During the cold war, the USSR had a department of Revisionist History. When a leader was overthrown he would be removed from history like he never existed. There just is not many job opportunities for a used dictator. The same thing is going on at USC.
Every trace of both Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo are being removed from the school. Pictures are coming down and press books are being updated. The USC President-Elect C. L. Max Nikias announced that the school’s Heisman Trophy for Reggie Bush would be returned. The previous was a political announcement intended to win favor with the NCAA as USC appeals the two year suspension from post season play. Don’t expect that will win the school much favor.
USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett was fired and former USC QB and current Notre Dame football color guy Pat Haden was named to replace him. Former Head Coach Pete Carroll already saw the writing on the wall and slipped out of town in the middle of the night for points north. He ended up getting the Seahawk job.
But the fallout goes a lot further than that. According to a source that would not speak on the record at the NCAA several other schools are now being looked at for similar violations. The rumor is that the list include North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. The problem with these schools resulted from a party at South Beach in Miami. The NCAA is looking into who paid for the airfare, lodging and other costs associated with the party. Several sports agents were there and the suspicion is that they paid for the trips. One player that was identified is Bama DL Marcel Dareus. Head Coach Nick Saban told ESPN “Our [university] compliance people are looking into it.”
The University of Florida is also being looked at. That investigation involves ex-Florida OC Maurkice Pouncey and a charge that he took $100,000 from someone affiliated in an agent between the SEC Conference Championship game and the bowl win over Cincy.
The NCAA has stumbled around like a drunk walking up a down escalator. It took more than 4 years to finally issue a decision about Bush. It has to do better and get to an answer faster. The result is that the penalty is paid by people that were in junior high when the violation took place. That is not fair.
The NCAA has been put in an untenable situation by the NBA requiring players to have been out of high school for a year before becoming eligible for the rookie draft. The one and done just invites problems. The OJ Mayo case is only the shavings off the tip of the ice berg. There are certainly many other such problems in just the 2 years that one and done has been in effect.
But the real problem is the agents. There are way too many dollars to be made by signing a potential 1st round pick. There has been no penalty against the agents that have provided the money.
The NCAA, the players’ associations and the professional leagues are going to have to work together to solve that problem. The leagues are going to have to agree to suspend an agent for a period of time for the first violation of NCAA rules. A second should permanently ban the agent from the business and suspend the agency for which he works for a period of time as well. A third violation within a sports agency should result in the ban of that agency ownership from ever being certified again.
That would be a proposal that the NCAA should make. If the professional groups refuse to go alone, the NCAA should restrict access of pro scouts and coaches to the member schools. While that won’t guarantee the problem would never occur again, it would put the penalty where it belongs–on the agent.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on
and edits .