hotel bellhop, who practically grunted while pushing an industrial luggage cart full of documents out of the meeting room. There were seven boxes on the cart, including a six-inch-thick binder labeled U.S.C. Response Volume 1.

Tom Yeager, a former chairman of the infractions committee, noted in a telephone interview last week that the inside joke among committee members was whether or not a case was a "one-box" case or a "two-box" case.

When that joke was relayed to David Price, the N.C.A.A.’s vice president for enforcement services, he said that U.S.C.’s case in front of the N.C.A.A. was the longest in his 11 years with the committee.

Although it would be a leap to say that the more boxes and the more days of the hearing, the more seriously U.S.C. will be punished, it is fair to say that the reams of paperwork and the length of the hearing at least indicate the breadth of the proceedings.

Price also said that most times the committee met, it heard cases from several universities, and this one was dedicated to U.S.C. In contrast, Alabama’s case before the N.C.A.A. in 2002, which resulted in five years of probation, a two-year postseason ban and crippling scholarship reductions, took two days.

Thamel also goes on to note what is at stake for the NCAA:

In addition to U.S.C., the N.C.A.A. has a lot at stake in the case. The association, which has been mocked for fostering lawlessness with toothless enforcement in revenue-producing sports, could be seen as taking a stand against one of college sports’ biggest cash cows. After all, if it is true that Bush’s family took a house from would-be marketers, as Yahoo Sports reported, then what is to stop any recruit from holding out his hand?

Read rest of the piece here which also goes into the upcoming decision making process of Senatrel Henderson. Guess we are going to find out in few weeks whether the NCAA will step up and make a stand.


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