Basketball: USC situation becoming a quagmire

So, what do we make of what is happening at USC?

And what’s likely to come down the pike in the wake of the latest set of allegations, reported in a Yahoo! Sports story late Tuesday, claiming that basketball coach Tim Floyd delivered at least $1,000 to a middleman who aided in the recruitment of ex-Trojans star O.J. Mayo?

On the heels of a long and still unresolved investigation into former USC football star Reggie Bush, who allegedly accepted  thousands of dollars while his family failed to pay rent on a home owned by a marketer, this is a tough time for the Trojans.

Here’s the Yahoo! Sports story, along with the most recent Los Angeles Times reporting on the subject.

The NCAA apparently is linking the two investigations, and USC’s greatest fear must be that it could be found guilty of the dreaded “lack of institutional control.” If the NCAA can make its case on that front, the potential sanctions could be substantial.

Of course, the NCAA has a long history of selective punishment, seemingly turning its eyes away from high-profile infractions, while making a huge example of defenseless smaller schools.

There’s a famous old Jerry Tarkanian line, made in the wake of the announcement that Kentucky basketball had committed serious violations, that seems appropriate here. Tark said, and we paraphrase, “The NCAA is so angry at Kentucky, I’ll bet they give Cleveland State the death penalty.”

No doubt, it will  be very interesting to see if the NCAA comes down hard on USC football, should the facts warrant it.  Or would USC basketball, a bit lower on the collegiate sports food chain, take the bigger hit.

If it’s true that Floyd made this payment to get Mayo — and the jury is still out on that — he surely will be fired, and it’s hard to imagine any school could touch him for a while. This would be no different than the violation that got ex-Cal coach Todd Bozeman booted from the college hoops landscape for years.

If it’s true, it’s also incredibly stupid.

Whether it’s true or not, no one is more relieved this week than the folks in the athletic administration at Arizona, who thought they had hired Floyd just a month ago, before he did a 180 and withdrew. The Wildcats are feeling very happy right now to have Sean Miller as their basketball coach.

USC, obviously, would love this to go away. The reality is there will be much more on this story, and Trojan fans have to be squirming.

Jeff Faraudo


  1. No matter how deserving, I don’t think there’s any way the NCAA or Pac-10 will impose any severe sanction against sc, especially the football team. There isn’t another pro football team in the area (other than sc), and the LA TV market is larger than the rest of the Pac-10 combined. Neither the NCAA nor Pac-10 could afford to lose the revenue from advertisers who would surely pull out should sc not be BCS bowl eligible. It’s not fair, but it’s true, AND sc appears to be thumbing its nose at the rest of the Pac-10 because they know they can get away with things for which any of the other schools would be severely sanctioned.

  2. Agreed. The NCAA likes money. The LA market generates money. Expect nothing more than a slap on the wrists.

  3. Cheating? At a solid, upstanding “educational” institution like $C? NOOOOO!!!!

    What a freakin’ joke. They’ve been notorious rule-benders in football for decades, and now this faux-outrage at the OJ Mayo deal? Even the NCAA isn’t stupid enough to screw this one up. Floyd will be gone, and the rest of the hired-basketball-gun miscreants will end up as roadies for Lil’ Romeo …. ummm, I mean Percy Miller’s…. next tour….

    Now sing along with me, children…
    “Fight On! We’re U-$-C! We always buy…. the referee!!!”

  4. What’s the holdup on the Reggie Bush situation?

    We defeated Hitler in fewer days.

  5. H8sred is wrong about SC getting away with cheating because of some power it holds due to the LA tv audience. SoCal does not come to a halt just because SC is on tv. More residents here would rather watch Mexican soccer than football. Their are twice as many UCLA grads than SC grads, and they hate SC more than anyone, not mention a sizeable chunk of alumni from other PAc10 schools. More LA football fans watch the Raiders than SC. Do you really believe that Mayo could be bought for a fraction of what Bozeman paid Jelani Gardner? If the poof is there SC will get hit. Nobody stays on top forever.

  6. Why is this Cal football discussion group is evolving into a usc bashing group? We are all part of the same hypocricy. Reggie Bush gets his parents free rent. Marshawn Lynch gets $10k in gold in his mouth. Who paid for that?

  7. Because this post is discussing the University of $ports Corruption, Patty Cakes.

  8. Will, Cov ain’t Amy, but a rather objective Cal fan…

  9. You can’t be as naive as you appear Covinared or objective as others claim. (Your name alone shows your disdain for Cal.) sc’s success over the years has allowed it to draw a following from millions of non-alumni. Even though not everyone in LA roots for sc, they still have a larger pool to draw from than the rest of the Pac-10 combined. The NCAA won’t shoot the cash cow that is LA. Follow the money.

  10. Who are the “millions of non alumni” pumping money into the usc program? What is your source of information? Have you seen this list of millions of usc donors? Where does the money go? Why would usc jeopardize these millions of donations (plus the alumni donations) by permitting Bush to play knowing his parents were receiving free rent from a suitor agent when they had Lendale White and other studs on the sideline, or better yet for a $1k bribe to OJ Mayo’s suitor? The PAC 10 shares the TV revenue anyway.

  11. I never said they were donating to sc — learn to read moron. Besides, your last sentence makes my point. THE PAC-10 SHARES THE TV REVENUE. And the NCAA gets TV revenue as well. That’s why they cant afford to penalize sc, because then they lose the valuable LA TV market and its bountiful advertising dollars.

  12. How much money does an all dominant cheating USC produce in tv revenue compared to a sanctioned or less dominant USC playing by the rules? Won’t the football hungry non affiliated LA fans then switch to UCLA, or some other team and increase the advertising revenues for those games? Most of the ABC games are regional anyway. Football fans are football fans. They will watch what is on. Does the NCAA really place a high priority on maintaining the status quo and thereby protect a few dominant cheating programs to the detriment of the many others for the sake of money? Isn’t the NCAA comprised of all the schools. Don’t the others want also want to win? What about the PAC 10? Do the nine other schools concede its better for them all to be complacent with sc’s cheating dominance? Do you really believe that? What qualifies you to render an expert opinion on the viewing habits of the LA tv market? Doesn’t USC have a greater finaincial incentive to stay clean and off probation than to tolerate blatant cheating and lose it all for potentially several years and again become second banana to UCLA?

  13. How dense are you Covinared (moren?)? By your twisted logic, major league baseball would be just as happy to have St. Louis vs. Kansas City in the World Series as they would Yankees vs. Dodgers. It doesn’t take media expertise to know that generally speaking people root for the home team — even if they don’t have any affiliation with that team — in large part because they are constantly bombarded with news and special interest stories about the home team. If sc gets sanctioned and cannot compete for the BCS, a lot fewer TV sets get turned on in the LA area, and that translates to fewer advertising dollars for the Pac10 and NCAA. I didn’t say I liked it — in fact, I would be happy to see sc slapped hard for their cheating (and arrogance) — but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that the Pac-10 and NCAA are going to bend over backwards to make sure they don’t kill the cash cow that is usc.

  14. H8sRed & Will,

    Gotta be, Covinared = morons. And I was really enjoying the board without the troll’s pathology, eg innumerable SN aliases, pathetic lies and virtual trips to the Holy land.

    Go Bears!

  15. Please consider this. The governing body of the PAC 10 is the 10 athletic directors of the individual schools. Are you suggesting that Sandy Barbour and the other 8 :1. cannot stand up to Mike Garrett: and/or 2. are complicit by acquienscience to his cheating ways because they all would rather trade a potential championship for the money they would get from the increased tv revenue from a usc obsessed LA market? Did we lose to Maryland, Uof A and OSU because of this? I invite all of you that call me a moron to use your Cal degree to respond with something other than name calling and shallow logic.

  16. Alright, I was wrong! The original Cov is dead, and Amy hijacked their name.

  17. Covina,
    You conveniently forget to mention that the NCAA is the sanctioning body, and they don’t want to lose the ad revenue they generate from LA. (Oh, and you aren’t “we” unless you actually suited up for those games, just as you aren’t “we” when you post under your moren or other sc drooling monikers.) I’m tired of making the same point over and over, so this will be my last post on this subject.

  18. Covinared is aptly named.

    Covina is atown east of LA and is notorious for the large population of trojan wannabees.
    Sorry to say, but, this discussion site is going to filled with pro-u$c notes and Cal bashing.

  19. FYI: I am Cal class of 1982, and have no connection to usc. I got involved in this discussion because JO is the best source of info on my favorite sports team (to a near obsession since 1979),Cal football. Since we have reached the end point of our discussion may I make few observations of the content and tone of the postings I have read for the past year. It seems the consensus of the regulars is that all Cal football’s deficiencies are rooted in its strict compliance to the rules and roster filled with model citizen student athletes being outgunned by a renegade USC that cheats in sports and coddles rich dummies in the classroom, and gets away with it because the powers that be want to preserve that status quo because millions of LA tv sets will simply be turned off on saturdays if usc stops maintaining its dirty dominance. Anyone who questions this theory is not engaged in intelligent debate, but simply called names, insulted and have his or her loyalty questioned.

  20. CovinaRED
    Sorry to offend you, but, I have no reason to change my previous observation, but,
    Covinared is aptly named.

    Covina is a town east of LA and is notorious for the large population of trojan wannabees.
    Sorry to say, but, this discussion site is going to filled with pro-u$c notes and Cal bashing.

    Being an obsessed Cal Football fan using red in your name must mean you’re a communist.

  21. Attacking differing viewpoints with name calling and sweeping generalizations that question loyalty is a fascist McCarthyist trait. I am not pro usc just because I don’t view it as simplisticly as you, or anti cal because I don’t look at my own school with blinders. Please enlighten me about all the covina trojan wannabees? What is your source of this information?

  22. Covinared- thought maybe you had a sense of humor
    Go to Covina/West Covina quite often, mostly for social events. My observations(no interviews) while there visiting. Hear usc beats Cal with regularity

    Why do they hold the PAC-10 basketball tournament in LA… EVERY YEAR. Did UCLA or USC encourage this? I don’t know. It’s very close to home games for them.

  23. CovinaRED – I agree with some of your observations.
    Have you contributed any encouragement or positive views about Cal Sports?

  24. Clearly because usc cheats and bribes the decison makers, Harmon gym is too small and the la tv audience wouldn’t stand to watch it in a stinkhole like the oakland coliseum.

  25. On the entire west coast and PAC-10, I guess LA is the only location suitable for this tournament – and, you once again took the opportunity to agitate the Bay Area contributors.

    Also, someone from Covina should not use the word stinkhole to describe other locations

  26. Even if I was, I have never advocated it as a site for the Pac 10 tournament.

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