by Justin Sievert 06-07-2011 02:35 AM
On May 26, 2011, the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee (IAC) upheld the decision by the NCAA Committee on Infractions (COI) from June 10, 2010 against the University of Southern California. The COI, after a four-year investigation by the NCAA Enforcement staff, had determined that numerous extra benefits were received by Reggie Bush, a former USC football player, and O.J. Mayo, a former USC men's basketball player, while being recruited and/or during their enrollment at the institution. The findings in the case included a lack of institutional control, impermissible inducements, extra benefits, and exceeding coaching staff limits. As a result, USC was put on four years' probation, hit with a two-year bowl ban (one-year remaining), will lose 30 football scholarships over three years, will not be allowed to compete in the inaugural 2011 Pac 12 Championship game and will vacate 14 victories in which Bush played from December 2004 through the 2005 season. The NCAA ended up not taking further action against the men's basketball program, which had already banned itself from postseason play last season and vacated its wins from Mayo's one season with USC. So, what can we learn from the IAC and COI decision? Here are my top five things we can take away from the USC case.
1: The Committee on Infractions will have latitude in tailoring remedies to the particular circumstances involved in each case. The most important item we can take from the USC appeal is that the case precedent is not an "unyielding directive." While the IAC does not state that case precedent will be abandoned altogether, it is made very clear that the IAC feels each case is unique and therefore prior decisions provide no restraint on or guidance to the COI and IAC. Each case will be analyzed on its specific facts and any use of prior case precedent is a matter of judgment by the COI and IAC.
2: The NCAA is serious about the enforcement process and the efforts of institutional compliance programs. The penalties (see above) given to USC are going to impact the success of its athletic programs, the prestige of the institution, and the income generated through the athletic department. Further, this decision and the language used sends a direct message to all NCAA institutions that bylaws will be strictly enforced and compliance is to be taken very seriously.
Published 06-07-2011 © 2017 Access Athletes, LLC
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