While Miami fans were practically celebrating after the NCAA announced this morning that they'd only add on a few relatively light penalties to the ones the Hurricanes had already self-imposed, fans of another storied college football team at a private school in a major subtropical city across the map were grumbling.
Obviously, University of Southern California fans couldn't help but complain that they got treated much worse than UM when they were handed down some of the stiffest sanctions in recent NCAA history back in 2010.
In fact, USC AD Pat Haden released a short statement trumpeting that tune.
"We have always felt that our penalties were too harsh," Haden said in a statement. "This decision (on Miami) only bolsters that view. Beyond that, we have no further comment."
After football star Reggie Bush was found to have accepted impermissible benefits from agents, the team was forced to vacate wins, docked 30 scholarships over three years, and suffered a two-season bowl ban. Ironically, Paul Dee, the former AD at the University of Miami, was chairing the NCAA's infractions committee during the USC investigation.
Britton Banowsky, chairman of the NCAA's infractions committee, however had a few points to make when contacted by USA Today.
He noted that Miami's decision to self-impose a two-year post-season ban helped stave off more serious punishments. USC meanwhile continued to accept bowl bids while it was being investigated. He also noted that Miami's cooperation with the investigation was "commendable." USC, while cooperating, wasn't exactly seen as bending over backwards for the NCAA during their investigation.
"USC struck me -- especially Garrett -- as holier than thou," David Ridpath, an NCAA critic, told USA Today. "Not that the system is fair, but from my vantage point USC was their own worst enemy."
The NCAA also publicly bungled the Miami investigation, which put them in a weakened position. We'd also point out that while USC was thriving and winning championships during the period when rules were broken. Miami, conversely, fell into a pit of mediocrity it's only now pulling itself out of. It's easier to punish a cheater who wins rather than one who struggles to even become bowl eligible.
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The truth remains that, yes, the NCAA did total screw USC. We get it, but USC does deserve some of the credit for the gap between their sanctions and the ones Miami received.
Plus they hired Lane Kiffin, which is a punishment worst than the NCAA could ever dole out.
In any event, we hope USC gets it together. A Trojans vs. Hurricanes championship game is the stuff of the sports media's dreams.