OT: USC Sanctions

Submitted by OmarDontScare on December 20th, 2011 at 9:40 PM
So I've recently heard national and regional (11 Warriors, etc) opinions on USC in comparison to what's going on at OSU. There seems to be a sentiment that USC will be completely fine and get past the sanctions while continuing to be a national power (Colin Cowherd anyone) just because they had a decent season this year. Why do people think this? They are just beginning their sanctions with their loss of scholarships (30 over 3 years). The real effect won't take place for 1-2 years. People seem to forget that USC was pedestrian before Carroll. Not sure why this is hitting such a nerve with me. Maybe i just cant deal with uneducated and delusional people. Anyone else hearing this as well?



December 20th, 2011 at 9:43 PM ^

isn't nearly as much of a problem when you use 12 of them on top 100 kids.  It'll hurt for sure, but they need less margin for error than most given how well they recruit.  


December 20th, 2011 at 9:52 PM ^

They'll be hurt badly. It's just like any other type of attrition. Florida is down a lot of scholarship players though not due to sanctions. How are things there? USC will take a major dip and then it becomes a question of whether they can regain momentum afterwards. Sure I guess it's possible sc could draw to an inside straight flush but I wouldn't bet on it.

Maize and Blue…

December 21st, 2011 at 6:14 AM ^

By appealing last year USC was allowed to sign 31 players.  Allowing them a max of 15 a year for the next three years would leave them at 76 or only 9 shy of the 85 total.  Which is about where they normally were under Pete "the cheat".  This is assuming no early entrants or other attrition, but it looks like they are losing at least two this year to the draft with two others considering it.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:55 PM ^

You're losing 40% of a class, and depth matters - especially in a game like football, where injuries are guaranteed.

Kind of tangential, but the 30 scholarships/3 years - does that mean they have to sign 10 less per class, or that their overall scholarship numbers have to be at 75 for three years? It may be splitting hairs, but I think that the latter is a bit easier to deal with than the former.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:44 PM ^


People are saying USC is going to be ok but you don't think so and somehow this has struck a nerve with you?  Maybe I'm late to the party but I'm not sure I follow you here.


December 20th, 2011 at 10:02 PM ^

Not that i have anything against USC in particular, just the front runners that have no perspective on college football past the last 5-10 years or so. Do people really think USC will be anything in 3-4 years? ND 2.0


December 20th, 2011 at 10:19 PM ^

Your perspective seems a bit short as well. SC was the dominant national power throughout the 60s and 70s (four national titles under McKay and another under Robinson, and they were spread out through the two decades so it wasn't a matter of just one or two dominant players or classes). Mike Garrett, OJ, Lynn Swann, Charles White, Marcus Allen--those guys WERE football when I was growing up.

This didn't just start in the last 5-10 years. I'm sure the sanctions will hurt but I'll be shocked if they aren't dominating west coast football again within two decades.


December 20th, 2011 at 10:23 PM ^

Sure, USC had a bad run from 1980-2000 (worse than maybe any of the traditional powers minus ND), but it seems like everyone has had bad runs lately, at some time or other. Oklahoma, Nebraska, PSU, us, FSU, MIami, Alabama, Georgia, ect. have all been down for varying lengths of time and have come back or are expected to come back soon. I don't see a whole lot of traditional powers being written off. ND is the huge exception, which I think can be explained by a lot of things unrelated to football.


December 20th, 2011 at 10:52 PM ^

You could make a good case for not including Miami in the list, but judging from your first post I think you agree with the larger point.

Michigan, Ohio, PSU, Nebraska, Alabama, Georgia, USC, Oklahoma, Texas, are always going to come back to a high level. Miami is probably in the second tier that's a little bigger.


December 21st, 2011 at 6:43 AM ^

What's unique about SC on that list is that it's the only private institution, so I can see why somebody might think they risk going the same route as ND. But the proximity to Hollywood is a recruiting advantage that isn't going away.

It's always possible for somebody to drop out of that group. 50 years ago Minnesota would have been on your list and no one would have believed they weren't going to come back. Chicago was there once too.


December 21st, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

USC's ten seasons leading up to Pete Carroll's arrival were 3-8, 6-5-1, 7-4-1, 8-5, 9-2-1, 6-5, 8-5, 6-6, 5-7 and 6-6.  They got good way too fast.  When you can get the best players money can buy, that shouldn't be a problem.

Oklahoma had records of 6-6, 5-5-1, 3-8, 4-8, 5-6 and 7-5 leading up to Bob Stoops arrival, who won a national title in his second season. 

Miami, well, that's an entirely different universe down there.


December 21st, 2011 at 9:03 AM ^

It sucks, but USC will be fine.  Bama was on probation with reduced schollies from 2002-2006, and is on probation now.  They vacated 2005, 2006, and the first two victories of 2007.  So, what did they do? Become the institutional poster child for over-recruiting and win two BS Sham-pionship games with a chance at a third to cap off this season.  

Schools that deny everything and continue to shamelessly game the system aren't hurt nearly as badly by NCAA sanctions as schools who cooperate like Michigan did during the Ed Martin fiasco.  It's why I don't think Ohio will be as hurt as they deserve to be, either.  

My best-case scenario for Ohio is that Urban Meyer turns out to be too burned out to work 100 hours a week, runs the Buckeyes into the ground, and ends up being their biggest "punishment."


December 20th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

  I'm well into my nightly desobering ritual, but I'm not sure that I'm picking up what you are laying down.

  It seems like we care what people at OSU think about USC... like they are seeking some sort of reassurance that USC will see their day, or won't, but like so... some people in Columbus are butt hurt or something.  I don't know.  All your schollies are belong to us.

  USC is losing 10 people a year ... some years that's half a recruiting class.  That's a big deal.  Being forced to cut your numbers by 3 a year, which is likely going to be a walk-on or some low ranking dude who isn't going to ever see the field, isn't going to make a big difference.  Especially when you get great classes year in year out and depth isn't an issue.  They may be down a tad, but not too much.  USC, especially under Kiffin's strong leadership, will probably implode.

  So, I guess I agree.  Or not.  I don't know.  What was your point?


December 20th, 2011 at 10:20 PM ^

The reason for my original post was the prevailing thought from the media... "since USC survived their sanctions with a successful 2011 season they will be fine... which is extremely laughable."

OSU will feel a sting from these sanctions. For one-they won't be able to "buy" recruits anymore. If one recruit Fs up then the program goes down. No more Fine Line Ink fellas.


December 20th, 2011 at 11:09 PM ^

  Yeah, I agree with you in respect to USC.  Their hardships are just around the corner.


  I don't think OSU will fare that badly, though.  Consensus opinion is they'll have to keep it at 22 per year, right?  Looking at this year they have 19 recruits, of which they have 4 five stars and 6 four star dudes (per Scout).  That's a significant haul already.  They've got four WR in this class, three of which are 3 star guys.  It seems like only getting 22 guys a year, if they continue to get even a semblance of this in future years, will not affec them too much.  I'm happy the NCAA did a number of things, but I think 3 per year is at least two too few.


  And the bowl ban only affects people coming back for a final salvo.  None of their would-be Seniors are 1st/2nd/3rd rounders (I think), so not much damage there.  It may mean you can't ride the bench as a redshirt and see the team play in a fancy bowl game, but this is the only class that will really potentially be affected.  I guess if a few guys defect then it did something, but I doubt anyone heads for the door.

Webber's Pimp

December 20th, 2011 at 10:04 PM ^

My two cents...This symbolic bowl ban they are slapping Ohio with doesn't mean much in the larger scheme of things. This is a program that cheated for close to a decade and yet they get to skate with 9 scholarship reductions!?! Don't be fooled by the bowl ban. The NCAA has slapped Ohio on the wrist...USC had 30 scholarship reductions. At the very least that's what Ohio State should have been hit with...


December 20th, 2011 at 10:22 PM ^

Delusional college football fans are indeed frustrating to deal with, but here we all are on this blog! Yay!

I'm in the camp that says USC is in for a fall in the coming 2 or 3 years because they'll be really young at key spots on defense and won't have the depth when injuries come knocking. It could be pretty bad too, except UCLA is not and will not capitalize on this situation. Oregon is the only team really kicking ass (if you can even call it that) on the PAC-12 recruiting scene, and the Ducks will probably get their just desserts by the NCAA someday soon.  Everyone else in the league is on shaky ground or undergoing a major coaching change.  USC got a nice haul last year including two fine QBs in Max Wittek and Cody Kessler, which could tide them over. 

 Also, there's Lane Kiffin, who is a really loose cannon when it comes to recruiting. I don't consider him to be a very good football coach. He's always going to be under the microscope by Pat Haden for years to come. Their situation is a lot like OSU's. They can't eff up anymore, which Toejam fans really aren't thinking about, but probably should start.



December 20th, 2011 at 11:23 PM ^

USC won't be that badly hurt.  They won't be national championship regulars the next handful of years, but if you look at the class they've got going right now, it will be probably 12 4-5 stars and 3 highly rated three star guys.  Their classes will still be top-25 in the country, and higher than that based on quality alone. 

Most schools take in ~25 kids, 5 of which bail at some point because of PT, and a handful more who never play anything beyond special teams.  USC will have classes of 15, none of whom will be threatened by PT, so attrition will be lower.  And they won't have as many career back-ups like most teams.  If the injury bug really bites them, they'll be in tougher shape, but their second string will be as good as the first string for most of the Pac-12 anyway. 

Like someone said, they took 30-some in 2011, most of whom were blue chips, and their team is already pretty young.  I promise they'll be just fine.


December 20th, 2011 at 11:35 PM ^

USC will continue to have a strong program mostly because they are committed to it.  It's still a priority for the school, its administration and its alumni.  

A brand new $70 million football facility is under construction and will be open next year.  The bowl ban is over -- new recruits can compete for a national championship and enjoy the sun at the same time.  As much as people dislike USC, they aren't going anywhere.  


December 21st, 2011 at 5:38 AM ^

Despite the scholarship reductions and the bowl ban, they manage to recruit top-tier talent on name alone (although less of it right now, for obvious reasons) and are pretty deep at most positions. They were 9-3 this year, and the only reason they didn't play in the Pac-12 championship game was the postseason ban. I would think that they will suffer a little "wobble", if you will, and they may have a couple less successful years in the near  future when the full effect of the reductions is felt, but that school likes its program very much, and even now, they are keeping it afloat despite restrictions. It might be a middling program for a year or two in the interim, but eventually, USC goes back to being USC. 


December 21st, 2011 at 7:07 AM ^

OSU's loss of scholarships is nothing. The three scholarships that they can't use are essentially the ones they'd have given to the last three guys in the class. So they might lose some depth players, but it won't be noticeable.

Someday, someone's going to have to explain to me how the head coach can cover up player transgressions, get caught, have the university sweep it under the rug, get caught again, have it revealed that the transgressions were just the tip of the iceberg, have almost as many questionable automobile loans as they have players go unscrutinized for years, have players paid by a booster for showing up at events (or not show up at jobs), and that's not as big of a deal as one player's family taking money and a house from a non-university associated agent. I've heard the excuse about USC's defiance, but OSU wasn't defiant? They've gone around spouting about how they have no systematic issues at the same time as we're finding out that Terrelle Pryor is ransacking the equipment room for items to trade for a new tattoo. 

Sorry for the rant. Redundant, I'm sure, but I've been off the grid since the announcement came down.


December 21st, 2011 at 9:52 AM ^

The Buck thralls will tell you that OSU is not as big of a deal because there was a higher dollar value involved with Reggie Bush.  As if the dollar value at play is indicative of how much the adults at each program were cheating.  It's a dumb argument.  When you willfully break the rules to gain a competitive advantage, how much money your players get is but a matter of chance.  And even the argument might not even be true, since the dollar value of all of the improper benefits received by all of the Buckeyes over the past 10 years probably dwarfs what Reggie Bush got.  Only difference is -- there was a lawsuit in the Reggie Bush case. 


December 21st, 2011 at 7:40 AM ^

USC will be fine because the Pac-12 South is garbage outside of them. USC could take 15 guys a class for the next 10 years and still have a massive talent advantage over the rest of the division.


December 21st, 2011 at 9:16 AM ^

I suppose it helps that they'll be preseason #1 next year in all likelihood (assuming Barkley is back). A team with 50-60 4 and (many, many) 5* guys is still better than all those pac-12 teams with a lot of 3* guys. Even with sanctions, USC will still be better than Utah, Arizona, UCLA, Cal, etc.

BS Preacher

December 21st, 2011 at 10:35 AM ^

One of the good things about the light consequences on OSU is that they will naturally not be as vigilant in preventing this from happening again.  

We all know that in order for the punishment to be a proper deterrent, the punishment has to be more severe than the crime.  If they are only equal then the school/person will commit the crime and come out ahead because they won't get caught every time.  The sanctions that OSU received were just about on par with the crime (although losing JT was pretty big for us).   I would not be surprised at all if some OSU alumni overreached in an attempt to get back to the NCG in two years and tried to give some benefits to recruits/players.  They may not get caught, but the natural consequence of making a punishment too light is that there will be more of those types of infractions.   

Smash Lampjaw

December 21st, 2011 at 10:59 AM ^

It is a stretch, but this is another chance to bring up one of my hobby horses. Ohio will be "decimated" if their recruiting class of 30 is cut by 3. I would prefer that they be "quintated". The NCAA did a military act of mercy by only slaying 10% of the captives, and releasing the rest.