“They wish they were all Trojans,” former USC athletic director Mike Garrett said.
Garrett was addressing a group of boosters at a San Francisco hotel merely hours after the NCAA handed down the sanctions, which have become more absurd with every subsequent judgement.
Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, and Penn State have all received sympathy from the NCAA and in some cases were lauded for their self-imposed sanctions.
USC also self-imposed penalties, but that largely goes unmentioned.
It was announced on Tuesday that Miami would lose a total of nine scholarships over a three-year period.
Nine scholarships are being taken away from a program that was infiltrated by a booster who directed countless players to strip clubs, yacht parties, and other improper benefits.
The NCAA charged Miami with a “lack of institutional control.” A phrase that is sure to send chills down the spine of USC fans. Up until now, it was believed to come with a heavy-handed punishment.
Yet, only nine scholarships are being taken away. Miami was also given discretion as to when they’d like to be stripped of the scholarships.
The issue isn’t that the NCAA has yet to reprimand any program the way it did to USC. Their hypocrisy however, is mind-numbing.
When several Ohio State players were involved in a tattoo and memorabilia scandal in 2010, they were still permitted to play in the Sugar Bowl.
Jim Tressel was notified of his player’s infractions prior to the NCAA’s involvement and did nothing.
An argument can be made that the NCAA overstepped its boundaries when it got involved in the child abuse scandal at Penn State.
But, given that it involved prominent figures in the athletic department, it really wasn’t beyond their reach.
Plus, the gravity of what took place at Penn State surpasses everything that has occurred at other universities. Everything.
The NCAA granting Penn State with relief doesn’t translate to them condoning the abuse, but pardoning them and not USC days later, was a strange decision.
Garrett likely didn’t aid USC’s case with the NCAA, but he has since been replaced and the university has been nothing short of a model citizen.
USC boasts one of, if not the largest compliance offices in the country. Since being sanctioned, they have made every effort to operate above board, which is more than a lot of other programs can say.
The sanctions have been more crippling than most could have imagined and the NCAA has done nothing but continuously turn their nose at USC.
The NCAA stated USC had already been granted an appeals process, which is comical.
Since USC was sanctioned, the landscape and culture of college football has greatly changed.
There shouldn’t be an expectation for other programs to be punished the way USC was, and if there is that desire, it’s misguided and a waste of time.
The issue with the NCAA is the pendulum has swung from extremely harsh to extremely forgiving. Rarely, if ever, has it stopped in the middle.
Perhaps USC could have helped their cause with the threat of a lawsuit, but we’ll likely never know.
USC was clearly made an example of and served as the poster child of what not to do. Unfortunately, since the fateful day in 2010, they’ve also been evaluated by different standards.
Standards that were earmarked for only them.