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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
7/11/2007 04:03:00 PM

Sooners Punished; What About USC?

Oakland Arena
Reggie Bush reportedly received over $300,000 from a pair of agents while he was still playing for USC.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
The NCAA committee on infractions handed down its sanctions against Oklahoma on Wednesday for last year’s Rhett Bomar/J.D. Quinn car-dealership fiasco. For failing to properly monitor the players’ fraudulent employment, the university -- which was already on probation for the Kelvin Sampson phone-call scam in basketball -- will see its stint in the penalty box extended for two years, through 2010, forfeit two scholarships in its next two recruiting classes and must vacate its eight wins from the 2005 season, in which both Bomar and Quinn participated.

That’s certainly a lot of wrist-slapping over the stupidity of two players whom the program already dismissed, but based on past precedent, it pretty much fits the crime. While the sanctions might cause a little bad p.r. for the Sooners in the short-term, in reality they will have little effect on the program’s future (as painful as it must be for that 2005 Holiday Bowl banner to come down).

The bigger issue to me is one I addressed in a Mailbag a couple of months ago but which, for the most part, continues to go unspoken: Reggie Bush. Now that the NCAA has dropped its hammer on Oklahoma, how hypocritical is it going to look if, as expected, it lets fellow powerhouse USC off scot free for what most reasonable people believe to be far more egregious transgressions.

As previously reported, the NCAA’s largely powerless enforcement division has thus far failed to make any headway in its investigation of the alleged extra benefits Bush and his family received from two potential sports-marketers, as detailed in several reports by Yahoo! Sports. Not only has Bush refused to cooperate with investigators but he's essentially bought the silence of the people who originally brought the allegations through a legal settlement. Barring a dramatic development, USC is unlikely to endure any ramifications.

The longer the NCAA remains silent on the matter, the more the conspiracy theories grow among fans of other programs around the country incredulous that the Trojans -- who fans of other national-title contenders would no doubt love to see taken down a peg -- are dodging this bullet. Wednesday’s Oklahoma news won’t help matters.

Mind you, the committee that determined the Sooners’ sanctions is a different entity entirely from those who do the actual investigating. In Oklahoma’s case, the investigation was made much easier by the fact the school itself uncovered the scheme and self-reported it.

But I’m guessing most of the public doesn’t care about such semantics. Most people are going to read the line about OU "failing to monitor" its athletes’ employment situation and say, "Well, shouldn’t USC have been monitoring Bush’s dealings with agents?" According to Yahoo!, the agents were on the sideline and in the locker room throughout Bush’s final season.

So what do you think? Are the sanctions against Oklahoma too strict, too lenient or just right? And what will your reaction be if the NCAA ultimately fails to find evidence of wrongdoing in the USC/Bush case?
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |

Comments:

Posted: 4:28 PM   by Kirk
Its obvious that the schools who cover up scandal benefit far more than the schools that police themselves and admit when mistakes happen. USC should forfeit every game Reggie Bush played in and he should be forced to repay his scholarship.
Far too harsh. When Oklahoma learned of the violations they reported them and suspended the players. It seems highly unfair that because 2 idiots broke the rules the penalty is this severe.
Posted: 4:33 PM   by chddb
I agree with Kirk about USC. The media love affair with Bush and USC has got to change. I am not saying they are getting away with murder, but it sure seems that everyone just looks the other way. What would happen if instead of USC (which is a national power year in and year out) someone like Texas and VY were involved? Mack Brown and his staff would be hung up at the 40 acres by the fans much less the NCAA governing bodies. Of course Vince Young would never do something so shameful...wait we thought the same thing about Leniart and Bush didn't we???
Posted: 4:34 PM   by osage23
Looks like the "darlings" of college football in USC got away with not even a slap on the wrist. Meanwhile, Oklahoma and head coach
Bob Stoops who showed major class, admitted their own mistakes and kicked off a starting quarterback on a national championship team. Pete Carroll should take notice and realize some things are more important than victories.
The NCAA continues to practice selective prosecution. Let's admit this organization is a farce. It will just keep big programs from reporting this behavior and encourage mid-major programs to practice this behavior to make it to an elite level. The schools are encouraged to take part in the transgressions so that no one discovers it. Why leave it up to kids who don't know how to keep things under the radar.
Posted: 4:36 PM   by Brian
The were 40 some other kids on the field in those games playing for OU too. Why punish them?
Posted: 4:36 PM   by Eli
Very shortsighted of the NCAA. They are encouraging schools to go the USC route and not self-regulate, as if schools go the OU route they will simply punish themselves in addition to whatever the NCAA will do. If the NCAA was truly interested in stopping there sorts of violations, they might want to be a little more proactive in encouraging OU-type actions.
Posted: 4:36 PM   by Ryan
The message sent by the NCAA today was clear... Keep your mouth shut and you can do whatever you want. Reggie's family took hundreds of thousands and the three kids from Oklahoma took $17K combined.
Posted: 4:37 PM   by Straz
I am a sooners fan and if this is going to be the penalty, then fine....But the same standard has to be applied to every school (USC and Ohio State, anyone??). If you are not going to punish all schools with the same judgement as others, what kind of message are you trying to send? Get it right, Myles Brand, or get out of the NCAA.
Posted: 4:38 PM   by Brock
When OU found out that players broke the rules, they took care of the problem. When CU self reported walk-ons getting discounted meals they self reported and were punished in a similar way as OU. This will only teach schools that self reporting the problem is not worth it. Eventually this will lead to bigger violations being covered up rather than appropriately addressed. The NCAA is a broken institution.
Posted: 4:43 PM   by anonymous
The penalty on OU is absurd. Failure to uncover the violation in x months rather than y months? As the Bush/USC case demonstrates, the NCAA is totally dependent on self-reporting by schools. OU has a clean program, and it self-imposed harsh penalties, the severity of which was heavily criticized, including a lead column in the New Yorker. Shame on the cowardly NCAA!
Posted: 4:50 PM   by Lisa
Looks like the consensus is TOO HARSH!! I want to hear a USC fan comment...oh,wait, they are just going to sit there and deny everything! I can't blame them, that is what the NCAA is teaching! I am trying to hate on USC, but c'mon, really!!!
Posted: 4:51 PM   by Edwin
And let's not forget the Jarrett/Leinart rent paying incident as well.

While all of the national championship contenters will have gripes, the program with the most legitimate complaint is the California Golden Bears.

Jeff Tedford engineered one of the greatest program turnaound, yet Cal's success and recruiting in the conference has suffered because of the blatant rules-bending by the USC program.

KUDOS TO YOU, MANDEL, hopefully your voice can spur the NCAA to do the right thing.
Posted: 4:51 PM   by Michael
Just wondering how many players has Tennessee dismissed within the last two or three years because of criminal conduct of players, or brawls on the field (Miami)and handguns and then of course USC I think there has been more than enough already mentioned by everyone except from the NCAA, and its not like the two players from OU don't have to pay the money back I mean what the ****?
Posted: 4:51 PM   by Steve
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 4:52 PM   by Steve
This is an absolutely horrible precedent to set. You only get in trouble if you take it upon yourselves to discipline your own personel??? Where else in this world does this happen? Everyone's right, this is only going to lead to worse and worse activities getting brushed under the rug.
And yes, if the NCAA finds out that Bush took money, ANY money, then all of USC's 2003-2005 games need to get wiped clean. That's the penalty, and they shouldn't get such special treatment as we've already observed. Another unanswered Q - what about the dirty recruiting (using former players like Bush in contacting recruits) USC is guilty of?
Posted: 4:55 PM   by booscipio
Me personally, I have had it with the NCAA, and the way they have continued to ruin the sport I love. Now we have the power of the internet. Now we can email the NCAA PR dept. (which I just did pmr@ncaa.org) and voice our opinions. Now we can email our state representatives, and let them know how we feel. Enough crying and moaning (including myself). Let's take back the game we all love. The game we all love enough to blog about in the off season. The NCAA governs our sport. Our passion. Who governs them?
Posted: 4:59 PM   by Brett
WTF... Sc continues to get away with absolute NCAA infraction and yet gets to recruit without any care in the world.
Posted: 5:03 PM   by Yep
So Sooner Fans are supposed to pretend that the 2005 Victories didn't happen. Not unlike USC and the NCAA pretending that Reggie Bush's cheating didn't happen.
Posted: 5:04 PM   by dweglick
First of all, I wouldnt start off by saying that Oklahoma's reporting of the sanctions was a "class move" by Stoops and Co. They pretty much only reported it, because it was already circulating in the media. With that said, I think the punishment is pretty light, and fits the crime, the "students" are gone, and this won't really affect the sooners. I also agree, that the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are involved with the USC scandal, make this about a zillion times more aggregious of an offense. USC should probably face the death penalty (they wont), or at least major sanctions, otherwise the ncaa is truly a joke.
Posted: 5:08 PM   by SoonerDan
I lived in Austin, TX for 6 years and read police newspaper reports all the time about Longhorn football players being caught with guns & drugs in back seats of cars, or stealing, etc. and being let off scot free, no NCAA investigations even. It made me proud that OU actually caught its own players and performed its own discipline. Seeing this NCAA ruling makes me sick because of the ridiculous oversights on their part, coupled with ridiculous penalties for programs that actually have some integrity. It seems NCAA is incompetent, and thus I hope that OU starts following other schools leads by "handling" issues "internally" (i.e. letting players off the hook) and not involving the unscrupulous mental weaklings in the NCAA.
Posted: 5:12 PM   by Hank
If your school is recruiting blue chip recruits like Bush, Bomar, etc. - then it is also in major danger of wrong doing. This stuff happens every year and most of it is not reportable because it is kept silent from the school. What do you expect SC to do, follow every potential violator’s discussions with everly athlete’s parents... please. Bush's family took advantage of his talent, not Bush's affiliation with USC. There is a big difference between that and Bomar getting special treatment because he is a Sooner football player, which is easier to monitor. Stoops must have known about the booster and the potential for violations with that dealership. That is a direct benefit to the Sooners. The Bush scandal had no positive impact on USC as an institution – It would have happened regardless of what school Bush was attending. Everyone is so upset about this because Trojans split with LSU and killed OK. We all know that SECers and Big 12ers are the whiniest bloggers in the world. I’m just sick of it. Get a life, enjoy your team, and stop whining about SC.
Posted: 5:16 PM   by Ryan
OU got nothing more than a slap on the wrist and that's pathetic. This athletic department has no control over what's going on, look at the basketball and gymnastics programs. That's 3 programs that have had NCAA investigations in the past year. Doesn't that sound fishy to anyone else? Something else to think about, OU has had 7 MAJOR NCAA INFRACTIONS over the years and after every MNC, they've been put on probation within the next year. Looks like the "Sooner" name really comes through and that it pays to cheat.
Posted: 5:18 PM   by Brent
OU and Colorado have shown beyond doubt that it is a bad idea to self-report.
Posted: 5:19 PM   by Monty
I'm an oklahoma fan and I think the punishment is about right IF they do it across the board. USC is going to get off and when their quarterback was found cheating, they suspended him for one game and No NCAA. Get real. NCAA is toothless.
Posted: 5:21 PM   by kyle
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 5:23 PM   by Carlos Vega
Wow. I love it that everyone is trying to lump USC into OU's fiasco. For starters, OU's transgressions dealt with a well known BOOSTER employing players; a situation that the compliance department should have easily monitored.

USC had nothing to do with Bush's PARENTS getting fat off of two unknown wannabe agents looking to lasoo Reggie once he turns pro. Bush's parents weren't on scholarship...

Lastly, OU's issues deal with a BOOSTER. The Bush situation deals with two random individuals with no ties to SC who wish to become AGENTS with Bush as their first client. Sorry people, but it's apples and oranges....
Posted: 5:24 PM   by kyle
From the issues with Jeremy Bloom's ski career (while players come back from professional baseball contracts and millions all the time...can the kid not get some free skis?) to the so called policing of programs bending the rules, the NCAA has once again proved its obsurdity. Not only has USC had issues with agents but several reports of Bush assisting in illegal recruiting while in New Orleans. That is ongoing and deserves a look. I agree there should be a punishment for OU as they did have issues with monitoring but they handled the issue (kicking contributors off of a national title contender...imagine the season now in retrospect) and losing scholarships and probation is enough. Removing wins from the record book is not only obsurd but meaningless...no fan of the team is going to think any differently of Coach Stoops or the program.
Posted: 5:24 PM   by Howard
Once again the NCAA has proved it has way to much power. It's selective vision is unfair. If they do this to OU, then USC should receive the Death Penalty and have to forfit it's National Championships since Busch played on both teams.

Once again, the NCAA is looking at the small picture. Maybe they should pow-wow with the tribes they've attempted to protect.... then remember that Oklahoma means Land of the Red Man.
Posted: 5:28 PM   by Mark
Vacating the wins but keeping the losses on the record seems like a fair punishment that fits the crime? If any of the games are vacated they should all be. The players involved were involved in the losses as well as the wins.
As a USC Alumni & fan, I'm encouraged by the mostly fair and level-headed comments about the whole NCAA infraction scenario across college football in general, and USC/OU/Miami specifically. Obviously, NCAA rules should be enforced evenly and fairly across all school programs, no matter their size, history, record, or strength. It will be a very sad day for many, but if it can be proven, and not just rumored, that USC and it's athletes violated NCAA rules, we should pay the same price as Oklahoma.
Posted: 5:33 PM   by SC fan
I noticed one commenter was wondering what SC fans think about all of this, so I thought I'd give my own thoughts (but obviously I don't speak for everyone).

First off, I think OU got screwed, and without question the lesson to be learned from this whole ordeal (as well as the CU punishment and also with respect to a whole host of idiotic NCAA punishments, like what they did to the Utah BBall program a few years back) is DON'T COOPERATE WITH THE NCAA. A lot of people, like Mandel and Michael Silver, have complained about the NCAA not having enough investigatory power, but when you see how the NCAA uses the power it has, I think it's hard to say it'd be a good thing if they had more power. However, Mandel did say that punishment and investigations are in different houses within the NCAA, so perhaps one workable solution would be for schools to provide the NCAA with more investigatory power if the NCAA in turn gives up a lot (all) of its punishment power, which it clearly has no clue how to use anyway. I have no idea how feasible that would be, but it'd seem to be a good way to fix two birds with one stone.

Second, I find it an odd reaction from Mandel that he decides to write a column bashing Bush after this instead of one bashing the NCAA. If its true that the investigatory and punishment areas of the NCAA are separate from one another, then the Bush story and this story are apples to oranges because each involves a different, separate, problem within the NCAA. To the extent that they are linked, it's in that the NCAA is a disfunctional mess, and deserves to have a date with a dull axe. As such, that should have been the article. Moreover, I think to the extent people should be pissed about this, I would think their anger would be directed at the institution that's responsible for the idiocy (the NCAA), not a person/program that turned out to make the right decision in not dealing with the NCAA, and that the Mandel article serves to cloud where people's anger should go.
EDIT: I notice another SC fan has pointed out this is apples to oranges as well.

As to the Bush story, I do think that there are quite a few reasonable doubts as to the veracity of the Yahoo! reports. Before I get into these, I want to make clear I'm not saying that these doubts lead me to think Bush is innocent in all of this (I learned in 7th grade not to put too much faith in an SC running back, think OJ), but they do lead me to think that there are still some kinks in the whole Bush story that need to be worked out before I'd feel comfortable going after Bush (e.g. taking away his Heisman) for any NCAA infractions.
The problem with the Yahoo! allegations against Reggie Bush are that they suffer from a lack of corroboration on two critical levels, which undermines the reports credibility.
First, only one, relatively minor, sports news organization has made these assertions. Until someone, whether it be ESPN, SI, or the NCAA corroborate the Yahoo! reports with their own leg work (instead of just pointing to it to try to make their case, as Mandel did here), the veracity of the story should be treated with caution.
Second, the Yahoo! reports have heavily relied on evidence provided to them from parties that had an extremely strong financial incentive to tarnish Reggie Bush’s image, truth be damned. The documentary evidence provided in the reports is thin and does nothing to further the allegations with respect to the grossest alleged violations. Moreover, it appears the sources for that evidence are those same biased parties that Yahoo! has relied so heavily on throughout this whole as of yet still unproven scandal.
As to the charge Bush bought these sources off, I think it's a weak argument in that the settlement wasn't anywhere near what a jury award would have been if the charges had merit, and in fact was probably less than what Bush would have had to pay in attorney's fees even if he'd win the ultimate case. Also, it’s important to note that the people who Yahoo! relied on for their reports had a financial axe to grind with Reggie Bush when they got involved in this story, and after they were able to grind that axe, they were more than happy to get out of the story. Thus, whatever you think the settlement says about Reggie Bush, it’s hard to say it doesn’t reflect just as poorly on the people who accepted that settlement.
Posted: 5:34 PM   by Terrill
All I can say (many others have said it before) is that I applaud and appreciate Mandel for bringing his perspective. Additionally, I think it is nice (and refreshing) to see someone in the media calling for USC to be held accountable. While I agree that they may not have given Bush money (OU didnt give Bomar or Quinn anything), they not only failed to monitor...they facilitated the whole fiasco by letting agents on the field and in the locker rooms.
It is indeed a shame that other media members have not questioned the motives and tactics of the NCAA. Further...nobody has even questioned the integrity of the Mr. Reggie "i am escaping public criticism" for buying the silence of anyone and everyone who could potentially implicate him or his family. I hate that it is true, but with the PAC-10 and USC heading their own 'investigations,' it is going to take a miracle for something to happen.
Posted: 5:39 PM   by Slu ortho
This punishment is WAY too harsh. OU caught the Bomar and Quinn, despite the players' best efforts to cheat the system. Despite what other people in this blog have said, OU was the first to report this and it was NOT circulating in the media prior to their report. Bomar getting kicked off the team was a major shock. These rogue players were consciously skirting the rules, just like Reggie Bush and his family. The biggest issue here is the arbitrary and capricious enforcement of rules by the NCAA. Troy Smith took money from a booster, OSU didn't forfeit any games. There is no question RB and his family took benefits. They haven't forfeited anything. Unless the NCAA comes down on USC equally as hard, they are setting a very dangerous precedent and one that will effectively neuter themselves.
Posted: 5:43 PM   by cfaller96
One of the NCAA's dirty little secrets is the investigative "prowess" it has (or doesn't have). A vast majority of NCAA violations are self-reported by the offending institutions, which means the NCAA very rarely lifts a finger to "uncover" improper student-athlete behavior.

And it begs the question: with such a huge majority of the member institutions policing themselves so effectively, what do we need the NCAA for?
Posted: 5:43 PM   by Scott
That's another win for the Ducks! Go Ducks!!!
Posted: 5:45 PM   by Slu ortho
Yeah! Oregon legitimately goes 0 for 3 against OU, but because of dirty officials and now the crazy NCAA, Oregon gets to claim 2 wins. Wow! Now that's something to be proud of.
Posted: 5:47 PM   by mark from CA
BRIAN AT 4:36PM you nailed it on the head


there were 40 others playing for USC, why should they be punished for Reggie Bush's actions?
Posted: 5:52 PM   by NCAA=joke
It's clear that Colorado and OU screwed up by self-reporting their violations. Honorable yes, but it is evident since the NCAA has no real power to investigate on it's own that schools that don't do it will not have anything happen.
Shame on Colorado and OU for doing the right thing.
USC and the Bush/Jarret scandal and there is nothing from the NCAA and there won't be.
Auburn and the academic scandal where Jason Campbell, Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams all get free grades and nothing from the NCAA.
Tennessee and the academic scandal where players receive credit for classes that they don't attend and instead of Tennessee getting punished the NCAA makes a deal and instead goes after Alabama instead.

The NCAA is a joke upon itself were certain schools are off limits.
Posted: 5:54 PM   by Zach
All college football is corrupt. I have been to may campuses and you tell me which students have the nicest cars, apartments, electronics, etc etc?? The football athletes. All football athletes are recieving some kind of benefit, believe me.
Posted: 5:55 PM   by Marc
Let's start with the premise that the NCAA enforcement committee is a joke. This ruling against OU is ridiculous.

But let's compare the two situations and look at why OU was punished. OU situation - First, the violation was clear and admitted by all involved (university, players, booster). Second, OU had already been warned by the NCAA previously. Third, the OU situation involved a booster that was very close to the program. Fourth, NCAA focused on lack of oversight regarding the employment of its players.

USC situation - (1) Facts still very much in dispute. (2) No previous NCAA dealings (at least not recently unless I don't know about them). (3) Situation involved an agent that wasn't even an agent at the time (hoping Bush would be his first client). (4) No evidence of lack of oversight on USC's part.

Please try to make sense and stay focused on future posts. (a) Rent deal with Dwayne Jarrett was different issue, if you want to discuss that, we can, but totally unrelated to Bush. (b) If anything happened at all, it happened during Bush's junior year, thus calls for USC to forfeit all games played with Bush from 03-05 are insanely ignorant. (c) Also, if you are going to discuss how USC "should have known" that Bush was taking money, please describe how. One person said that the agent was on the sidelines during practice, and thus USC should have known that (1) he was an agent (even though he wasn't an agent at the time - Bush was supposedly to be first client) and (2) that he was giving Bush money. This makes zero sense to me. You're saying that USC should know the identity of everyone at its practices and the finances of each of its players. That's practical. Might be worth mentioning that USC is the most open book of any football program and allows open access to most practices. Totally different than OU's responsibility to monitor its boosters and work of its students, especially one with the negative background that this guy had previously.
Posted: 5:55 PM   by Tiger
Is it even possible that USC is NOT guilty?
Has anyone offered conclusive proof?
If they have, why hasn't the NCAA noticed?
You don't think all of this is their biggest black eye ever?

Ask yourselves this: who profits from the NCAA turning a blind eye to USC malfeasance? Not the NCAA - if they can't prosecute - as many have pointed out, they lose credibility.

What about USC? You don't think every other coach going for a USC recruit doesn't hammer the kid with the idea that USC will be on probation when they're found out? Wouldn't it be much easier if USC could make this spectacle hanging over downtown LA like a smoggy gray October sky go away?

I wasn't there, so I can't say what happened. Were you? Can you? If it was conclusive, and there were proof available, do you all really think that nothing would be done?

I'm a football fan first, and it seems like all of this is fairly rote. A team has some success, and everyone jumps on the bandwagon saying they cheated.

Can anyone name a program that's been successful that hasn't had to deal with these allegations? Isn't this now just the price of winning?

Wish I had more answers - but I hope I'm at least asking the right questions...
Posted: 6:00 PM   by Brian
I think this is an absurdly light punishment for OU, the cheatingest program in the history of college football. Does everyone honestly believe that only three guys (one a walkon, another a scrub lineman) were getting paid for not working at Big Red. Seriously? And let us not forget Adrian Peterson's six month test driver Lexus with the same dealership. And again, the enforcement committee recommends Lack of Institutional Control, and the the Infractions committee reduces it to Failure to monitor, despite finding in their report that OU LIED to them about the self discovery of the players. To me, this punishment doesn't even constitute a slap on the wrist, more like getting off scot-free.
Posted: 6:00 PM   by Justin
I don't think vacating wins means the teams who lost to OU in 2005 get to remove their losses or claim wins themselves. As such, the biggest change if USC were to suffer similar fates over Bush would be Auburn becoming the 2004 national champion (which at this point would probably seem a little hollow to them).

However, the media does love USC, being the main football event in LA, hub of all things glamorous. If LA had an NFL team, the love would not be nearly the same. On the flip side, had the University of Miami been the culprit of either the Bomar or Bush scandals, I'm fairly sure the NCAA would be firebombing Coral Gables and the Orange Bowl, with all the media telling us how this was entirely deserved by Thug U. Sad how much perception has warped what is supposed to be an amateur sport.
Posted: 6:05 PM   by Dur
It's a travesty of justice that one school who self reported is punished (and rightfully so) while another school gets away with far worse allegations because of lack of cooperation and cover ups.

I guess it's better to lie and hide and get away with it than it is to admit your mistakes and move on. That's the message the NCAA is sending to the rest of the country.

It's criminal negligence.

And as far as the above poster mentioning Apples and Oranges between a Booster and an Agent, I find that point rather defective.

Is a University now required to hire private investigators to monitor all boosters for illegal contributions, while it's ok for Agents to do as they will as long as they can get away with it? An illegal contribution to a player is an illegal contribution no matter who it comes from and all Universities should be subject to the same standards.
Posted: 6:06 PM   by Mr. W.
Look at all the USC haters crawling out of the woodwork...not surprising.

Too bad you're crawling out without any facts and jumping on a story that has nothgint to do with what happened at USC.

First of all let me state up front that I'm a USC alum and that I don't think Reggie is innocent in all this. I think he knew what his parents were doing and either out of fear or out of just self-preservation decided to see if he could get through his last year without getting caught. I mean the guy was favored to win another NC and a Heisman - so I'm not surprised that he didn't step forward to collect his slap on the wrist. Few of you here would have. I don't know whether he had anything to do with the actual deal made or whether he just found out after his parents made the deal without his knowledge. None of us know the actual facts.

Secondly, this situation is not at all similar to the USC situation. The OU players were employed and paid by a OU booster - someone with a vested interest in the success of the OU football program and someone who wanted the players while at OU to be comfortable. Hoping that that comfort would lead to good things for the OU program

The USC situation involved agents. People with no interest whatsoever in the success of the USc football prgoram and with an eye only on Reggie's net worth once he left USC and entered the NFL.

Two completely different scenarios. How USC can be held responsible for a house Reggie's parents owned 50+ miles away is beyond me. USC goes out of their way to warn athletes about the dangers of accepting favors and does their due diligence. Unless the NCAA can prove that USC knew about the dealings and did nothing about it I don't see how hard they could be on the program - especially now that USC is no longer under the control of the NCAA and doesn't have to testify to anything. The NCAA can't subpoena anyone not in their control.

I'm really disappointed that Stewart made the connection between teh two programs because there really is no connection in reality.

I also think the NCAA was unfairly harsh on OU especially since they did suspend the kids involved and seemed to do their best once the found out. But hte NCAA isn't really known for being rational.
Posted: 6:07 PM   by SFlaSooner
The NCAA, once again showing its ignorance, has missed the boat. The simple fact is this.....universities and coaching staffs throughout the country now realize that "self-policing" and honest disclosure does nothing in the eyes of the NCAA. Instead of applauding the actions of Bob Stoops and the University of Oklahoma, the NCAA has chosen to ignore the actions taken and pass an unfair penalty. It'll be a free for all from now on.....any infractions discovered by any university will be "swept under the carpet", and this reaction by the NCAA has done nothing but condone this type of conduct
Posted: 6:08 PM   by Bryce
Myself, I find the timing interesting. Why did the NCAA choose the slowest sports day of the year to release their decision? It's almost like they wanted it to get a lot of attention.
Too Bad for OU, Hooray for USC, the NCAA needs an investigative branch that can montior and investigate these issues. the only reason OU self reported was directly related to a media report of improprieties. The base fact of the matter is the atheletes should be receiving a salary from the college to play the sport. Universities gain far too much money from the athelete for so little in return a free ducation and room / board is not very much compared to the millions of dollars these collges make for the athletes efforts. Stop the Farce!

Go Pac-10
The penalty is too harsh since OU came forward and dismissed the players. I also think Bomar, Quinn and Hardison should be ban from NCAA football period. They are the REAL problem. OU should sue the crapp out of them all. I also believe USC should pay the piper, but I don't look for the NCAA to be 'Man enough' to do that.
Posted: 6:13 PM   by TigerMan
I think USC should have to give up the ONE National Champ. they won while Bush played there.

BigAubbie
Posted: 6:14 PM   by Mr. W.
I meant to say - Reggie is no longer under the control of the NCAA in my previous post and not USC. Though some of you certainly seem to think that USC is operating outside the NCAA's laws. Bitter much?
Posted: 6:16 PM   by Blake
OU self-reported all of their problems so I think the vacated wins is way too much for this infraction. The continuation of loss of scholarships is what really challenges a program and this is part of their penalty so that's solid.

As far as USC goes, I honestly don't expect any dramatic events (as your say) to occur, thus opening the case wide open. So I don't expect anything to happen there. However, there does seem to be evidence of mischief involving Bush and money.
Posted: 6:16 PM   by stevepdx
I am an SC alum, so i know what I say is biased

For starters I am sorry for OU and I feel they are getting screwed

However, as someone posted earlier this is comparing apples to oranges when it comes to USC. OU's situation dealt with BOOSTERS - very different

We should remember that the allegations against Bush are just that - allegations. No one has been able to PROVE anything at this point. Unless Reggie admits to something, which is highly unlikely

To fairly punish SC, you'd have to prove that Carroll or other coaches KNEW or should have known what was going on. many schools, SC included, allow agents and others access to the players but Carroll can't possibly know the dealings of all his players 24 hours a day (or their family for that matter)

If Reggie did violate rules and the Coaches were aware, then they should be punished. But if you cannot prove those 2 things then you can't punish a school just because you feel they must be guilty

I also feel that much of this anger toward SC is based in jealously for what they have accomplished on the field. Posters mention the situation with Leinart-Jarrett as further "evidence" that USC gets away scot free - however SC reported that to the NCAA and was penalized for that. As for Bush helping to recruit McKnight away from LSU - again no proof exists that this occurred.
Posted: 6:18 PM   by Carlos Vega
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 6:18 PM   by Sooner Fan
It's far too harsh. Oklahoma discovered the problem and reported it and immediately dismissed the 2 players from the team even though that left them without a starting quarterback. They made the proper moves and without anyone telling them to. Then there is USC and so far no punishment on the Reggie Bush mess. Why does there seem to be descrimination against Oklahoma. Other schools commit violations and there are no consequences. There seem to be 2 sets of standards.
Posted: 6:20 PM   by Carlos Vega
ONE MORE THING!!: C'mon Mandel!! Don't throw stink on the wall to see what sticks...But I guess you were successful in one aspect: Inciting OU fans still smarting over the 55-19 butt whipping and wanting SC to pay for giving OU Post-Traumatic Orange Bowl Disorder that still haunts them to this day.
Posted: 6:21 PM   by TigerMan
What Stevepdx is saying is that if you are going to cheat do what USC does and make it difficult to prove.

Cheat On!
Posted: 6:21 PM   by Rob
Unbelievable. Oklahoma only "reported" the violations because a newspaper had the story. Hot on the heels of the Adrian Peterson got a free car from the same dealership story which Oklahoma dismissed based on a claim that the dealership would do the same for any other student. LOL. Oklahoma BOOSTERS (who also happen to supply free cars to the Oklahoma coaching staff) is VASTLY MORE EGREGIOUS than a would-be marketing agent who is not affiliated with USC and who is trying to take the player AWAY FROM USC and TO THE NFL paying Reggie Bush and/or his parents.

USC the institution did nothing wrong. One could say the same about Oklahoma, though a university can reasonably be held iable for the acts of its boosters, and can't reasonably be held liable for the acts of third-party sports agents. At least the boosters are acting in the interests of the school and giving it a competitive advantage. The agents are giving the schools a competitive disadvantage by encouraging the players to leave.

To Kirk the idiot - USC has not covered up anything. On the contrary, USC has cooperated fully with the NCAA in its investigation. Reggie Bush may not have done so, but Reggie Bush is not USC and is no longer a student there.
Posted: 6:21 PM   by Larry
Without question there is much bias in the NCAA. I understand that this is a "monetary" ruling.

But what if Troy State or Marshall had committed the same violations?

Apples and oranges? The Oklahoma Basketball team is on probation, both gymnastics teams are on probation, and their baseball team is being looked at. If you want to call it a slap on the wrist, that is what it is. However, I think that the term "lack of institutional control" should have been utilized.

USC and Sooners everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief.
Posted: 6:22 PM   by Allen
How hard should it be to prove agents were on the sideline or in the locker room? Can't be that hard, someone had to allow them to be there, I know I can't just walk onto the sideline at a PSU game. At the very least, someone seen them, people aren't invisible. Shrug, guess it must be hard to prove though, USC's still skating, bs, ask Carroll if they were there. If he doesn't cooperate, squash him. He's the coach, he had to know what was happening on his sideline or his locker room, plain and simple.
Posted: 6:23 PM   by Marc
I didn't expect to see many intelligent arguments against USC, and I haven't been disappointed. The best arguments against USC have been that USC is a "media darling", is only popular because there is no NFL team in LA, is guilaty of dirty recruiting, lots of money is involved, quaterback found cheating (really, when was that?). Good ones guys. Glad we could have an intelligent debate.

Really all you need to say is that you are a fan of LSU, Cal, Oklahoma, Texas or any of the Big 12 schools or SEC schools who just can't handle the fact that USC has been dominating for the last 5 years. They must have been cheating right?
Yes, USC should lose its National Championship, Bush's records from that season erased (and he should lose his Heisman too) and lose more than the 2 scholarships OU lost. That's the fair deal.
Posted: 6:26 PM   by Mr. W.
Ah someone called TigerMan suggesting that USC give up their (emphasis on "one") championship won while Bush was playing...looks like Les Miles has some jealous company in Baton Rouge.

Tiger fans are pathetic. You have a national championship. Get over it already. At least Auburn has a right to be bitter - they were undefeated and had nothign to show for it.
Posted: 6:28 PM   by TigerMan
Records this decade:

USC 70-19

LSU 68-20
-while playing in a tougher conf and having to play conf champ games.

No wonder Colin Cowerd of ESPN Radio said that LSU gets the nod over USC and others as the dominant team of the decade.
USC should lose it's championship, Bush's records should be erased (and he should return his Heisman) and USC should lose more than the 2 scholarships OU lost. That's the fair deal.
Posted: 6:32 PM   by Marc
Allen,

You wrote "How hard should it be to prove agents were on the sideline or in the locker room? Can't be that hard, someone had to allow them to be there, I know I can't just walk onto the sideline at a PSU game. At the very least, someone seen them, people aren't invisible."

A few things here. USC's practices are generally open to the public. Might be a little different than at PSU. You may have noticed that Pete Carroll is a little different than Joe Paterno in several respects. Also, even if this guy did attend practices among the masses (you may or may not remember that USC had a pretty substantial following, media and otherwise in 2005), he was hoping for Reggie Bush to be his FIRST CLIENT. HE WASN'T EVEN AN AGENT YET. Are you saying that USC should spot potential agents as well?
Posted: 6:32 PM   by Chase
I'm sorry, Stewart, but this is shoddy journalism at best.

First, the caption under the Bush photo -- "Reggie Bush reportedly received over $300,000 from a pair of agents while he was still playing for USC" -- is just plain false. The allegation is that Bush's family took nmearly $300K from wanna-be agents that were trying to broker a business arrangement with Reggie's stepfather. The amount of money that was alleged to have gone to Bush was a small fraction of that, largely reflecting a used car that Reggie's stepdad had purchased with the proceeds of the money he got.

Second, as previously mentioned, the victimhood of Oklahoma that was supposedly "punished" for self-reporting is just a misreprensation of the facts. The story was broken by local newspaper. Oklahoma responded by kicking the two players off the team and self-reporting. I sympathize with OU fans, but OU was not some victim punished for its candor and transparency.
C'mon guys, there's enough evidence to punish USC and Bush. It seems you didn't read the Yahoo articles. His poor family moved to LA to a big house. They couldn't afford that, nor all the cars and the luxuries that they had at the time Bush was at USC. There something rotten here and it's not in Denmark.
Oklahoma's compliance department should have paid more attention to the relationship with Big Red but at the core are two individuals that fudged their time sheet.

I guess my frustration as a Sooner fan is more about the expectation that the same standard will not be applied across the board. Troy Smith took money from a booster. He missed a few games but returned in time for the 05 showdown with Texas and went on to win a Heisman.

So Bush got money from an agent and not a booster. Doesn't that still compromise his eligibility and under the same ruling, USC's wins with Bush on the field? USC might claim they knew nothing about it but if the Yahoo reports about the agents being on the sideline and in the locker room are legit, there are a lot more similarities to the Oklahoma situation than one might think.

It certainly seems it pays to shut up. OU's attempt at confession at the altar didn't yield any mercy in my view. NCAA prez Brand issued a previous statement that was complementary of the way OU reacted. Those words seem pretty meaningless.
Posted: 6:38 PM   by sean
This is silly to punish Oklahoma for self reported violations and allow USC to proceed without owning up to the far more disturbing Reggie Bush violations. Pete Carroll needs to step forward and admit the errors that program has made.
Posted: 6:41 PM   by ev
I think Mandel needs to read the NCAA report prior to writing his opinion next time. The Sooners did not self-report, the NCAA already knew about the violation.

As for calling for punishment for USC, Mandel would better be served by looking at how the NCAA has handled similar issues in the past. Problem is the OU voilation is not the same as the USC issue, not even close. The NCAA handles issues with agents very differently than with boosters. He would be better off looking to see what the NCAA did to Michigan on the Woodson issue back in the late 90s.
Posted: 6:42 PM   by Stacey
I dont remember SC dominating Texas in the Rose Bowl. I seem to remember VY jogging into the end zone like it was nothing anytime he wanted. SC didnt dominate last year either; losing to unranked teams, and no national championship (seem to remember an SEC team getting that crystal ball). OK is rebuilding anyway. 2 less scholarships...big deal. They still wont play for a national title until Colt graduates. This penalty was a slap on the wrist. I do like how Stoops win/loss record has been affected though; guess hes not statistically speaking as great as he was. -Ha.
Posted: 6:43 PM   by Terrill
NCAA has nothing to do with the heisman...that is entirely up to another committee
Posted: 6:43 PM   by Marc
I love the LSU fans. Tigerman, if you're going to use Colin Cowherd for your authority, please get his list right.

Colin Cowherd did not say that LSU was the dominate team of this decade, he said that they were the dominant team of that last 10 years. I know that may be confusing for you but try to keep up. Since USC struggled during the first 5 of those years, hard to argue with ranking us lower for the last 10 years. Separately he said that if he was ranking teams over the last 5 years, USC would have been head and shoulders above the others.
Posted: 6:44 PM   by Bob
This is not fair punishment for OU. They were already on probation. There were over 20 players working at Big Red. Peterson gets to drive a Lexus for Months from Big Red with no payment. How is this not lack of institutional control? Both SC and OU should lose 8-10 scholorships for 4 years.
Posted: 6:45 PM   by sean
Another question though is why don't they expunge the losses too. Rhett Bomar was a big factor there too.
Posted: 6:49 PM   by Marc
Stacey,

This is getting off topic a bit, but since I've wasted so much time at work today already, I'll bite.

VY was awesome in that Rose Bowl game, and Texas deserved to win. As a USC alum living in Dallas, the game was painful but impressive at the same time.

Maybe you can tell me who has had a more impressive run over the last 5 years than USC? Even in a year where we lost Lienart, Bush, White, Byrd, and Bing, we had a chance to play in the national championship game on the last day of the season (before blowing it big time). Pretty impressive.
Posted: 7:00 PM   by William
Although I would argue (and so did Mandel a few weeks ago) Oklahoma already has been penalized by kicking off their starting 'star' quarterback off of their team. By all accounts, they still haven't filled the void that has created. But whether the penalty was too harsh or not seems to be a smaller issue compared to the terrible precedent the NCAA has created with its punishment on Oklahoma. As Mandel mentioned, Oklahoma handed the case to the NCAA because they investigated the case itself when, in reality, it seems likely it would not have been difficult to sweep the incident (a couple thousand dollars paid to players) under the rug. It would appear USC's Reggie Bush dealt with far more money and USC is going to go unscathed. So why would any team come forth with their own wrongdoings anymore?
Posted: 7:03 PM   by Hank
Marc is right. It is glaring to see the difference between the intelligence in debate between USC supporters and those obviously coming from an SEC or Big 12 fan. I would say the score is 15-2 in favor of USC. And since SC plays in a tougher conference than you, I would say that is pure dominance. PS. I am a Michigan fan and think I think we should be awarded the victory against SC at the Rose Bowl, because Pete Carroll used inside information determining they were faster than us.
Posted: 7:05 PM   by Mike444
The NCAA is a complete joke. The loss of 2 recruits the next couple of years is fair. Taking away an entire season for the actions of 2 players is simply cowardly. To punish the players who had nothing to do with the crime is a crime in itself. I wonder if any of the politicians in the NCAA committee have ever picked up a football, if so they would know the heart those kids put into that season. All I know is watch out SC after all this crap!
Posted: 7:06 PM   by bck_31
Let's be real here. This story was about to come out, and OU basically did damage control here. AP driving a Lexus, and a history of cheating at the school. They were already on probation. This story was broken on an aggie forum (txags.com)long before OU discovered the problem and imposed it's own justice. How could a student at another school know when the compliance department at OU did not have a clue?
Posted: 7:07 PM   by Justin
Yeah Marc, Miami had an equally impressive run right before USC. Pretty tough to remember that sort of dominance unless you think back to, oh right, Nebraska before that. Granted, USC had two players in the Heisman whereas Miami just had a bunch of finalists, but the only thing separating them in national title haul and win totals was that Oklahoma won its BCS title game in 2000 (costing Miami a split title) and lost it in 2003 (giving USC a split). The Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl losses of both Miami and USC were classic, but losses. And a decent 11-2 BCS bowl-winning season after that is what both Miami and USC came up with.

Honestly though, retroactive punishments are stupid because history is history, with the possible exception of stripping championships (like Michigan's Final Four in the early 1990s). If USC is going to get punished for Bush, it should be moving forward. Worst case, fine, give the 2004 national title to Auburn instead. It isn't like Auburn was undeserving.
Posted: 7:13 PM   by cmm
isnt it a little harsh when nothing to this extent happened to ohio state after smith and clarrett took the boosters money? whats the difference?
Posted: 7:21 PM   by Luis
OU 2005
Players got paid for not doing work:


NCAA Solution: Take losses from years past.

Texas A&M 1994:
Player got paid for not doing work.

NCAA Solution: NO TV, NO BOWL for the 2004 Season.



NCAA = MONEY MONEY MONEY
Posted: 7:26 PM   by Ivan
We all know USCalifornia cheats and breeds cheaters. Reggie Bush, for one, and that little push into the end zone against Notre Dame. One of the most corrupt programs ever--USC, that is--AND they inflate their offensive stats and wins by playing creampuff defenses in the PAC-10 all year. As far as I'm concerned, and I'm no OU fan, nothing USC has "accomplished" counts for me.
Posted: 7:45 PM   by Martin
Ridiculous. If the NCAA is going to allow Bomar/Quinn to resume their football careers at other schools, why punish their former teammates for following the rules ? If the crime is so awful, then at least suspend their remaining eligibility.

BTW- while I'm typing this Reggie Bush is walking down the red carpet at the ESPYs without a care in the world. Glad someone in the media is voicing the displeasure many of us have over the USC 'investigation.'
Posted: 7:50 PM   by troypwr
What a bunch of crybabies!! If the NCAA found anything on USC they would have done something if for no other reason than to shut you bellyachers up. If/When USC does something wrong then they'll have to pay the piper. Right now you wimps are just crying because you just can't stop the juggernaut that is SC. Envy is a b*tch isn't it?
Posted: 7:57 PM   by Aaron
Seems to me that UCLA, OSU, Texas, Florida, and Ohio State stopped the "juggernaut that is SC" one National Title in 5 years does not a dynasty make.
Jealousy.... thats all you nintendo, dungeons and dragons playin bloggers are...

USC and OU are 2 differnet situations. (you would understand if you ever played a sport in college) You have no clue what a violation is and how the NCAA works.
And...Bush's stepfather (yes not his real dad) and mother lived in San Diego (2 1/2 hours away) not LA as many un-informed rednecks posted.
Get over it and stop your jealousy..it makes you look pathetic and we all can tell you never played a sport. You are the typical nerdy nintendo guy trying to tell a coach what to do. Understand the facts before you try to compare these situations. USC did nothing wrong and more importantly if you knew how little control coaches in college have over adults (yes they are all over 18) have and even less control over step-parents you would be shocked at how clean the USC program is..What do you expect USC to do, analyze all the players parents financials, annual audits??...how can an adult (Bush) in college be in control over what his step father is doing??? Are you kidding me... how many of you know how much your parents mortgage is??? anyone.. please tell me.

Get a life and play a sport instead of your nintendos.
Posted: 8:05 PM   by Chris
Take this up a level, Mandel.

The average Vegas blackjack table is better regulated than Saturday college football.

Hit the NCAA where it hurts and quit watching college football. A sport without integrity is nothing more than a marketing scheme.
Posted: 8:09 PM   by Aaron
I, for one, would wonder what was going on if my parents moved from a shack in the ghetto to a $300,000 house in a new housing development, but of course I have some common sense and ethics.
Posted: 8:14 PM   by SDSUer
AAron, you have just let everyone know what part of the country you are from. (i.e. South) A shack in the ghetto in San Diego goes for $300,000
Posted: 8:14 PM   by Eduardo
A $300,000 house in southern California is the ghetto. It's laughable to see the USC jealousy?
Posted: 8:15 PM   by RPR
300K for a house in SoCal IS IN the ghetto....

Get over it USC haters, NCAA hasn't penalized USC because there IS NO CASE...get that through your thick skulls!
Posted: 8:17 PM   by Nicole
They can't ever take away our memories of that season, so it really doesn't matter in the end. We just know now to never report anything else. But what I don't understand is what does the NCAA want from us? For us to hire babysitters to follow around grown adults? They knowingly cheated the system. Same with Reggie Bush (supposedly). How is ANY compliance department supposed to automatically catch willful deceptions like that? And the media did not know about Bomar before Stoops kicked him off. How could they have?

Another thing I don't get and will NEVER understand, is why OU's actions in the 1980s and our "history of cheating" are affecting us today, in terms of things like punishments. It's a DIFFERENT era in college football with DIFFERENT coaches and DIFFERENT players. It's so annoying to hear you people gripe about stuff that those of us going to OU now are too young to remember! Times change people, get over it. There were violations, yes, but they were dealt with. I really wish every school was punished the same, but life's not fair. It sucks, but I still love my school and would never want to be anywhere else and it's time to move on. Personally, I'm sick of hearing about Bomar! Plus it's not like our players were out killing people or something.

Oh, and about the Lexus thing that everyone is still gossiping about? You really can do what AD did. I know someone who's done it. So really? Move on with your lives. Oh, and OU doesn't have "post-traumatic orange bowl syndrome", or whatever someone called it. The reason we lost four games that year was a little thing the rest of us like to call FRESHMEN. Plus having the #1 toughest schedule in the nation didn't help. And we lost TWO this year. Oooh, so terrible!
Posted: 8:27 PM   by Aaron
Wow, got to love the arrogance of you Cal-i-fornia folks, yous sure are soes much better than the rests of us poor hillbillies across this here nation.
Posted: 8:27 PM   by troypwr
Aaron you have no common sense and your ethics are questionable. You know nothing of how national championships in college football are awarded and saying that someone's parents lived in a ghetto when you know nothing about it speaks towards your ethics. By the way when did Ohio State and Florida play USC last?

Face it the Trojans are set for another title run. How's your team doing?
Posted: 8:31 PM   by Dr Pacheco
Follow the money. USC is "the team" in a HUGE market. They can't be damaged or else the networks will flip a lid. OU is an easier target. OU can be a sacrifical lamb, while the feckless NCAA can stay in relative concert with the TV networks. Duh!
Posted: 8:31 PM   by Martin
Bush's parents lived rent free in a $750k home for at least a year. Perhaps that's nothing to you geniuses. Once it was about to be made public, the freeloaders were packed up the next day.

Even a dumb redneck can deduce they knew what they were doing was wrong. Since then, Bush has lied publicly saying he knew nothing about the arrangement and then refused to cooperate with the NCAA. Then he pays the 'so-called agents' hush money.(BTW - accepting cash from agents is considered a NCAA violation).

If you don't think its a little worse than fudging one's timesheet, you need an head examination.
Posted: 8:37 PM   by Aaron
Wow, do you people out there really think you are God's gift to this country? You really think that you are far beyond the rest of us in intelligence don't you?
Let me see, since 1998 the BCS has been the agreed upon way of awarding the official football national championships. In the last Seven years, seven different teams have won a BCS NC. So, USC is just as good, but not one ounce better than seven other schools in that regard. if we are going be records then, USC is still no better than Texas, LSU, tOSU, OU, Miami, or Florida. Sorry folks, you got a great team, but it is on par with seven other programs right now.
Posted: 8:38 PM   by troypwr
Maybe the rednecks should work for the NCAA. They're having trouble putting the pieces toghether.
Posted: 8:39 PM   by ReidOnTravel
Ohio State's Troy Smith did about the same, hung on, and got the Heisman. Bush got a Heisman for, allgedly, more mishaps. OU's Bomar got kicked off the team a few weeks before the season began, and is now a poster child of 'athlete gone wrong' -- perhaps for life.

By the way teams like OU, Alabama -- smaller TV markets -- always seem to get a bit more punishment.
Posted: 8:43 PM   by SDSUer
So what you are saying is the parents of a student athlete MAY have lived in a home with a $3k/month rent for free over the span of a few months. Any proof, anywhere? Oh I forgot, the Yahoo! article is all the proof SEC fans need.

As a SDSU alumni, I am so sick of hearing how any team west of the Mississippi is either soft or they must cheat to win. Give it up, college football is cyclical. USC and the SEC will fall from dominance at some point.
Posted: 8:46 PM   by Aaron
"When the Okies left Oklahoma and went to California,
the average intelligence of both states went up."

-Will Rogers

Sorry, I got better things to do than keep posting on here. Peace!
Posted: 8:46 PM   by troypwr
Agreed upon by whom? Not by the AP apparently. Two titles in two years, a run at a third, three Heismans, set for another run and recruiting classes like no other school would beg to differ with your assertion that USC is no better than 7 other schools. Thanks for proving that you know very little and like many haters on this topic, only look to knock down that which you can't be part of.
Posted: 8:47 PM   by Robert
I believe that the major difference is that individuals at the dealership were also friends of the program.

The agent in question with Bush had nothing to do with the program and the benfit received had nothing to do with getting him to attend USC but rather signing him as a client later.
Posted: 8:51 PM   by Dr Pacheco
Norman, OK
Tuscaloosa, AL

versus

Los Angeles
Notre Dame (NBC)

The networks will not allow the weak NCAA to kill the golden geese. The networks are more powerful than the NCAA. Is this not "Econ 101"?
Posted: 9:01 PM   by Justin
I agree with the apples and oranges comments that make the OU situation unlike the USC situation. However, the OU players were penalized individually as well by losing a year of eligibility. For knowingly breaking the rules in a big way, Bush doesn't deserve college football's most distinquished individual award.
Posted: 9:22 PM   by Justin24
i am a UT fan, but even i can look through my bias and see that this is a little heavy handed. usc has got to get some punishment now, moreso than ou has received because ou actually made an attempt to police themselves and usc has not.
Posted: 9:27 PM   by mike1667
Just a note in hopes that it will be passed on in regards to The NCAA infractions committee ruling on the University of Oklahoma.

Now that they have set a precedence and found they can take swift and quick judgment on violators lets finish what has been left lying and resolve the USC issue with Reggie Bush and Family.

Its funny that a swift judgment on a staff that did in fact, maybe a little late, but again did try to correct a wrong doing, get a whole season wiped off the records? that We still see a lack of that same swift judgement against the then National Champions USC Trojans. Will their season be wiped out? Mabe give the trophy to OU?

As I look at the Roster of the infraction committee..... is it truly an unbiased committee of peers making these decisions.

Now that Pandora's box has been opened, lets finish unresolved business!

Respectfully,

Michael G.
Los Angeles CA.
Posted: 9:29 PM   by Bill
A few comments from a bucks fan
First, most of the USC backers make better arguments, but are no more persuasive than the idiots calling for the death penalty for USC, either. if USC fans do not believe that something happened during the "bush era" and that the school knows nothing, they are kidding themselves, which is why their arguments, while better articulated, are really hollow. Someone who uses logic knows better.

Second, from what I gather, OU has had serious problems in the athletic department, involving several teams, and there is no denying that. This punishment is really not much when all is considered.

Troy Smith did take money from a booster, correct you are. There was nothing wide-spread involving several players. Also, Clarrett's ramblings cannot be believed (he actually tried to claim Tress called the dealership from his office for crying out loud, if you are going to cheat, there are more secretive ways than that) and he admitted to making s@#@ up. Ther simply was not the wide-spread infractions found with OSU - although as a fan of a football power, deep down I honestly know the hammer is always just around the corner.
Posted: 9:41 PM   by Matthew
I think the punishment fits the crime. Actually, the NCAA needs to have more strict sanctions against teams.

About USC, this is an utter tragedy that nothing is going to happen to them. I knew all along that nothing would happen to USC. USC is the NCAA poster child for the perfect school/athletic program.

The NCAA could not let anything happen to USC. Actually, the NCAA would never let anything happen to USC. It is ridculous.
Posted: 9:46 PM   by Hame
Barry Switzer is chuckling to himself.

Osborn just had a cup coffee with Barry...they agree that they played their cards correctly in the 70's, 80's (and it worked for tom in the 90's too)

"Don't ask and definitely don't tell".

Sneaky Pete concurs
Posted: 9:50 PM   by Dave
It really does not matter what OU wants or did in all of this. It is all about the NCAA and its ability to enforce a set of rules in a society "where everything and anything goes." I am a Sooner fan and hate to see this happen. But I am not surprised. In the end, the NCAA holds all the power and can do whatever it wants to do and to whom. I think that what OU could do is to go after Brett Rhomar legally and ensure that the young man stays broke for the rest of his natural life. Or better yet, the fans sue him. Now that'll show 'em. But alas, in the end, nothing will happen. I guess it could have been worse. I guess we'll have to win the National Championship the next 3 years. I bet the NCAA will have a cow then. Boomer Sooner!
Posted: 9:53 PM   by Brink
Does anyone else find it funny that Matt Leinart dated Paris Hilton, whom we all know to have the utmost respect for rules and regulations, while playing for USC and that there was never any investigation (or even speculation) there.

As for the Bomar situation, as an Ohio State alumnus, I was a little shocked when Bomar was dismissed from the team entirely when Troy Smith was given a two game suspension and then allowed back on the team for basically the same type of illegal activity. Ultimately Bomar only got a few extra thousand, and Ohio State was allowed to keep their wins and Troy Smith was able to win his Heisman.

Ironically, Robert Reynolds was only given a one game suspension for viciously choking Wisconsin's Jim Sorgi to the point he had to leave the game. More recently he was arrested for domestic abuse. Good thing the NCAA taught him his lesson.
Posted: 9:55 PM   by Jason
Longhorns and Sooners agreeing about the harshness of OU sanctions...will miracles never cease?
Posted: 10:05 PM   by Marco
Bet if it were MIAMI the topic of conversation that the popular opinion would be to ban the football program all together. Hipocrites
Posted: 10:12 PM   by Matt
so what happens if OU went 0-11 that season? do they still forefeit that season?
Posted: 10:15 PM   by Brian
I think it is totally stupid that every kid that busted his tail to play at OU that year is being punished. I also think that is is just as stupid to do the same to USC or any other school.

The NCAA would rather stick it to everyone on the team than to punish the two that actually did do something wrong? These are the morons who are in charge of looking after student athletes? The guys that did something wrong had to sit out one year and the school gets 2 years of self imposed and 2 years of NCAA santions? How does this make sense?

I realize that some people don't like Oklahoma and some don't like USC. Fine. Put your school in this position....is it fair?

It also is not fair to punish these kids for something the basketball COACHES did. The same one that got them into trouble, then ran off. Those kids had nothing to do with that.

The NCAA is out of control, and is more worried about personal grudges and political correctness than looking after student athletes at ANY school, and it needs to stop.

As for stripping USC of a national championship or Bush of the Heisman, they don't have that authority. Neither is an NCAA award. There's not much they could do if they wanted to. Maybe that's why they screwed Oklahoma. They had a way to take it out on them.
Posted: 10:17 PM   by t-rey
I find it ridiculous to see USC supporters trying to slander the article and claim that the Oklahoma situation is not apples to apples to the USC/Reggie Bush situation. Per the NCAA rule that all NCAA universities have agreed to follow, “Lack of Institutional Control” does not distinguish what method of preferential treatment is received. It does not matter whether special treatment is given to receive special favor from a university or from the player him or herself for some later repayment. It’s still “Lack of Institutional Control” no matter how you slice it. Oklahoma got what they deserved by not managing their players. Why are other programs not scrutinized as closely? It would be nice to see some consistency from the NCAA with regard to investigations of all universities. As a side note, why would Reggie Bush in addition to negotiating a monetary settlement, also negotiate a silency agreement? He would not be subject to further punishment……. But his university would……..
Posted: 10:21 PM   by rmanning957
SC Fan here, two comments:

1: OU got jobbed. The punishment was too severe, but I will remind you that Peterson got caught "test driving" a vehicle from a dealership for weeks at a time. So, car dealer issues are not new.

2: If Reggie loses his Heisman so be it. SC institutionally did everything possible to keep his parents informed about the do's and don'ts. Yet Reggie's step-dad didn't care. Reggie's step-dad was a preacher and his mom a prison guard, if you can't trust a preacher and law enforcement officer to follow the rules, then who the heck are you going to trust?
Posted: 10:23 PM   by Mitch
If the NCAA CAN prove that USC did something wrong and doesn't follow up on it, it owes a lot of schools -- most recently Oklahoma, Alabama, the Michigan basketball program, et al -- an apology. All of those programs admitted wrongdoing and Alabama, in particular, got hammered by the NCAA even when it was an out-of-control booster that did 90 percent of what the Crimson Tide was accused of. The NCAA is political, and that's why it should be done away with. There's got to be a better way to govern college athletics.

Bottom line: USC is the sacred cow right now. Ten to 1 says the Trojans get off scot free.
Posted: 10:23 PM   by EZDaddy
If I were a high profile recruit, I would think twice before considering OU or USC. A school that is able to maintain a solid, positive reputation (the speculation regarding SC's duplicity, regardless of the NCAA's findings, has clearly tarnished its image) should not be undervalued.
The NCAA may still be investigating USC...they can not release any info until the investigation is complete..nor can the school comment on the investigation specifics or the school would be charged with unethical conduct by the NCAA
Posted: 10:35 PM   by ABC2008
Posted: 4:36 PM by Brian
The were 40 some other kids on the field in those games playing for OU too. Why punish them?


As the saying goes, You win as a team and you lose as a team, In this case, Oklahoma Lost as a team.

USC should also lose as a team and the NCAA should put more in thier investigations. 90% of all college football teams cheat in some form or fashion.
Posted: 11:03 PM   by Carlos Vega
Please do not confuse "failure to monitor" with "failure to detect"..There is a clear distinction.

The issue with USC does not involve the issue of monitoring the behavior of Bush's parents because unlike BOOSTERS who were employing your players with OU's blessing, these were wannabe AGENTS who created some sort of deal with Bush's PARENTS entirely outside the consent of USC.

It's simple logic that SC did not give this consent so spare me the SC is crooked mantra for this simple reason: No University would ever encourage a player or parents to deal with an agent when that player is one of the most dynamic players ever to set foot on a college gridiron. It would severely hamper the University's desire to keep that dynamic player playing for them for a full four years. College Football is about winning. It would not be in SC's best interest to encourage Bush or his parents to jeopardize his eligibility.

OU's issue revolved around the issue of OU monitoring a BOOSTER the UNIVERSITY KNEW was employing football players and got lazy in doing so by not collecting their gross earning statements.


The issue with USC is detection. Did USC know about Bush's parent's transgressions and did they do nothing? Or "should they have known" about Bush's parents' transgressions? If the NCAA finds that SC could not have reasonably known about what was going on with Lake and Michaels and their shady dealings with Bush's parents or Bush for that matter down in San Diego then you OU fans are going to be very pissed when USC receives no sanctions levied upon them.

The SC Alumni (including myself) believe that SC could not have reasonably detected what was going on with Bush or his parents down in San Diego. Lake and Michaels weren't even known agents at the time but a bunch of nobodies hoping to make Bush their first client.

Carroll has been interviewed by the NCAA as well as the staff. We believe the NCAA will see SC's situation the same as they saw Ohio State's situation with Troy Smith and Michigan's situation with Charles Woodson.


OU's situation is more akin to the Jarrett situation with USC where our compliance department was fully aware of the living arrangements for Jarrett and Leinart and gave their okay based on their reading of the NCAA guidelines. The NCAA found that Jarrett received no competitive advantage nor was he trying to pull a fast one. Jarrett was paying rent ($650/month); the same amount he was paying with Leinart at the old apartment before Mr. Leinart moved them both to a gated apartment downtown because of all the paparazzi/fans falling upon these two athletes.

The reason why Jarrett's situation is DIFFERENT from Bomar's is because he wasn't receiving CASH for doing NOTHING!...I think the NCAA saw this difference too.
Posted: 11:04 PM   by James
I'm an OU alum, and I was really very embarrassed by what happened with Bomar and the other 2 stooges. But they were kicked off the team immediately and were made to be the a$$es that they really were in front of the whole country.

And, as for the USC (and others) fans trying to say that the situations are different because of an agent vs a booster are delusional. NCAA rules (which USC voluntarily joined) don't say that "It's OK to accept benefits from an agent, but it's not OK to accept them from a booster." It's just simply illegal to accept benefits as an athlete at an NCAA institution. They are exactly the same offense, just on a vastly different scale.

I just think this sets a poor precedence for handling discipline issues.

For the poster who said that OU is the dirtiest program of all time, I'll admit we've had our problems in the past, our program is no better or worse than any other program. Plus, the NCAA has had it in for us since OU and Georgia busted up the NCAA monopoly on broadcasting rights back in the 1980's.
Posted: 11:06 PM   by Brian
ABC2008,
By your logic, if someone at your work was stealing office supplies, you should be fired too. How fair would you think that was?
Posted: 11:10 PM   by Phillip
USC should be stripped of ever victory it had with Reggie Bush on the team. It should be stripped of the national titles and Reggie should be stripped of the Heisman and give it to the real Heisman Vince Young
Posted: 11:10 PM   by Carlos Vega
These aren't "strict liability" offenses James.

OU was popped by the NCAA because they found OU negligent in monitoring Bomar and Quinn.

If they find that SC could not have reasonably known about Bush or Bush's parents or both and their shadiness then no liability big guy....

No one is saying that what Bush etc. did was right. We're only saying that SC shouldn't be punished for it....
Posted: 11:25 PM   by Justin
The sad thing about the NCAA handing down penalties to Oklahoma, is that the kids that had nothing to do with the infractions are the ones that end up being punished.
Posted: 11:31 PM   by anon969
Carlos has been spewing the USC defense all over the internet.

REGGIE AND/OR HIS FAMILY TOOK MONEY WHILE HE WAS PLAYING COLLEGE BALL.
Clearly a violation similar to Bomar taking money while playing college ball.
Call one an agent, a booster, friend, a sucker, whatever it is agents the rules to accept money.
Posted: 11:36 PM   by steve simon
I appreciate you keeping this the USC story alive! There is smoke coming from this story, but know one is making USC answer the difficult questions. I think this is Bull****! The message to Oklahoma and other schools is don't be honest and admit your mistakes. I think it was stand up for Oklahoma to do what they did, and they are now being punished for it.
What about Florida? They won the last National Championship in football and the last 2 NC's in basketball... surely they must be cheating, too. That's the only way you can win, right?

I think that I saw Tim Tebow and Chris Leak both taking money from boosters during the title game. I know that ESPN and ABC caught it on camera. I paused my TiVo and watched it over and over again.

Quick... Somebody call Yahoo! Sports and report these obviously truthful facts. I'm sure they will post an exclusive interview with me and then we can all start bashing Florida (and the rotten SEC) instead.
Posted: 11:43 PM   by kalyan
would half of you whiners even bother if usc was an average program, your jealousy is pathetic,
Posted: 11:46 PM   by Carlos Vega
"Carlos has been spewing the USC defense all over the internet"

It's unfortunate you're too stupid to get it after reading my posts...
Posted: 11:50 PM   by txdal71
Too bad that USC just simply will never have the huevos to do with Reggie Bush's records what Michigan did with the "records" Chris Webber, and that is erase them. I believe that Michigan pretty much erased every win from the Fab Five era as well, even taking down the Big-10 championship banners as well. Also I am really hoping that the Heisman folks have the huevos to take that trophy back as well. What does it matter? Well congrats Arizona State from 2005. You win? I don't know if it will derail the Reggie Bush endorsement express too much. I mean its not as if he murdered somebody, like, say Ray Lewis, but the fact that USC will skate and that if Carroll had turned him in, and you know he knew, then things for USC would have been, well, not what they were and maybe what they should have been.

As for Oklahoma, get over it. You got what you deserved. The real tragedy is that Texas and USC and the like are not getting what they deserve for admittedly more egregious shenanigans.
Posted: 11:51 PM   by Huskers07
This is an outrage! I am not debating the sanctions against OU although I feel they are too harsh! The NCAA has punished one elite football school and hardly moved to investigate USC. The love affair the press has with Coach Carroll and the Trojans has to come to an end! One team kicked one of the top recruits in the country off their team, self reported the violation to the NCAA, and self imposed sanctions on the team and yet USC is under suspicion for far worse violations and more than likely nothing will happen! Is the NCAA accountable to anybody? Or are they like Congress and get to do whatever they want?
This post has been removed by the author.
Apologies if this has already been said...I read about half the comments and felt I needed to add this. What some people are saying pertaining to the nature of the ALLEGATIONS (I say that because he is innocent till proven guilty). If Reggie Bush was dealing with an agent it was his individual problem. This happens frequently when someone goes pro as a junior then changes their mind but are not allowed back because of contact/dealing with an agent. Where it becomes USCs problem is when they played him all his junior year with him being an illegal player by forfieting his status by having contact with an agent. It is not absurd to think that USC should monitor player's dealings with agents if it is that the OUs must monitor rogue boosters.(To clarify I think it is both the programs as well as the NCAA should)
Posted: 12:26 AM   by prfulmer
As an Oklahoma Season Ticket holder, I think it is time to re-evaluate Athletic Director Joe Castiglione's compliance department. Joe C. just got a big raise and a contract extension, and why not? His department is awash in new revenue thanks to the high level of performance in almost every sport. But now four and possibly five sports are on probation. It's time we supporters supported more than just wins. I for one want to see things done correctly. Get straight Joe!
Posted: 12:35 AM   by jason
Bob Stoops has a reputation as running a clean program. He has a history of removing any player that breaks the rules regardless of how important they are to the team's success.

The REAL problem at OU was Kelvin Sampson, and the NCAA even pointed out that a contributing reason the football program was getting hit so hard was because of the basketball program's earlier transgression. So, ultimately, Bob Stoops and the OU football program is getting nailed for what Kelvin Sampson, who wasn't even man enough to stay with OU after he was caught, did. Why? Because the NCAA couldn't make an example of Kelvin. They had no choice but to stick it to Bob. Well, we all know what the NCAA really is...hypocritical and worthless. If it weren't a mandate that they be members, most schools would probably leave the NCAA. As well they should!
Posted: 12:38 AM   by Derek
USC's clean program

Pete Carroll was hired by USC in 2001.

On August 23, 2001, the NCAA placed USC's athletic department on probation for two years and cut scholarships because tutors wrote papers for three athletes in the late 1990s. The events leading to the probation were before Carroll's time, but I include this for completeness sake.

In 2002, the father of USC tailback Justin Fargas invited former USC Heisman Trophy winner, and alleged double-murderer, O. J. Simpson to a team practice (he was found not guilty in his criminal trial but was later found liable in a civil trial). After the practice, Carroll allowed Simpson to come onto the field and meet the players and pose for pictures. Carroll defends himself from criticism by claiming that Simpson wasn't invited.

On July 19, 2003, USC Sophomore OT Winston Justice pleaded no contest to solicitation of a prostitute in Long Beach on June 24. Winston was put on 3 years probation and fined $300 for the offense.

On March 3, 2004, Winston Justice was arrested on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon. On June 15, 2004, Justice pleaded no contest to exhibition of a replica firearm. Justice was sentenced to 60 days of electronic monitoring and three years' probation. Justice was also suspended for two semesters by USC's student affairs committee after his arrest.

In August 2004, USC starting tailback Hershel Dennis was at the center of a police investigation of an alleged sexual assault. According to sources, the incident took place at a party on August 16, and involved a female friend of Dennis. On August 17, Dennis was removed from practice and suspended by Carroll for "disciplinary reasons," including breaking curfew. On December 13, 2004, the LAPD announced it would not press charges.

In late March 2005, USC starting cornerback Eric Wright was arrested for investigation of sexual assault. Wright was booked on rape charges and bail was set at $100,000 according to the Sheriff's Department. Wright was held out of spring practice, and, in April 2005, the district attorney declined to press charged because of insufficient evidence. Nevertheless, on June 2, 2005, Wright left USC amid possible disciplinary action. On August 25, Wright was suspended by three semesters by USC's student affairs committee, based upon the district attorney's office having found 136 pills of the drug Ecstasy in Wright's room at an apartment he shared with another player.

In early April 2005, USC tight end Dominique Bird fractured his jaw during an alleged altercation with receiver Steve Smith. Bird, Smith and Carroll reportedly refused to comment on the incident, and no disciplinary action was taken.

In August 2005, USC defensive end Frostee Rucker allegedly got into a fight with his girlfriend at a party he was hosting in Los Angeles. In June 2006, Rucker was charged with two misdemeanor counts of spousal battery and two counts of vandalism and was scheduled to be arraigned on August 11, 2006. Despite the incident, Rucker did not face any discipline from USC, and didn't miss a game. Prior to transferring to USC, in April of 2002, Rucker was charged in Colorado with sexual assault and indecent exposure. Rucker reportedly eventually accepted a one-year deferred sentence on a misdemeanor harassment charge. Developing.

On August 13, 2005, 10 veteran USC players were involved in a hazing incident where they shaved the head of freshman quarterback Mark Sanchez. Also, what started out as a water fight between USC players, escalated into an all-out brawl as it spiraled out of control. Reportedly, there was significant damage to the players dorms as players were thrown through walls.

On October 31, 2005, USC tailback LenDale White plays a macabre prank by pretending to quit the team and throwing a dummy off a building on Child's Way. Separately, Pete Carroll apologized to Washington State coach Bill Doba for USC players pushing and bumping Doba while trying to get to the locker room during halftime of their game.

On November 2, 2005, USC linebacker Rey Maualuga was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor battery after punching a man at an off-campus Halloween party (twice, without provocation). A witness at the scene reportedly quoted Maualuga as stating "I own the police." Carroll took no disciplinary action, and Maualuga played the following weekend against Stanford. One USC pundit observed at the time that "discipline is Coach Carroll's number one weakness." On November 22, 2005, the city attorney's office declined to file charges. Maualuga was defended at the court hearing by controversial and well-connected USC alumni attorney Carmen "Nooch" Trutanich, who has a long history with USC and previously represented both Wright and Dennis.

On December 21, 2005, USC starting quarterback Matt Leinart had his eligibility temporarily revoked after appearing in a promotional segment on ESPN earlier that month, a violation of an NCAA rule. Leinart was reinstated shortly thereafter. One observer claims the NCAA was just concerned about money.

On January 1, 2006, reporters from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and CBS Sportline reportedly told the USC football team about potential recruiting violations stemming from visits by USC recruits to Papadakis Taverna, a Greek restaurant owned by former USC linebacker John Papadakis.

On January 21, 2006, USC quarterback Matt Leinart was cited by the Pac-10 for working out with his own coach using school facilities. According to the NCAA, a student athlete cannot utilize the school's facilities to work out with a coach, unless the coach is affiliated with the university.

On April 21, 2006, the family of USC running back Reggie Bush was implicated by numerous separate media reports as having lived in a house purchased by a San Diego-area man with ties to a sports agent and a tribal casino. Both the Pac-10 and the NCAA have launched an investigation into potential NCAA violations in connnection with this matter, which is pending. More recent reports in this fast evolving story are here, here, and here. Yahoo Sports, which is responsible for much of the investigative reporting on this issue, has set up a page dedicated to its eight-month probe here.

On April 26, 2006, USC quarterback Mark Sanchez was arrested for investigation of sexually assaulting a female student earlier that same day. Sanchez was released upon posting $200,000 bail, and has been ordered to appear in court on May 17, 2006. Sanchez was also placed on "interim suspension" by USC while the case is pending. On June 2, 2006, the LA District Attorney announced that it would not be bring charges against Sanchez due to insufficient evidence.

On April 30, 2006, it was reported that USC compliance officials were investigating whether an NCAA rule was violated because receiver Dwayne Jarrett failed to pay approximately $10,000 for his half of the rent for an upscale apartment he shared with former quarterback Matt Leinart. USC claims that no rules were violated, though it has been reported that Jarret may have to sit out a portion of next season. Developing.

In August of 2006, USC defensive back Brandon Ting quit the football team after testing postive for steroid use. His twin brother, Ryan, also a defensive back on the USC football team, quit the team just days later, claiming that he wanted to concentrate on preparing for medical school, and was never tested. Interestingly, Arthur Ting, father of the twins, is a Bay Area orthopedic surgeon who has reportedly appeared as a witness before a grand jury considering possible perjury charges against baseball's Barry Bonds, one of Arthur's clients. This incident finally triggered some real interest by the LA Times.

On December 4, 2006, former USC stand-out, and current Rams rookie, tight end Dominique Byrd was arrested for allegedly hitting a bar patron in the face with a drinking glass. Byrd was charged with second- and third-degree assault and armed criminal action. He was released shortly after posting a $25,000 bond. Developing.

In January 2007, a federal investigation into extortion claims by former USC running back Reggie Bush and his family revealed the existence of taped converstations that could confirm Bush took cash and gifts while he was playing football for USC. It was also reported that nearly $280,000 in cash, rent and gifts were allegedly given to Bush and his family. The information came to light following the issuance of grand jury subpoenas to multiple witness by the U.S. District Attorney's office in San Diego. Both the NCAA and Pac-10 continue to investigate. Also, more recent articles suggest that Reggie Bush was involved earlier and more deeply than previously reported in efforts to create the sports marketing agency at the center of the continuing controversy. The investigation has, to date, yielded no definitive proof that USC officials had knowledge of Bush's misconduct, though Bush was nevertheless asked not to attend the Trojans' Rose Bowl matchup against Michigan on New Year's Day. Developing.

On February 2, 2007, it was reported that a "stampede of student athletes," including three USC linemen, ex-USC receiver Keary Colbert, and members of the USC women's basketball, volleyball and water polo teams, had improperly attempted to take an academic shortcut around the university's foreign language requirement by signing up for a course at Los Angeles Trade Tech College taught by USC graduate Senora Ross, who promised to give the athletes no lower than a "B." Upon discovering the situation, USC officials disallowed the transfer of credits from Trade Tech.

On February 8, 2007, it was reported that USC football players had created and joined a racist Facebook group as a "joke." The racist Facebook group was called "White Nation," showed a graphic of a swastika and black baby in handcuffs with the caption "arrest black babies before they become criminals." The group was created by USC linebacker Clay Matthews and was joined by teammates David Buehler, Brian Cushing, Dan Deckas and Dallas Sartz. Coach Pete Carroll responded to reports of the incident by saying he had no plans to discipline the players, and USC later announced that none of the players would be punished. According to Carroll, "[i]t's not a controversy, it's a mistake."

On February 9, 2007, USC compliance officials announced they were investigating whether an NCAA violation occurred during the Trojans' pursuit of Louisiana prep star running back Joe McKnight. The investigation followed reports that McKnight had told reporters that USC coach Pete Carroll had set up a conference call so he and high school coach J.T. Curtis could be assured by ex-Trojan running back Reggie Bush that USC would not be punished for a separate NCAA investigation into improper benefits allegedly taken by Bush. Carroll later denied that any call took place, and Curtis said that McKnight misspoke. According to NCAA officials, if USC got Bush's help in recruiting McKnight, it would be considered a "secondary violation" of recruiting rules.

On March 9, 2007, USC basketball recruit O.J. Mayo was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Huntington, West Virginia. Mayo was one of four young males found in a suspicious vehicle by a Cabell County Sheriff's drug task force unit assigned to serve a search warrant at a house nearby. The charges against Mayo were later dismissed by a magistrate judge, after the driver of the vehicle pleaded guilty to the charge. The incident followed a controversy in January following Mayo's two game suspension after receiving two technical fouls in a high school game and coming into contact with an official, as well as prior reports of two prior altercations and a suspension following an incident with a female student.
Posted: 1:14 AM   by Bryan
Initially I was going to say that some of the criticism of USC was too harsh. At worst, they should forfeit games that Bush was involved once he accepted money from agents (and probably lose a couple of scholarships as the "slap on the wrist" measure for not policing its' athletes).

Then I read the huge post before mine...likely a rival's fan but still a serious list of transgressions. I don't really know how to argue against that...does the LAPD really let them get away with that much stuff?? Someone should answer for such a blatant of legal inconsistency.
Posted: 1:55 AM   by SoCalSooner
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Posted: 1:59 AM   by SoCalSooner
I'll preface my comment by stating that I am a proud University of Oklahoma alumna and football fan. I think that the punishment was fair, although I felt the vacation of wins was a bit harsh for all the players, coaches and members of the program that worked so hard to turn what could have been a disatrous season into a success. Conversely, I feel the same way about USC.


Should all the hard work of the Trojan football family be flushed down the tubes because of the poor decisions of an 18-20 year old kid living in Los Angeles around a bunch of movie and rock stars? Of course not--it would be stupid (I feel the same way about Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn--two guys that strutted around Norman like they were the movie or rock stars).

The USC Trojan football team was going undefeated and soundly whipping OU in the Orange Bowl in 2004 whether Reggie Bush's parents had a condo in Corona del Mar or they were begging for spare change in Hollywood. Don't punish the hard work and dedication of all the rest of the players.
I feel much the same way about OU. People need to remember that in both cases, the VAST majority of the people involved were playing by the rules. We go to great lengths in college football to ensure that outcomes are achieved in fair play (we even have instant replay)--even so college football should be true to its players that play by the rules. Not everyone from the 2005 Oklahoma Sooners team, or the 2004-2005 USC Trojan teams are playing in the NFL, and these are their memories being tossed in the trash bin.

In closing, I feel the extension of probation was fair and that the loss of schollys/loss of recruiter was adequate punishment and I hope to tell everyone that we at OU are committed to running a clean program (I am proud to admit that I, myself, have failed football students in an OU classroom--there was no special treatment and it was a starter).

Peace and love to everyone from Southern California
Posted: 2:12 AM   by Brock
To all of the USC fans that think that the OU situation, and the Reggie Bush situation are not the same, you are WRONG!!! They are both major NCAA rule violations!!! One may involve a booster, and one may involve an agent, but rest assured, if USC and Bush are found guilty, the Trojans will have to give up a lot more than OU did. Why dont we just all admit that the NCAA is full of hypocrites, and start paying the players.
Posted: 2:15 AM   by Eli
There's really no point to write, because there's no objectivity in this discussion. Any fan of a major D-1 college football program would be naive to think that THEIR program is irreproachable. Much of what has been written is fueled by jealousy and a bias that conveniently degrades the extended level of performance of one team (USC) and excuses the underachievement of another ("If our players were bending the rules like ___ we could be in the national championship game every year, too!"). As Derek has pointed out, USC has had its share of off the field problems-but so has every major division 1 team. As an alum I am proud to say that the above listed transgressions (some alleged, some true) have been addressed and handled by the university and the team. Winston Justice was suspended for a year, Eric Wright was removed from the team and university, Hershel was suspended (even though there was insufficient evidence to charge him), etc. I believe that if we are to be honest with ourselves, calling for USC to be sent to the gallows is akin to the innate desire you have for the Porsche that passes you on the freeway to be pulled over-while you're doing 80 yourself.

So objectively? I think it's irresponsible for the NCAA to sent OU to the sacrificial altar when there's clearly noncompliance issues at every school. Let me make it clear: this is not good. There are simply insufficient resources to monitor every student athlete, every agent, every potential agent, every booster, every family member, etc. OU did the right thing by reporting to the NCAA and dismissing the players in question. That should be enough, as vacating wins is simply trivial and removing scholarships just punishes an already adversely affected team.

Thus my assessment of the Bush situation. I believe that if he is found guilty, Reggie should have to 'vacate' the Heisman trophy and his parents should pay back the 12 months of mortgage money that was loaned/given (depending on which team you root for). If the NCAA follows on this guilty determination then the wins from 2005 would have to be vacated. Years prior to and following this year should not be affected, as the alleged infraction occurred only during the 2005 season. For USC fans vacating 2005 would mean little other than the great Notre Dame game, as the team failed to win the championship that year. For others, there should be some sort of satisfaction for justice. However, this probably won't be enough, as you will see the shared championship in 2003, the undefeated season in 2004, and another top 5 finish in 2006...and probably want scholarships taken away, more victories vacated, etc.

The point is that the only reason you care is that the team under Carroll has been very successful as of late, and it's not enjoyable to be witness to the success of a rival. This is why everyone hates the yankees. You will not get your wish either way, however, because Reggie won't be found guilty. There's just too much speculation at this point.

Note that none of this affected the players' performance on the field...and it will not affect SC's championship run this year. Nor did Bomar's whopping 5,000 that he made, the few thousand that the Texas kid made off of selling weed, the money that T. Smith got, etc. None of it is right, but don't try to act like your school is innocent.
Posted: 2:50 AM   by Kevin
as a huge OU fan, i am relieved. To have to wait for a year for the shoe to drop and watch as other schools negatively recruit against our team, to only lose 4 scholies over 2 years and to have victories from 2 years ago vacated sounds fair to me..Im proud to support a university that had the moxie to kick off 2 valuable players for there wrongdoings. That being said, when you do wrong there still needs to be some accountability. Its like in raising your kids. If they mess up and tell you about it, you still have to punish them but maybe you lessen the severity of the punishment. For those saying that it doesnt pay to self report that is nonsense! Nothing is more important than the integrity of a person or a university.

The most important thing is that future OU teams wont have to pay the price for others transgressions and thats really what is important from here on out..
Posted: 3:14 AM   by Zachg1989
USC can get away with stuff because...well...they're USC
Posted: 3:53 AM   by Allen
For Marc at 6:32 PM "Are you saying that USC should spot potential agents as well?" In response to that, you just let anyone wander on down into your locker room? No questions asked? If he's not media, not a student, and wants to talk to 1 of your star players, just let him walk on in? Part of what they hit OU with was "failure to monitor". There's got to be a little bit better of a policy in place at a MAJOR COLLEGE than to just let people wander on down to the locker room. If I'm the coach, no one comes in there without my knowledge, or at least someone within the schools athletic departments knowledge, plain and simple. They also better have a better explanation than just wanting to talk to a star player if they don't have media credentials or a student ID. If it happens off campus, can't keep track of them everywhere, but your own sidelines or locker room, that's BS, that's YOU'RE HOUSE! "Failure to monitor" you're own sidelines/locker room = dirty, just didn't report it. Apparently, they don't need to watch the boosters at USC, they need to watch the coach if he can't keep shady things from happening in his locker room.
Posted: 4:32 AM   by jhoov915
First off, I'll say that I am a current SC student. Thus, I have been privy to many of the "offenses" that Derek outlined earlier. Would just like to show how they were handled:
Incident 1 (late 90s) occurred before Carroll even arrived, and we were properly punished for it.

Incident 2 - I agree, it was probably poor taste to pose with OJ Simpson for pictures. That said, he was found innocent, regardless if you or I believe it, so no crime was committed here.

Incidents 3 and 4 - Winston Justice was suspended for an entire year. Im not positive on this, but I believe it was a school year, so he missed a season AND the following spring practice. Find me a football program that has had NO suspensions over the past five years.

Incident 5 - no charges were ever filed, and Dennis was even punished by the team. Again, NO CRIME was committed.

Incident 6 - I agree, a black eye on the university. That said, it was handled correctly, as Wright was immediately suspended and transferred to UNLV. No team has no bad apples; its how you handle those bad apples, and in my opinion justice was served here, he wont ever get a degree from USC, nor did he ever play football again.

Incident 7 - Frostee Rucker was a bad seed, and should have been punished worse. I will dispute the fact that he did not face discipline; I distinctly remember the fact that he WAS disciplined, although admittedly I cant recall in exactly what way. I agree, a bad call on the university's part.

Incident 8 - I was living in LA during this time and I never heard about this. Frankly, I dont think this was a major issue, you probably googled "USC football trouble" or something and some blogger included this when it was a non-issue.

Incident 9 - This was prank. In poor taste, debatably, although Coach Pete and Lendale did apologize afterward for offending anyone. Separately, Carroll apologized for a misunderstanding at a football game. Why is this even an incident? Like this has never happened at a football game before.

Incident 10 - At the time, Rey's dad was undergoing aggressive chemotherapy for a brain tumor. Carroll talked to him about it, and claimed he was clearly under a lot of stress from it. Since this, Rey has had no run-ins with the law.

Incident 11 - Leinart looked at a camera and said, "this is sportscenter," and ESPN then used it for the following sportscenter. Leinart was not paid to do this. God, suspend him for being such an arrogant snob!!!

Incident 12 - I remember this occurring, and the potential recruits are no longer allowed to attend his restaurant. Notice the use of the word "reportedly" throughout. nothing ever came of this.

Incident 13 - god, that Leinart again. What a snob, trying to work out to get ready for the NFL draft. And he should clearly know all obscure rules about working out after he graduated.

Incident 14 - as has been posted elsewhere, reggie bush likely knew of the benefits. Even using cardinal and gold glasses, I know something bad happened here. That said, the NCAA interveiwed Carroll and his entire staff. They found no evidence the coaching staff knew anything. If you consider this negligence, I will retort that USC cannot background check every person that a player's parents ever meet. The choice to accept benefits was likely not known by the university.

Incident 15 - this one is close to me because Sanchez was actually supposed to be in a class with me the morning after the supposed assault. Frankly, there was no crime committed here, as there was no evidence.

Incidnet 16 - I hate to tell you this, but living in LA is expensive, and I do the same thing with my roomate. They pay a larger percentage of the rent than I do, simply because they can afford to and I cannot afford to pay exactly half. I also have no connection to the football team outside of my attendance at games. this is a function of living in LA, not some ulterior motive.

Incident 17 - The two guys quit the team, although I was not aware it was tied up in the BALCO stuff. Frankly, those two guys rarely played, so if they were taking steroids during a season (unproven) it wasnt helping them.

Incident 18 - Byrd had already left the school 6 months ago. how this is relevant is beyond me.

Incident 19 - again, something bad happened here. Connection to USC has been probed but not found. Theres really not more to say.

Incident 20 - something bad happened, so transfer credits were disallowed. The athletes now have to take their foreign language requirement on campus. problem was resolved. This is how you are supposed to handle such problems.

Incident 21 - This was an inside joke between members of the kickoff coverage team. They foolishly (my opinion) made the joke public by posting it on facebook. They were called out in the Daily Trojan, teh school newspaper, apologized, and now the facebook group is used as a race awareness group. This is why it wasnt a controversy, because they immediately realized their mistake and apologized.

Incident 22 - this has never been proven to have happened. The NCAA probed, and again, found nothing.

Incidnet 23 - while OJ Mayo is a future Trojan, he was never charged with anything. The marijuana was apparently not his. Also, anyone who saw the video knows it was BS. Frankly, he shouldnt have pursued the issue, but he leaned in on the ref, who then went sprawling in a very bad acting job. Seriously, youtube it. its pretty bad. Also, what does this have to do with the football team?

So, in summary, you have pointed out 3 problems that directly apply to USC: Eric Wright, Winston Justice, and Frostee Rucker. Wright was immeidately suspended, and never played again. Justice was suspended for a year. Rucker admittedly got off light. 2 were handled as they should have been, and one wasn't. Remember, this occurred over the course of six years. Thats one problem every two years, and 2/3 of the time, justice was served. I'd put that record up against just about any other Division I-A program.

Also, OU got screwed, now no one will self report, because you just get hit worse. Absurd call, the appropriate people were punished, there shouldnt have been any other sanctions.
Posted: 4:40 AM   by Vibber
As an Alabama fan, I lost any misconceptions I had regarding the impartiality and fairness of the NCAA. Are rogue agents paying for luxurious mansions for a players parents less of an NCAA infraction than a rogue booster trying to pay a high school coach for a player?
Probably about the same scale in my opinion. The major difference being that I don't think Alabama knew about the Memphis thing where It is pretty obvious USC did know about the Bush thing. That is why they are stonewalling. I think that says it all about the morality of the two institutions. So, reference my first statement, I don't really expect anything at all to happen to USC.
Posted: 7:44 AM   by DieHardOkie
I just can't understand the NCAA's logic in this one. Yes, OU committed infractions--this coming from a dedicated OU fan--but they REPORTED them!! They kicked two players off the team, and put their 2006 season in jeopardy as soon as they found out about it! What more can the NCAA ask for? How can USC go unpunished? How fair is that? It's like the Reggie Bush thing just disappeared or something. You hardly see anything about it anymore. But if Oklahoma so much as scratches its ass, it seems like the whole nation knows about it!
Posted: 8:19 AM   by P.A.
As far as OU, the punsihment is little more than a slap of the hand. USC is guilty as sin, but as usual for a PAC 10 school, will get nothing in the way of legitimate punishment. UW didn't either in the wake of all the Neuheisel (sp) rule breaking. Typical NCAA and media. If either of these infractions had happened somewhere like Alabama or Georgia, they would be vilified in the press and hung out to dry by the NCAA. Their only consistency is their inconsistency.
Posted: 8:20 AM   by P.A.
As far as OU, the punsihment is little more than a slap of the hand. USC is guilty as sin, but as usual for a PAC 10 school, will get nothing in the way of legitimate punishment. UW didn't either in the wake of all the Neuheisel (sp) rule breaking. Typical NCAA and media. If either of these infractions had happened somewhere like Alabama or Georgia, they would be vilified in the press and hung out to dry by the NCAA. Their only consistency is their inconsistency.
Posted: 8:43 AM   by Rob
I think that the sanctions against OU are too strong considering that they self reported and dismissed the players. To do anything without taking action against USC who, in my humble opinion, allowed much worse, would make the NCAA a bigger joke than it is.
Posted: 9:00 AM   by dawgs07
I think the anyone that break the rules should be punished but be equal with all school alabama had player get money from boosters and almost recieved the death penalty.the media all over everthing bama does sound like the media work with the ncaa picking and choosing who the they dont like.
Posted: 9:08 AM   by Joe
The majority of these posts boil down to one thing: bitterness. Oklahoma and LSU fans need to get a grip and move on with their lives. Sooners: stop being bitter about being shredded by USC in the Orange Bowl. Tigers: stop whining about splitting the 2003 championship with USC...and instead of spending money to erect meaningless billboards near USC's campus, how about using that money to do something constructive like rebuilding the region of your state leveled by Hurricane Katrina. As for Mr. Mandel, I don't know what your particular beef is with Reggie Bush, but you too should move on to a new topic because your obviously biased rantings are getting rather old.
Posted: 9:29 AM   by Brian
I have been a Longhorn fan since 1993. I used to like the horns because of what they were, a mid-level program, with players that didn't have incredible talent, but they played with heart. And Mackovich ran a clean program. Now all of a sudden we are getting all the blue chip athletes in Texas, and the facilities are growing RAMPANT! Why would all these great athletes come to a school that they knew they wouldn't get very much playing time on, when they could go somewhere else, get playing time, and thus get noticed. I think they come to Texas because of what is being given to them. I heard that during their championship year that when Texas would go on road games, they would give their players spending money, and Vince got alot more than everyone else. And how do these kids drive around in these sports cars around downtown Austin? Why did Ricky Williams get away with being seen with pot? Why did Cedric Benson get away with breaking down the door and stealing a television from the apartment complex I LIVED AT??????????? I grew up in College Station, and the way I saw the Aggies in the late 80s and early 90s is how I see the UT program now. They have become everything that I despise in a football program. Florida State, Miami, Texas A&M, Texas, USC. They all have history that they need to come clean with (unfortunately for Texas A&M, they already were taken care of, and from what everyone has seen, they haven't recovered since).
Posted: 9:31 AM   by tbone
I'm not an OU fan, so this doesn't impact me all that much. However, it does appear that they got bent over by the NCAA.

First of all, why did they wait until the day after the All-Star game to make the announcement? Everyone knows it's the slowest day in sports and that such an announcement would have the greatest negative impact. Didn't OU and GA have a lawsuit against the NCAA in '82 over TV revenue?

Second, when players are being deceptive about working hours, I don't know how you can adequately police that when you have 100 players on a team. When someone wants to be deceptive about their actions, it's pretty difficult to catch.

Third, OU booted these guys off the team immediately. They sit out one year and transfer to another school with NO other penalties - aside from paying back the money they didn't earn.

The USC folks keep wanting to say it's "apples and oranges". It all boils down to Bush's parents receiving improper benefits. You can define it anyway you want, but it's still against NCAA regs...

Great article by Mandel, I've always wondered why USC seems to be able to skirt the issues in the media.
Posted: 9:43 AM   by James
The comments from the OU fans remind me of what we hear from Washington. If you keep repeating the same lie often enough you hope that people believe it. OU DID NOT self report these violations. They even claimed to have investigated and found nothing wrong. It was ONLY after an employee of the car dealership had come forward that they were forced to admitted it. Then the dealership changed hands and records were lost. They want to ignore the fact that as many as 20 of their players were working at that same dealership. And only these two / three players were involved. Come on. The Men's basketball team and Women's gymnastics teams are already on probation. Women's gymnastics how sick is that? Here's hoping that the OU baseball team will step up and continue that great OU tradition. Historically OU has been one of the worst if not the worst school in the NCAA at breaking the rules and unless the NCAA grows some they will always continue to do so. Their great, "well everyone does it", claim in an attempt to deflect the subject just doesn't cut it. Historically they have always cheated and it appears they will continue to. If a school with the history of breaking the rules as often as OU can get away with such a small punishment then what does that say to the SMU's and others who the NCAA has hammered of the world. If your big enough and make enough money we will look the other way? The NCAA has been and it looks like will always be a joke who will only really punish a smaller, less wealthy school. That said to me it looks like USC is giving the finger to the NCAA and laughing about it. What they appear to have done is even worst that what OU was forced to admit to. What a joke.
Posted: 9:48 AM   by Amy
Questions for all USC fans:

What, if anything, should happen to USC because of the Bush situation?

I have read a lot about the fact that it wasn't a booster, just an agent and that USC had no idea, etc.

If the NCAA doesn't do anything to USC - whether because of a lack of evidence or not - do you think that is the way things should turn out?
Posted: 10:15 AM   by noles-baby
Folks...i want all of you to remember something. This Big Time College Football!!!! This is the way is has always been. Is it right that Ok got singled out, maybe, is it right thta USC may get off scitt free, absolutly not. But in Big Time College Football,and believe me it hard to be bigger than SC, this is what it is...if you report them early the NCAA will punish you, if you let them do the investigative work then, they come up with minor infraction...and slap on the wrist. Boosters controll College Football not the NCAA.
Posted: 10:21 AM   by noles-baby
Should've used spell check...lol...
Folks...i want all of you to remember something. This Big Time College Football!!!! This is the way is has always been. Is it right that OK got singled out, maybe, is it right that USC may get off scott free, absolutly not. But in Big Time College Football, and believe me its hard to be bigger than SC, this is what it is...if you report them early the NCAA will punish you, severly, now if you let them do the investigative work then they come up with minor infractions and a slap on the wrist. Boosters control College Football not the NCAA.
Posted: 10:38 AM   by Sooner Dad
Unfortunately, OU has received cheep shots on and off the field. BAD calls from officials on the field and now this. When will the NCAA make the players responsible for what they do? Why is Bomar allowed to play at Sam Houston State.(?) He should be on probation for the rest of his college career.
Posted: 10:49 AM   by charles
How is this penalty imposed on Oklahoma that severe in the first place? Wow, they forfeit some games. But taking only two scholarships away virtually does nothing to penalize them for the future.
Posted: 10:49 AM   by bobhope
Back in the 70's, an Oklahoma assistant coach altered the high school transcript of a player. At the same time, it was reported that several USC players were getting passing grades for classes they never attended, along with several other transgressions. The NCAA hammered Oklahoma, reducing scholarships, and banning them from TV and bowl games for two or three years. (note: they won the national championship during one of those years, despite the fact that the only people who saw them were those who physically went to the stadium.) USC walked away scot free. So now history repeats itself, as the NCAA makes an example of the same team in the same minor media market, and ignores more egregious violations for the same team in Los Angeles. Although I couldn't care less about the absurd "punishment" - moving some statistics around - the constant hypocrisy of NCAA enforcement is really troubling.
Posted: 10:59 AM   by pmason
"isnt it a little harsh when nothing to this extent happened to ohio state after smith and clarrett took the boosters money? whats the difference?"

Maurice Clarett was suspended for falsifiying a police report; not for accepting an illegal payment. Troy Smith accepted a one time payment of $500. He paid the money back and was suspended for 2 games, one of them a bowl. tOSU reported the incident and the NCAA found their actions to be appropritate and decided not take any further actions. The NCAA did an investigation into allegations that Clarett made in an article in ESPN the Magazine. They found nothing. Clarett is/was a liar, a thief and a loud mouth punk, and he is in jail because of it. But, as far as the NCAA is concerned, he/tOSU did nothing wrong the one season he played.
Everyone is forgetting that the NCAA is still punishing OU for taking it's Cash Cow. In '84 NCAA owned the rights to TV deals until OU and Georgia sued them for the rights to make thier own TV deals (or at least let their conferences do so for them). The Committee for OU was also headed by the AD of Miami (who OU plays twice in the next three years) and law professors from Texas. Supprise!
Posted: 11:20 AM   by B Low
All of you SC fans talking about apples and oranges are confusing the issue. OU has to vacate their victories because there were ineligible players on the field. When players accept benefits of any kind, they forfeit their amateur status. According to NCAA rules, their participation must be voided. It doesn't matter who paid Bush or Brett Romar, the fact is they were paid.

Also, for you Trojans out there saying Pete Carroll can't police all of his players off the field, do you think Stoops was standing next to Bomar when he made the deal with Brad Lund at Big Red? All of your arguments are the same that we made when the news first came out against Bomar. Whether they are agents or boosters, they know what they are doing isn't in the best interest of the program. What are you idiots talking about saying boosters pay players for the benefit of the program. Breaking the rules doesn't benefit the program. These individuals make deals behind closed doors in secret with the intention of not being caught.

It's refreshing to see a head Coach with some backbone and integrity. Pete Carroll & Jim Tressell have made it clear that star players on their teams are free to do whatever they want until they get caught, serve small suspensions and go on to win Heisman trophies. Stoops could have suspended Bomar for a few games and we probably would be pre-season #1 or #2 with Bomar getting ready for his junior campaign.

In closing I must agree that this has set a precedent of no more self-reported infractions because look what happens.
Posted: 11:24 AM   by jgeils
The NCAA certainly are not even close to being fair. How does a program like Ohio State get away with problems with their men's AND women's basketball teams and the football team within a short few years and not get the hammer. They should forfeit the 2002 title.
Posted: 11:28 AM   by pmason
"They should forfeit the 2002 title."

Why should they?
Posted: 11:32 AM   by pmason
"How does a program like Ohio State get away with problems with their men's AND women's basketball teams"

The men's BB program is on probabtion for the illegal payments made to a recruit by Jim O'Brien. The records were vacated, and the banners taken down. tOSU AD had to repay $800,000 in TV revenue earned for the '99 appearance in the Final Four. So, tell me, what exactly did they get away with?
Posted: 11:41 AM   by Pablo
Even as a Longhorn fan, I think the punishment handed down to OU is appalling to say the least. Sadly the NCAA will not make USC forfeit every game in which Reggie Bush played.
Posted: 11:48 AM   by utxrwilson
USC should be punished to a greater degree than Oklahoma. OU self reported and kicked the players off the team. USC has done nothing and the evidence seems to overwhelmingly point to a total lack of control on the part of the USC athletic department, or, if not lack of control, it points to an unbelievable level of stupidity on the part of the athletic department to not investigate when access is so freely supplied to individuals of the sort that are reported to have been in constant contact with the players. USC needs to "step up to the plate" and admit their mistakes. However, after seeing what the NCAA has done to Oklahoma, USC will probably just sit tight and do nothing.
Posted: 11:58 AM   by Nathan
Some people really seem to have this totally wrong - OU did not find these incidents through compliance monitoring - they were sent an anonymous email and this story was first reported on other schools message boards in Feb 06. and nothing was done about it until August 06. Is that a lack of institional control? - No! Is it a failure to monitor your student athletes? - Yes! How can anyone argue that players receiving over $17,000 more than they are supposed to is not noticable. And being the quarterback?? I think everyone knows that OU helped themselves by dismissing the players once the situation was brought to their attention. The problem is - why did someone have to bring it to their attention? Why did they not know what was going on? This is fair - not too much - not too little. The mistake began with student athletes - which will dearly pay the price in career implications. The second mistake came from the University - which will take this small punishment and go on and be fine.

The difference between OU and USC is that the violations with USC were not discovered until Reggie Bush had left the program. At that time, he has no reason or obligation to cooperate with USC's compliance or the NCAA investigation. Therefore, as long as they keep their mouth shut, its hard for the NCAA to get many facts to create a case.
Posted: 12:04 PM   by Nathan
OU / USC?? They aren't close to the same type of situation. OU's involved players who were currently in the program and USC's with a player who had already left the program. Since Reggie Bush had already departed, he has no obligation or reason to cooperate with USC's compliance department or the NCAA investigation. Therefore, finding cold hard facts will be much more difficult.

OU got treated fairly. They were tipped off by an anonymous email rather than discovering the fault themselves. They failed to notice - with a star player and a couple others - $17,000 overpayment. That is a failure to monitor your student athletes. Did the student athletes make the bigger mistake? Certainly. For that they will pay dearly in career implications. Did OU allow things to go too far? Also - Yes.

OU's players claimed hours during practice and did all sorts of things that should have thrown red flags. This story was widely known of on other schools' message boards in Feb. of 2006 and the dismissal occurred in Aug. of 2006.

The fact that they did not stop the problem as they were occuring along with the already existent issues regarding the impermissible phone calls the previous year in basketball shows a failure to monitor and as a result - OU received their punishment. Which is fair - not too much, not too little.
Posted: 12:06 PM   by Dn2erth_II
Let me say first thing I'm a Longhorn Fan through and through. I admit we've had our share of incidents with individuals of late, so I'm not the guy in the glass house throwing rocks out the window. That being said, OU's punishment fit the crime. No TV Ban, No Bowl Ban and only 83 scholarships instead of 85. They'll be fine. Forfeiting a season that ended in the Holiday bowl isn't going to hurt anyone except the other players. I think the the entire season had to be forfeited is for two reasons.

1 - The players participated in every single one of them.

2 - Although OU self reported and stated only 3 players were involved, one of which was a walk on, the reality of the situation is 11 other players were found to have worked there at the same time. Taking a common sense look at things, if a walk-on got over paid, you can make a reasonable assumption the others were as well. This isn't court beyond a reasonable doubt doesn't apply.

In addition, and this is just a side note, but this very same dealership also let Adrian Peterson take a 3 month "Test Drive" in a new Lexus.

As for USC, if they get off with nothing it's for 1 reason only, Bush signed his contract, and paid off the people he owed. In addition there is a gag order as a part of the payment so they can't say anything else about what actually happened.

The only hope the NCAA has of being able to come down on USC is if the recorded conversations they already have hold up. The problem is if Bush doesn't cooperate and now the agents who were accusing him don't cooperate either there isn't much of a way to authenticate the tapes. I think if anything USC will skate.

This is a situation where I think the Bush should be punished more than anything. He should lose his Heisman, and USC should have to delete every stat and reference to his senior season.

USC needs to be sanctioned for a lot of the other stuff that has been going on, but they're not even being investigated for that.

What's frightening is the history of Sexual Assaults and rapes. I realize there were not any prosecutions for "lack of evidence" so officially they are innocent, but they're still the campus the rape charges keep coming from.

Think about your favorite school, no matter who they are, would you rather have players getting in trouble for weed or sexual assault?

I've said my piece, Good Luck To everyone next season...

OU Fan's - See You In Dallas In October, by the way you guys still SUCK! - LOL
Posted: 12:11 PM   by Patrick
How many times does it need to be said? OU did not "self-report." A local newspaper first reported it - people seem to indicate that OU admitted this out of some altruistic sense of morals. And there is a difference between a booster with the violation occurring right off campus and a person who was not yet even an agent with the violation occuring three hours away.

The players were still OU students - when the Bush story broke, he was already out of SC. If you were Bush, why would you talk to the NCAA? The USC staff has already been interviewed by the NCAA - if they cannot find any evidence that SC knew anything about this, then what's the problem? As Mandel states, nothing will come of this anyway.
Posted: 12:20 PM   by jhoov915
To the guy who asked how things should turn out for USC, I feel like we are getting fair treatment. I personally dont think it reasonable to know the exact intentions of every single person at a practice or a game. Bush, on the other hand, I have little sympathy for, as he probably knowingly (you cant really say more than probably) took benefits. Again, there has been no evidence to show the athletic department or coaching staff were aware of this. If because of this, the NCAA decided we had to forfeit those games because Bush was ineligible, it wouldnt be all bad because it would have to be his junior year (he never had a senior year, to someone above), as this was the time the supposed events took place. We didnt win a championship that year, but I guess if we automatically forfeited, you'd lose two of the best games in college football history in usc-nd and usc-texas. I really dont see how you can justify a worse punishment. This was not a booster, not someone the university should have been careful about. and I am also aware that the team has an informational meeting with players and their parents about what constitutes illegal benefits, signing with agents, etc. The knowledge was there, and the Bush family chose to break the rules, not USC.
It sounds as though the institutions that 'fess up' lose and those that probably used the monies from their successful season(s) to muddy the waters will not.

The NCAA has long been hypocritical in its dealings and picks on the 'weak' and those who confess and looks the other way when the strong refuse to do any 'self-sanctions'.

I would be very unhappy, were I a writer or member of an institution that 'plays by the rules'.

To think that the NCAA would beat a cash cow like USC is naive. When we remember that college football and basketball is big business and has very little to do with student athletes the issue is reduced to 'why care'!

However, those of you, Mandel and others who are supposed to be holding up a light on these ugly matters, should be yelling from the rooftops. It is not enough to write about it and say that 'Oh well, I guess that they will get away with it.'

Lee Wiltrout
Posted: 12:24 PM   by Racehorse
Now we see that the way to win championships is for someone outside the university to pay your players. All the university has to do is to look the other way. It's simple. If USC were an honorable institution, they would do their own investigation, but evidently they are not.
Posted: 12:33 PM   by B Low
To the guy who keeps going crazy about OU not self -reporting. We are referring to reporting matters to the NCAA you idiot. The newspaper doesn't submit articles to the NCAA. You are a fool. Papers run stories on allegations all the time, they don't materialize into NCAA investigations. I live in Norman and I didn't here anything from any local news stations until Bomar was kicked off the team, no one did. It was shock. Know what you are talking about before you make a fool of yourself you idiots.
Posted: 12:43 PM   by Tony
OU is a first class institution and showed more grit than my Alma Mater ever would I promise you that.
Posted: 12:44 PM   by B Low
If USC compiled all the info. they could about the Bush scandal and submitted it to the NCAA, even though Yahoo! Sports broke the story, that would be "self-reporting." What don't you people understand?
Posted: 12:51 PM   by bays0337
Here is an interesting thought...if OU had done this in 2004 when the NC was OU-USC and the NCAA put these sanctions on USC also we could just totally say there was no national championship in 2004...haha...better yet we could just say there was no 2004 season ever played. I have another comment...does the NCAA really think that anyone in the country really cares about vacating someones wins. No one cares...everyone knows the games OU won and lost. That is just a ridiculous rule that makes no sense. Oh I see...now Stoops record isn't as good. WHo cares? everyone knows he is a good coach. The punishment was about right in regard to the scholarships and recruiting but I really think it will have no effect on the program except for maybe some bad PR. Now...about USC...it just shows hiding everything pays off...OU should have never said anything at all. Bomar and Quinn could have kept making the good free money and bought some rims for Petersons lexus. I say self-reporting does nothing for you...OU thought it would show integrity and class and it did nothing but hurt them.
Posted: 1:03 PM   by JP
I'm a USC fan, and this punishment given out by the NCAA on the Sooners simply shows what most USC fans have long suspected.

That the NCAA is powerless, and USC is un-touchable. We make them to much money and bring them to much fame for them to give us the death penality, and a few lost scholarships won't even put a dent in our recruiting machine.

Even if they made us erase some wins, they don't control the BCS so we would still maintain our National Championships. Also the NCAA does not regulate the Heisman so Bush/Leinart would keep those as well. Not to mention we keep any money made at bowl games.

Thank you NCAA for showing us that a football program can become bigger than the NCAA itself.
Posted: 1:10 PM   by etauch
I'm not sure why so many people consider this an overly harsh punishment. As for the scholarship reductions, they drop from 85 to 83 each of the years in question. It is not too uncommon for schools to not fill the max amount of scholarships anyway. Also, Oklahoma only won 8 games in 'O5, and I don't think too many folks in Norman will lose sleep because they have to take down their Holiday Bowl banner.
Ok. We forfeit all of our 2005 wins. (Thanks Rhett Bomar) But if USC were to be judged in the same fashion as Oklahoma, they would have to forfeit their 2003, 2004, and 2005 wins, all 37 of them. A Rose Bowl would go to Michigan, and an Orange Bowl/National Championship be awarded to Oklahoma. It's truely ridiculous how unfair the NCAA is. I guess doing the right thing(self-reporting, i.e. cooperation) is bad...but, it's just because it's Oklahoma, and we always get screwed.
Posted: 1:14 PM   by gpgal
I am neither an Oklahoma or USC fan but followed both stories throughout the years so would like to chime in from a more neutral standpoint. OSU's violation had hard proof through payroll records. The USC incident was created solely on word of mouth from a disgruntled person whom apparantely expected to get filthy rich on the coattails of Bush who supposedly agreed to an endorsement deal (verbally) then backed out of the idea (which any human being is allowed to change their mind) To this date i have never read about any hard evidence in this case only accusations and inuendo. Now I am not saying it did not happen or that the NCAA doesn't play favorites, but I do think HARD evidence is more convincing than 'did u hear' type. As a former sports writer, I could never say Bush DID...but could say ALLEGEDLY did. I think it is irresponsible to imply it as a definite. Obviously OSU's was a definite. So there is a difference in this case whether people want to admit it or not.
Posted: 1:17 PM   by Darrell
you people need to get over your USC hatred. Jealousy isn't a flattering emotion.

And the punishment is too harsh? what punishment? who is going to remember, other than OU fans, that the 2005 season has been forefeited. And the loss of 4 scholarships for a program that gives out some 80 scholarships is so minor as to not even be noticed. Sooner fans, don't get your panties in a bunch.
Posted: 1:23 PM   by CollegeNoPro
I just want to see if anyone remembers this. The week of the '06' Oregon-Oklahoma debacle, USC's head coach Pete Carroll had a Press conference on the Bush allegations. For me that was the 1st time I heard of it. It was either a Monday or Tuesday before the weekned Oregon-Oklahoma game. Pete Carroll said something to the effect of (and very close to) "I'm not worried about this (the Bush allegations) it will all blow over by the end of the week and it will all be swept under the rug." He was right. After the Oregon-Oklahoma game, the only thing anyone could talk about was the referee's call at the end of the game for weeks to come. I think it was Mandel that brought up the question about Bush again a few weeks later. But by then it was too late. Eyes were diverted long enough. So the question isn't about how much power the NCAA has, but, how much power does USC have? SO, was it Oregon who actually had a hand in the debacle or someone else?

It is just sad that the 'majority' of the USC fans have no class and and are so biased. Typical "do as I say not as I do".
Posted: 1:26 PM   by jhoov915
why would usc have to give up all 37 wins while Bush was in school? The supposed happenings occurred in 2005, which was Bush's last year. This had no effect on 2003 or 2004. Also, to the guy above, USC would potentially have to give up games from 2005, not 2004. So the NC blowout against OU would stay, sorry Auburn fans.
Posted: 1:30 PM   by whocares
Doesn't not knowing anything about someone doing something illegal still constitute a "failure to monitor" on USC's part? I would like to think so. Who cares what happens to USC anyway? For all the USC fans out there.... no body hates you because of past success (no matter who it was against)... they hate you simply for who you are.
Posted: 1:40 PM   by JP
It would not matter if the NCAA made USC forfeit all the wins they had while Reggie was at USC, it would not matter.

The NCAA does not regulate the BCS, nor do they control who the BCS awards their National Championship too. Therefore, even if all the USC wins in 2004 were erased, we still keep the National Championship. Same goes for the Rose Bowl wins, and the A.P. National Championship.

Same goes for the Heisman, even if Bush is found guilty, he still keeps his Heisman.

My point is, nothing the NCAA can do matters. We still go down as the National Champs, and our players still keep their Heismans.
Posted: 1:43 PM   by whocares
Actually JP... it is up to the entity that owns the Heisman (I can't find the key on my keyboard for the TM with a circle to go with that) to decide whether or not Bush would keep his heisman... but don't fret SC fans... they have a track record of letting scum-bags keep the hardware.
Hey remember that time USC beat Oklahoma by fifty points in the national title game. HAHAHAHA!!!!

Suck my balls Sooners. You are just mad because your team is no good so you need something to cry about because all you have to do is pick corn. Just pick your corn and stay off complicated things like computers.

By the way, the reason we don't hate Oklahoma is because you are meaningless to us. Just like people don't hate ants. You hate us because we affect you.

Well stop it and pick corn.
Posted: 1:48 PM   by whocares
To the liberal from SC... I don't think they even grow corn in Oklahoma... I'm sure the democrats would be proud of one of their own asking a bunch of guys to "suck my b_lls" it pretty much fits the platform.
Posted: 1:48 PM   by steve
Every school has this problem. No use debating it. My son, brother, 2 nephews and my nephew's son played for major colleges and all say the same thing. It's as common as sunshine. Just pay the players and regulate it like the big business it is. No committee, no coach, no parent, no teacher, no alumni can police this type of policy, when every fan out there would like to help the players.
Posted: 1:59 PM   by JP
Yes, the group that controls the Heisman would have to strip Bush of his Heisman. But it would not be the NCAA.

And though there is a clause in the Heisman awarding saying the player must be in good standing with the NCAA, when Bush was awarded the Heisman, he was in good standing with the NCAA.

So the people who run the Heisman award would have to gather and decide to strip Bush of the award, which is never going to happen.
Posted: 2:12 PM   by Hallmonster
OU reported the violations and kicked the players off the team as soon as they were able to positively confirm the rumors that were circulating. With friends in the compliance office at the university I can assure you that despite what was being reported elsewhere the Sooners acted as soon as they knew for certain there was wrongdoing going on at Big Red Sports with the owner of the establishment Brad McRae (not Brad Lund as mentioned earlier here - Lund is the CEO of the OKC Blazers Hockey team). As soon as the Spring semester ended and employment records compiled and evaluated a number of red flags were raised and investigated. As soon as those investigations turned up wrongdoing Stoops and Castiglione were notified and action was taken in the form of booting the kids off the team and reporting the violations to the NCAA.

It's easy for people to speculate and make accusations about players that aren't based in fact. Sure Stoops may have heard that something shady was going on at BRI, but without proof it would be wrong to take action and ridiculous to report it - especially if the allegations turned out to be false. So a couple newspapers reported allegations before Stoops self-reported his facts, the newspaper stories weren't what compelled OU to report their findings to the NCAA, they were waiting for the truth to be known with certainty rather than allegedly before kicking the starting QB off the team and having to start all over with Paul Thompson back under center.
Posted: 2:16 PM   by Steve J
The punishment is far too lenient. The school was already on probation thanks to the former basketball coach and the charge was actually reduced from the proposed (and dreaded) "lack of institutional control". With the wrist slapping of OU and Ohio State, and the unwillingness to go after USC for the Reggie Bush mess, compared against the punishments handed out against smaller, less nationally known schools, the NCAA is once again showing its hypocritical side.
Posted: 2:25 PM   by whocares
Why don't we just settle this USC-OU-Texas-LSU-OSU (and less notable teams) bashing like god intended... NCAA '08 on XBOX live... I'll be the 2005 Texas Vince Young's... ha.
Posted: 2:40 PM   by Rob
Stewart -- I was disappointed to see you say that "most reasonable people believe" that USC's Bush-related allegations are "far more egregious transgressions" than what happened at OU. In USC's case, a parent may have been suckered into an arrangement with would-be agents, based on his kid's NFL potential; in OU's case, a booster was giving OU a competitive edge. Isn't the latter a bigger NCAA problem, and don't you take seriously the idea that extortion may have happened in the Bush/Griffin case?
Well, I'm a from-the-cradle USC fan and also a believer that players in the BUSINESS of college football should be compensated for the revenues they generate for everyone but themselves.

Having said that, in regards to the system currently in place I have two thoughts:

1) What incentive has the NCAA given to programs to self-report after dropping the hammer on Colorado and OU? None. The pressure on compliance officers to not report will be enormous. They would have to become whistle blowers with the predictable career consequences.

2) Unlike some of my fellow Trojan brethren, I am ashamed of what has transpired at SC. Bush's contemptuous treatment of the NCAA and the truth is disgusting. If I was Pete Carroll I would require Bush to comply with the investigation. If he's innocent--great. If not---everyone takes the consequences but truth is served. If Bush refuses, Carroll publically makes it clear that he is no longer welcome to be a part of the USC football family and voluntarily offers up the two NC's because their validity is now in doubt. As painful as forfeiting wins and NC's would be, truth and character would be on full display. And that would be victory enough.......
Posted: 2:49 PM   by Numbawonn
The fact is, this punishment is meaningless. 8 wins- who cares? They're not being counted as losses. Same with the 4 scholarships. Is that going to prevent Okla from being good in the future? hell no. Also, keep in mind this was a booster, directly tied to the school. The job at the car dealership was related to school, as part of the player's scholarships- ergo, the school was connected. With SC, there is no way the school would know about an agent being involved with Bush. And don't forget, most of the Yahoo info isn't being backed by anyone elese- no other sources are reporting the same "facts". its basically a website trying to make a name for itself and compete with cnnsi and espn.
Posted: 2:50 PM   by whocares
Well Rob... according to Stewart you wouldn't fall into the group of "most reasonable people". Not that I believe that... I don't know you from Adam. The origin of the "illegal payments to NCAA players" shouldn't even be considered in this discussion. Boosters, agents, Juanita's grandma... it doesn't matter...it's dirty money in the eyes of the NCAA (at least the rule book). Can't we just settle all of this by saying the NCAA is a compromised entity..."money is the root of all evil... and happiness"
Posted: 3:10 PM   by jjproz
OU has to vacate the wins for 2005......what about the losses? Those players played in 8 wins and 4 losses, but the 4 losses stay on OU's record!? Hypocriticle!
Posted: 3:12 PM   by SC4EVR
I wish the Sooner fans would realize that a booster paying money to a student is not the same as an agent paying money to a student's parents. Obviously there is no way that any of the money paid to Bush's parents went to Bush himself. Also, just because his parents were taken care of doesn't mean that the agent had any stake in USC. Assume for a minute that USC lost every game in Bush's junior season; Reggie's NFL stock would not have changed one iota. Thus, the agent obviously has no stake in how USC as a team does. Further, easing the star players mind about his and his parents' "comfort" has no impact on his on-the-field play.

Get over it Sooners, its OBVIOUSLY two totally different situations.
Posted: 3:14 PM   by Justin
A blogger above pointed out that the NCAA has no real control over the D-I football championships, and that is true, so no one is losing a national title over anything. Maybe the NCAA needs to stop being halfway involved in the sport and assume full responsibility.

Preening USC fans might want to dismiss all the criticism as hate and jealousy, and probably some of it is. But the larger issue that grates most people is the uneven hand of the NCAA, and USC is just the shining example of that at the moment. As a Miami fan, I'd say that USC gets a break, and it has nothing to do with its football team's success. Certainly there's a sentiment that the Canes are victims of their own success over the past 25 years, which is actually more impressive than USC's current run (granted, 25 years compared to 5). But if any UM player farts, there's an NCAA investigation. That has nothing to do with jealousy and everything to do with perception. Compare that to the treatment USC is getting, and you'll see what people mean by unfair favoritism. A program can be equally on the top performance wise and get completely different treatment from the NCAA, like Ohio State/USC compared to Miami/OU.
Posted: 3:25 PM   by oukool
i think that the ncaa has out lived it's usefulness.it's time for college football to go in a new direction.for to long the ncaa has ruled big time college sports with a 1950's outlook instead of moving in to the new century they stay in the past.they have let money rule and commonsence.the fact that oklahoma told them that the violations happened and the got rid of the players that commited them,the ncaa over reached once again and punished the kids who did'nt cheat.and to let usc skate is the stuff that makes the ncaa look just as bad as the teams they punish.
Posted: 3:31 PM   by football fan
OK...I've read all of the comments here and there are many good points brought up. Just to summarize with my thoughts.

It would appear USC has had a lot of problems over the past few years. But it would also appear they've dealt with most of them. In that regard they're probably similar to many other schools...but a lot more attention gets paid to USC because they're in the #2 media market (as well as a top team) in the nation, with all of the newspapers, TV stations, reports, etc. that come with.

The OU situation is similar/different than USC's Reggis Bush issues. Agents and boosters may not be different as far as making a player ineligible, but boosters are different from agents when it comes to program penalties. Boosters are connected with the program, agents are not. So in the Bush situation (if true), Bush should be penalized and made ineligible; but penalities against the USC program would be much more difficult to levy.


OK, as for potential penalties: If those allegations are true (it hasn't been proven, but I've learned long ago that where there's smoke there's fire) Bush would be an ineligible player for the 2005 season. Which means victories would have to be forfeited--if the NCAA applies the same standard as they did to Oklahoma. But would the Heisman disappear? Tough to tell, becuase the NCAA doesn't have any control over that award. And as for trying to go back to 04 or 03 and remove those national championships, that would be difficult too because the AP and the BCS are different entities altogether.

As for USC getting away scot-free, this issue is FAR from over. So don't say the school is getting away with anything yet. I doubt this issue will be solved for years...so right now everyone is in limbo over that. I think some penalities WILL come down in the future if the allegations turn out to be true, but, again, they'll focus more on Bush being an ineligible player (which means USC would forfeit 2005 season wins), and much less on the USC program (which means scholarships, etc. probably wouldn't be taken away).

In my opinion, Bob Stoops is a class act, and a class coach, and I think he's done about all he can with the situation. I think the penalty is fair; at least Oklahoma can now put this whole thing behind it...whereas USC is going to have this black cloud around for a long time.

And lastly, I can't help but laugh at the insecurity of so many LSU people in this blog. Their fans are still SO butt-hurt over the 2003 national championship. It was a split title that year. Get over it. The BCS screwed that up by not putting USC (#1 in both rankings on the last week of the regular season) in the title game to play LSU. It's not LSU or USC's fault the system is so screwed up. The BCS was invented to place the #1 and #2 teams in the title game to avoid a split title, but they couldn't even get that right. There are very few USC fans I know who say LSU didn't have a right to that title. I think LSU should feel the same way. BOTH teams won the title that year. It's stupid, but that's the way it worked. Period. End of story.
Posted: 3:32 PM   by Sage
Look, there's a big difference here. The OU players were receiving extra money from the OU boosters who owned the dealership. Reggie Bush was not getting any money from USC boosters. Instead, he was allegedly getting money from sports agents who were only interested in his post-USC career. The NCAA always punishes schools more harshly for actions taken by school staff or boosters, as opposed to agents unrelated to the school. And despite what Yahoo says, USC coaches hate professional agents and always tell them to get lost when they show up at practices.

Also, USC coaches and staff did not know what Reggie Bush's parents were doing, where they were living, or what was going on with his family's financial situation. It would be completely unfair to punish the USC players by vacating their wins just because of this one family's stupidity.
Posted: 4:00 PM   by SCfan
Hey Mandel -- maybe for once you could report both sides and mention that the "agents" on the USC sidelines were non-booster wannabees with no known history of acting as agents -- a fact which makes SC's lack of focus on them a little more understandable. Shame on you.
Posted: 4:25 PM   by Mr.
I've read him for the past 3 years or so and he's one of the most objective college football reporters i've seen. He's given plenty of love to USC in the past. He's made this a personal vendetta, if you read the mailbag earlier this year. He's especially bitter at Reggie Bush callling him smug and how he feels Reggie's aloof attitude towards the whole thing equates to him and USC getting away with it.

He IS pandering. Mandel has shown SC alot of love the past few years but he is definitely trying to keep this story alive in the minds of college football fans because lets face it, it is a "sexy" story to keep bringing up.

Nothing rattles the cage more than USC's continued success both ON and OFF the field and Mandel knows it by consistently writing about it.
And...
And Mandel leaves out that OU's self-reporting was really a move to preempt the story's breaking.

And Mandel seems to feel that a school that is not on probation (USC) should be punished more harshly than a school that is already on probation with trangressions in 3 sports.

And Mandel assumes all of the Yahoo information is true when it has not been confirmed by any other reputable news outlet.

And Mandel doesn't draw any distinction between boosters vs. agents although they are viewed differently by the NCAA.

Within a week of dissecting Les Miles motives for his comments against the Pac-10, Mandel is doing the exact same thing - pandering to his audience.

I still don't see how Reggie's situation with his parents and an "agent" can be considered "far more egregious transgressions" than having your own players "work" for a famous alumni and get paid very well even when they don't show up.
Posted: 4:30 PM   by CollegeNoPro
To Football Fan: In your last paragraph aof your last post I respond. First let me tell you that I care not about the SEC or anyone else. My problem is with the bias that is shown for certain teams. Remember the one thing that matters, USC BOUGHT INTO THE BCS. What ever the BCS says should have been final. But no, they (USC) cried so the "biased" (for USC) AP came to their rescue. I agree that USC was mast likely better than LSU, but it is irrelevent(other teams over the decades were also more worthy of a National Title and got nothing). But I digress. Let us look at it another way. Fine USC has a shared title by the AP. Where was the AP the next year to give Auburn a "shared title". It is simple, Auburn doesn't have the pull in the AP that USC has. "BIAS" that is the real problem.
"As to the charge Bush bought these sources off, I think it's a weak argument in that the settlement wasn't anywhere near what a jury award would have been if the charges had merit, and in fact was probably less than what Bush would have had to pay in attorney's fees even if he'd win the ultimate case. Also, it’s important to note that the people who Yahoo! relied on for their reports had a financial axe to grind with Reggie Bush when they got involved in this story, and after they were able to grind that axe, they were more than happy to get out of the story. Thus, whatever you think the settlement says about Reggie Bush, it’s hard to say it doesn’t reflect just as poorly on the people who accepted that settlement."

All of this is simply untrue. The amount Bush settled for in each case has been slightly higher than the plaintiffs' demands. So why did Bush pay that money? To get a clause in the settlement that doesn't let them reveal the information unless they are subpoenaed. Of course the NCAA does not have subpoena power. While those who settled with Bush would love to tell everyone their grievances, it's not worth going to jail for. Does that really speak poorly of them? NO.

Another thing, the agents were in the USC locker room. So while USC can't check everyone at practice, they can keep people out of the locker room. Also, Bush took money from more than just the people who gave his family the house. His current agent also gave him money. This was reported also by the LA Times, who is incredibly biased towards USC. They have fully earned their nickname the "Trojan Times." In fact, their UCLA football beat writer went to USC.

BTW, a $300,000 house in LA is a shack in the ghetto, but the house was worth more than $300,000.

- SuperBruinMan
Posted: 4:41 PM   by kyle
First of all SC fans need to calm down about this being a vendetta against those on top. Being the top of college football is cyclical and OU has been there more than enough, along with Nebraska, Notre Dame, LSU, Florida, FSU, etc. You guys did not invent the wheel. Good job the past couple of years however. The grips from OU fans are legitimate as its a stupid punishment...the same players played in the losses and as long as the NCAA distributes the rules fairly several other schools should be feeling the same wrath soon. Nothing will break large programs with such proud traditions, its just a ridiculous attempt to right past wrongs. Its just like an asterisk for Barry Bonds or Michigan basketball taking down a banner. You cannot correct the past or UCLA would be handing back basketball trophies, Alabama would be giving back football trophies, and the list goes on. Games in the past are just that and nothing can change those games.
Posted: 4:41 PM   by Brian
" I believe that Michigan pretty much erased every win from the Fab Five era as well, even taking down the Big-10 championship banners as well. "

What Big 10 championship banners would those be, exactly? Michigan hasn't won a Big Ten basketball championship since 1986.
Games in the past are just that and nothing can change those games.

I agree. Let's reward cheating.
Posted: 4:53 PM   by Sean O
Dude, why does everyone keep bringing up USC. NOTHING has been proven yet, save for one Yahoo. com article whose main source was an agent who didn't sign Bush. Gee, you don't think he had a motive for singing to the reporter? Give me a break. I'm disappointed in Mandel. It's not like reporters sometimes get stories wrong or sources are unreliable. There's NO PROOF. There was PROOF at Oklahoma. See, that little word 'no'? It makes a big difference.

And I'm a Notre Dame fan who hates 'SC but c'mon, there is no hard evidence that USC cheated. Until there is, we should lay off.
Posted: 4:53 PM   by The_Fan
Hank said...
If your school is recruiting blue chip recruits like Bush, Bomar, etc. - then it is also in major danger of wrong doing.

Reply: Why? Don't the recruiters
know right from wrong?

Hank said...
Bush's family took advantage of his talent, not Bush's affiliation with USC. There is a big difference between that and Bomar getting special treatment because he is a Sooner football player, which is easier to monitor.

Reply: Big difference? In case you haven't heard there are also rules against NCAA athletes accepting deals with agents it doesn't apply to boosters only. If you want me to believe that Bush was unaware of what was going on I say you need to stop being so naive. I am also not naive enough to believe that Reggie did not benefit himself from the actions of his family. Some of you USC apologists need to stop confusing innocence with the lack of proof of guilt. Claiming that USC was unaware of the trangressions does not absolve it of responsibility. The institutions are charged with policing their own homes and USC has not done a good job of that at all. The outrage over this ordeal is that those who have done a better job than SC are getting a far worse result.
Posted: 5:00 PM   by Matt
Random thoughts from a Sooner fan:

1.) OU's official record for 2005 is now 0-4. No one who got beat by OU gets to change their record to indicate a sudden win. That's the difference between forfeit and vacate. Ans anyway, who even cares? It changes nothing.

I doubt any self-respecting school would even want to do that. I know as a Sooner fan, that I still think USC deserves their 2004 national title. And if the NCAA could and wanted to strip them of it, I wouldn't want it for OU, and I don't know any OU fans who would want it. We like to actually earn our championships. USC killed us in that game, and we don't deserve it..... any more than the teams we beat in 2005 deserve a win over us.

2.) I want to address the stories about a news outlet that was about to release a story on Big Red, thus forcing OU to react by booting the kids off the team. That is pure horsecr@p, but a popular belief amongst UT fans. My sister and my cousin both attended UT and I can pretty much guarentee you any comment about that is a view of another misguided Longhorn.

My dad is a car wholesaler in the OKC metro and knows the Hudiburghs (who bought Big Red) quite well. OU did uncover this on their own, with the help of the Hudiburghs, and took pre-emptive action. There was no story about to be printed that forced their hand. Sorry UT. You're just wrong about this. But I know you'll keep on believing it... and again, who cares??

3.) It's comical to me to see the length of AD's Lexus test drive continue to get longer. These rumors or misguided beliefs are also those of well meaning but ignorant Horn fans. What did I read above? 6 months now? Or another one was months and months. LOL.

Once again, you know nothing about the situation. It was not nearly that long. It was under a month. And if you live in Oklahoma, and a dealership believes they can get you financed, anyone can drive a used car off the lot while they are trying to secure financing. It was not a special deal for AD. They want you in their car because you are not shopping them if you are in their car. I could go on and on about facts behind this, but why?? Again, if you're not a UT fan, who cares?? And Horns won't believe the truth anyway, so...

4.) Leave USC out of our mess. their situation should not be lumped into ours. Same with Ohio State. Most of you are probably just jealous of our program(s) & tradition.

5.) This impacts OU in no way, and it shouldn't. The past is history. We all know what happened in 2005. OU went 8-4. Changes nothing. OU can still play in post season games and loses no television or anything else. This punishment is meaningless... as it should be.

I'm ready to see how Colt holds up behind his new, greatly inexperienced offensive line... See you Horn punks in Big D. It'll be fun sending you home at halftime again.
Posted: 5:03 PM   by Sean O
Also, it is possible that Bush's parents could have moved into a bigger house thanks to something called a loan. Loans are given out based on future earnings. Remember when LeBron's Mom was driving a Hummer when he was in high school. Why? Because the banks knews that LeBron would be worth millions shortly and they sold a car based on future earnings.

It's not out of the realm of possibility that a bank looked at the parents of soon-to-be NFL multi-millionaire Reggie Bush and decided they were good for the money.

If Greg Oden wanted to, I'm sure he could have bought a house when he was still at Ohio State based on the fact he would be good for the money within a year. Besides, what does Reggie Bush's parents have to do with Reggie or USC? Adrian Peterson's father was a criminal...did that make Peterson a criminal???
Posted: 5:11 PM   by The_Fan
Mr. W. said...
First of all let me state up front that I'm a USC alum and that I don't think Reggie is innocent in all this. I think he knew what his parents were doing and either out of fear or out of just self-preservation decided to see if he could get through his last year without getting caught. I mean the guy was favored to win another NC and a Heisman - so I'm not surprised that he didn't step forward to collect his slap on the wrist. Few of you here would have.

Reply: What is that? You are actually implying that because Reggie had so much to lose that we should somehow be forgiving? Or that he should be absolved? Cmon. There are many wrongs committed by desperate people. Let's just overlook those as well.
Posted: 5:23 PM   by Chase
Too harsh? There were atleast eight more players involved with the car dealership! While they were on probattion for basketball and gymnastics!

So what the ruling tells me...Any school that wants to pay their players can forfeit two scholarships per year? That puts the number down to eighty three. I would love to have a roster of 83 full of four and five star players as opposed to eighty five three stars!
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