The aftershock of the NCAA sanctions handed down to USC in June has not ended quite yet.
On Thursday, the Football Writers Association of America stripped the Trojans of the 2004 Grantland Rice Trophy, which was awarded to them after their 55-19 victory over Oklahoma in the 2005 BCS championship game.
The award, which has existed since 1954, is given annually to the football team voted the national champion by the FWAA. No team has ever been stripped of the trophy prior to USC.
FWAA president Tim Griffin made it clear that, while retroactive, the vacating of the award was necessary.
“Had these facts been known, USC would not have been selected for the award … in light of standards applicable to FWAA poll participants, award candidates and award recipients,” said Griffin in a statement released Thursday.
In response to the FWAA’s decision, USC athletic director Pat Haden announced in a statement Thursday that the 2004 trophy would be returned.
“Due to the NCAA penalties, we understand the actions taken by the Football Writers Association of America and we will abide by that ruling,” Haden said. “While we know that some fans and former student-athletes may be disappointed, our central priority at this time is our overall commitment to compliance and this action is in line with the standards we have set for our entire athletic program.”
USC is also not eligible for the 2010 award, although the Trojans will remain in the 2010 FWAA preseason rankings.