Following an internal investigation pertaining to NCAA rules violations during the 2007-2008 basketball season, the university has imposed sanctions on the USC men’s basketball team for the violation of certain NCAA rules.
The investigation stemmed from allegations against the handling of former Trojan basketball player OJ Mayo, who played for the school during the 07-08 campaign. At the root of the accusations was an alleged connection between booster Rodney Guillory and the point guard Mayo.
Guillory, whose role in Mayo’s recruitment made him a booster in the eyes of the NCAA, allegedly gave the star point guard gifts during his time at USC, which is a violation of NCAA rules.
During the university’s investigation of the Guillory-Mayo connection, NCAA rules violations were found and the University has taken action to correct the team’s improprieties.
Most immediate of the sanctions will be a self-imposed ban on participation in any postseason tournaments for the Trojans following the 2009-2010 season.
The USC men’s basketball team will forego a bid to the Pac-10 Tournament if they were to qualify for the season-ending conference event. The Trojans will also not accept any invitation to any postseason tournament, including the NCAA Tournament and the National Invitational Tournament.
The university has also reduced the number of scholarships available to coach Kevin O’Neill by one for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years.
The sanctions will also extend to the recruiting trail, where the Trojans will be required to reduce the number of coaches allowed to engage in off-campus recruiting by one. The timetable for off-season recruitment — usually 130 days — will also be cut to 110 for the Trojan coaching staff.
During Mayo’s single season at USC, the Trojans compiled a 21-12 record and were invited to both the Pac-10 Tournament and NCAA Tournament following the regular season. The Trojans will vacate all 21 of the victories they amassed during that 2007-2008 season and will return all funds that the university received for participating in the two postseason events.
“We believe these self imposed sanctions are consistent with penalties imposed at other NCAA institutions that have been cited with similar rules infractions,” USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett said. “Although we are disappointed that rules were violated we look forward to moving past this matter and to the future success of our basketball program.”