Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC AD Pat Haden Pleads to NCAA for a Reduction of Scholarship Sanctions

Just two days after the NCAA lessened the burden they placed on Penn State via unprecedented scholarships last year, USC has publicly announced that athletic director Pat Haden has sought out similar action from the NCAA.

In a statement released on USCTrojans.com, Haden says that he and USC Vice President for Athletic Compliance, Dave Roberts, have been in Indianapolis to meet with Mark Emmert and the NCAA following the Penn State backtrack.

In reducing Penn State’s scholarship penalties, the NCAA specifically noted the ‘progress’ it had made regarding athletics integrity. Since the Committee on Infractions (COI) issued its sanctions in 2010, USC has been held up as a model and praised for its integrity and commitment to compliance, a fact often mentioned by the NCAA itself. Although USC had two unsuccessful bites at the apple (the original COI hearing and the appeal to the Infractions Appeals Committee), given the changing landscape impacting intercollegiate sports over the past year, the recent action regarding Penn State, the impact of the sanctions on our program and the efforts we have under taken at USC to compete with integrity, we again argued for some consideration regarding the 2010 sanctions during the last year of our penalty.

Here’s some other highlights from Haden’s statement:

  • The meeting with the NCAA wasn’t entirely reactionary, as Haden says that the meeting had been scheduled “weeks earlier”, to meet over a mixed back of relevant topics, including “the positive resolution of the Joe McKnight/Davon Jefferson matter earlier this year”.
  • Haden makes it clear that he and the USC compliance department work with the NCAA on a daily basis.
  • USC has ” proposed creative ‘outside the box’ solutions to the scholarship issues” and “have asked for the NCAA’s response as soon as practical”.

Overall, it’s a necessary move for Haden, as he’s been criticized for not being proactive in the past and this week. Plus, with the NCAA losing power and recanting everything from online jersey sales when challenged, and going back on the PSU decision, USC has virtually nothing to lose by pressing the issue.

As it stands right now, USC can take on 19 signees in the Class of 2014, with four early enrollee carry-overs. If USC were to somehow get all 10 scholarships back that were sanctioned, they would be able to bring on as many as 29.

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What say you, Trojan fans? Was it a promising for Haden? Too little too late? Join the discussion and sound off below in the comments.

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