Institutional control or lack thereof

It’s Tuesday, May 18, 2010. The time is 12:30 AM Pacific, and I’m still waiting. More reports surfaced that the NCAA decision on Trojan athletics would soon be released, and each led to another broken promise.

During the wait, I had the opportunity to read another opinion on USC’s supposed fate. Like others, it’s a cry of “no mercy” for violations committed.  A slap on the wrist will not satisfy the hunger for justice, and would only intensify the anger of those crippled by the sharper side of a double edged sword.

What I’ve gathered in reading is that wishful thinking has very little to do with Southern California per se, as much as it has to do with the southeastern region of the country and an issue of fairness. It’s about Alabama, the pride of the SEC.  It’s about a program with an illustrious history being turned face down for an NCAA spanking.  It’s about the powers of college football and their willingness to raise that same paddle against a storied program out west.

“If only half of what has been reported about Bush is true and USC skates on this one, there will be a nuclear eruption in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide program was hammered for rules violations in 2002 and the penalties came with a considerable amount of finger wagging from the NCAA. Who could forget infractions committee chairman Tom Yeager saying that the committee considered giving Alabama the death penalty? He said that Alabama was “absolutely staring down the barrel of a gun (death penalty)” but the committee settled on a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 21 scholarships over three years. Will the NCAA have the same righteous indignation for misbehavior and lack of institutional control, if proven, that takes place on the West Coast? It is going to get pretty nasty if USC just gets a slap on the wrist.”—Atlanta Journal Constitution

Some will read and interpret the comment as jealousy and hatred for USC. They may even see it as comparing apples to oranges. But I can see the point being made, and it’s also the reason I’ve felt less confident of a favorable verdict as the days of wait pass by.

USC’s punishment won’t be determined by its faults alone. If the NCAA has a penalty scale that specifies punishment for crimes, the Trojans entered the ordeal not only with the obstacles of Lloyd Lake and Rodney Guillory standing between themselves and the freedom to exist penalty free. Alabama was the other hurdle, and may be the most difficult to clear, being that the Tide was used to set the bar on modern day punishment for the most serious offenses.

Just as important as the NCAA’s findings, will be the punishment issued thereafter. The penalty for lack of institutional control should read “See Alabama”.  If  USC is found guilty of the same, and the penalty is less than the Tide received, the Bush debacle closes for one school, but opens with a new beginning and debate for the rest of the country.



~ by Anthony on May 18, 2010.

One Response to “Institutional control or lack thereof”

  1. SC’s football voilations are nothing like Bamas pay for play issues from 2002. Bball and Mayo may fit that bill, but Bush was being enticed to sign by agents working against SCs wishes and best interests! The more you compare the apples and oranges the more they look like lumping together bananas and kiwi because somehow they are both fruit.

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