USC waiting on impending sanctions
Reported and promised many times over, the NCAA Infractions Committee again did not deliver its final verdict on USCâ€™s infraction hearing from February of this year on Friday â€” as had been expected â€” leaving the university and the Trojan faithful on edge for at least a few more days.
University officials, including President Steven Sample, Athletic Director Mike Garrett and former USC coach Pete Carroll, sat with the NCAA in Tempe, Ariz., earlier this year to discuss possible infractions surrounding USCâ€™s athletic department. Under scrutiny at the meetings were allegations of improper benefits given to athletes, including former Trojans O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush.
In similar situations in the past, the NCAAâ€™s infractions board had delivered verdicts within eight to 12 weeks, prompting many to believe that the news would break before graduation in May. However, the end of the semester came and went without a decision, leaving national news sources scrambling to anticipate the announcement.
Two weeks ago, word came from a variety of sources, including Yahoo! Sports, that the committee was ready to release its findings, yet no announcement was made.
As May came to a close without a hint of a resolution, the first week of June again brought speculation that an announcement was imminent; Â again, the promised day passed by without any decision or clarification from the NCAA.
Although difficult to anticipate, USC Assistant Vice president for Media Relations James Grant told USA Today that common protocol for such announcements includes 48-hour notice for the university before the committee makes an official announcement. In the past, the NCAA has also given the university in question a copy of the report up to 24 hours prior to the NCAA calling any news conference regarding the matter.
USC coach Lane Kiffin, whose football team will be at the center of the committeeâ€™s findings when the sanctions are announced, appeared on ESPNâ€™s talk show Jim Rome is Burning Monday afternoon and told Rome that he had not heard any news regarding an impending announcement.
The allegations surrounding Bush stemmed from his relationship with sports marketing firm New Era Sports & Entertainment during his time at USC. Bush recently settled a civil dispute with New Era co-founder Lloyd Lake to avoid submitting a public disposition on the matter.
Mayoâ€™s one year at USC has also stirred controversy because of the relationship among the former Trojan point guard Mayo, confidant Rodney Guillory and the university.
In January, USC took steps to stem the tide of the investigation by self-imposing sanctions on the menâ€™s basketball team because of the controversy surrounding Mayo, forgoing the right to postseason play and reducing the number of basketball scholarships available.
Among its decisions, the committee will decide whether the self-imposed sanctions for the team were adequate or require a more severe punishment.
News outlets are reporting that the sanctions will be released this week, citing an anonymous source in the athletic department.