Tony Barnhart writes on his "Mr. College Football" blog in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (emphasis added):
If only half of what has been reported about Bush is true and USC skates on this one, there will be a nuclear eruption in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide program was hammered for rules violations in 2002 and the penalties came with a considerable amount of finger wagging from the NCAA. Who could forget infractions committee chairman Tom Yeager saying that the committee considered giving Alabama the death penalty? He said that Alabama was "absolutely staring down the barrel of a gun (death penalty)" but the committee settled on a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 21 scholarships over three years.
Will the NCAA have the same righteous indignation for misbehavior and lack of institutional control, if proven, that takes place on the West Coast?
It is going to get pretty nasty if USC just gets a slap on the wrist.
Two key factors to keep in mind here: First, the pile of sleazy scandals involving Southern Cal's tainted athletic program involves lot more than just Reggie Bush. Per reports it seemed that the NCAA letter of allegations against Southern Cal didn't address allegations concerning Joe McKnight's SUV related transgressions (there is also the issue of "repeat offender" stemming from NCAA action against Southern Cal in 2001 which should bring death penalty into discussion). Second, there is the issue of self-reporting and setting the right example on how to go about addressing issues whenever something questionable emerge within an athletic department (See Michigan Wolverines athletic department).
Southern Cal by all accounts have not only shown any signs that it is actually interested in addressing its pile of scandals in a serious and contrite way. It has gone about handling the issue in a laughable manner predictably throwing its joke of a basketball program under the bus and then trotting around its AD who to this date hasn't shown any sense of remorse or accountability. Note just last week Pete was out there not denying any kind of wrongdoing during his shady tenure at Southern Cal.
It is probably a good bet at this point if the NCAA doesn't do the right thing in handling Southern Cal's renegade program the "nuclear eruption" of disgust and outrage will not be limited within our friends in Tuscaloosa.