It’s widely accepted that USC got the book thrown at them when the NCAA penalized the football program before the 2010 season. A two-year bowl ban, 30 lost scholarships and an enforced roster of just 75 players is the heaviest penalty levied on an NCAA football program since SMU got the death penalty in the late 1980s. Today, however, the NCAA’s proposed new matrix on punishments for graded violations shows that if USC were to be penalized with the new standards, they’d be even further lambasted by the NCAA Committee of Infractions.
The proposed matrix, linked here, sets a tiered break down of infractions, along with concrete punishments to go along with each level. While the punshiments are significantly more severe with up to 50% scholarship reductions and a ban of up to 5-years, the NCAA at least makes progress at developing a concrete model rather than stressing the uniqueness of each case, which othen has created nothing but a varying fairness to the punishments handed down on a program. But as Bryan Fischer of CBS breaks down how the new policies would have affected USC, it’s extremely startling how much power the NCAA is giving themselves. His quotes and more, after the jump.
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"So how does it really work? Well, take the infamous USC case involving Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo among others: violations of NCAA bylaws governing amateurism; failure to report knowledge of violations; unethical conduct; violations of coaching staff limitations; impermissible recruiting contacts by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests; impermissible inducements and extra benefits; and lack of institutional control. According to the new model, this would be classified as multiple Level I violations with four significant aggravating factors. Here’s a comparison of penalties with what the Trojans got and what they would have received under the new model: . [CLICK FOR LINK TO CHART]"
The chart that CBS displays shows that USC would’ve been subject to a 37 to 50% scholarship reduction, or 32 to 42 per season as Fischer explains on Twitter, plus a monetary fine of more than a quarter million dollars, and would have extended the postseason ban through 2012. All of that? You guessed it, for both football and basketball, even though Mike Garrett sparred the men’s hoops team by self-reporting the neglect of Tim Floyd and his interactions with Rodney Guillory. Losing 15 scholarships per year is rough enough, but losing up to half of your scholarship players would be absolutely devastating to a program, in football or basketball. As Fischer explains, it would have been obviously far worse than the punishments received, and the board creating the model involves a familiar face.
"So yes, USC would have been punished even worse under the new proposed enforcement model coming from the NCAA. That’s interesting because athletic director Pat Haden is on the enforcement working group and has made it a point to say that the Trojans were unfairly punished."
So is Haden trying to enforce equality by being a member of the board? Perhaps, after Ohio State seemingly avoided the axe of the NCAA. So on the one hand, taking the guesswork out of the punishments schools receive for violations is a much needed step towards the 21st century for the NCAA, but given the rise in violations from schools as far and wide as USC, Ohio State and Miami, who knows what the future would present if the new regulations go into effect. Navy in the Rose Bowl, anyone?