A contingent of Trojans heading to Tempe, Ariz. usually means a forthcoming USC-Arizona State football game.
This time, however, the tone is a little bit different.
After months of speculation and intrigue, USC officials will finally get a chance Thursday to hear from the NCAA infractions committee on violations the football and basketball programs might have committed.
Officials from the athletic department will present statements and answer questions while meeting with the 10-member NCAA infractions committee and enforcement staff.
The meetings will be closed to the public, but a court reporter will be present and the proceedings will be recorded.
The infractions committee can then either decide to impose sanctions of its own against the athletic department or decide that the departments’s self-imposed sanctions to be adequate.
The self-imposed sanctions included the USC men’s basketball team vacating wins from the 2007-2008 season and a forfeiture of all postseason activity for the current season.
The Trojans will forgo the Pac-10 tournament and will not accept any invitation to a postseason tournament, including the NCAA tournament and the National Invitational Tournament.
Although reports about who will attend the meetings on behalf of USC have conflicted, the Los Angeles Times has reported that former USC men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd will be present. The Times also reported that former USC football coach Pete Carroll might appear, either in person or via videoconference.
Athletic Director Mike Garrett and outgoing university President Steven B. Sample are also expected to attend the meetings.
The meetings will take place over the course of a few days, but the final public report and decision might not arrive for another 10 weeks, as has been the case in recent NCAA hearings, including Florida State University and the University of Memphis.
After extended hearings of their own, the Florida State vacated 12 football victories and were placed on probation for four years by the NCAA. The Seminoles also had six total scholarships deducted from the team over the course of three consecutive recruiting seasons.
The University of Memphis’ sanctions included more than $500,000 in fines and the forfeiture of 38 victories from the 2007-2008 baksetball season.