Reports (see AP story embedded below) indicate USC faces severe NCAA sanctions. According to the AP, “The Los Angeles Times reported the NCAA sanctions include the loss of more than 20 scholarships. According to a story posted on ESPN.com on Wednesday night, the Trojans also will forfeit wins ‘from at least the 2004 season.’”
These severe sanctions might have been less severe if not for USC’s arrogance. What arrogance? Hiring Lane Kiffin.
USC’s hire of Lane Kiffin was the worst thing the school could have done with looming NCAA issues. With the NCAA reportedly “inquiring widely into Tennessee recruiting” back in December, the Volunteers were about to become the NCAA example of recruiting run amok. However, Kiffin fled Rocky Top, and you can bet the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions took note of Kiffin’s reckless disregard of NCAA rules during his brief Tennessee tenure.
Kiffin didn’t believe secondary violations had consequences. Maybe they don’t. However, if you have a reputation as a scofflaw, that does have consequences. USC knew of Kiffin’s reputation, but ignored the consequences. Judging by past experience, the NCAA doesn’t like arrogance. Just ask Alabama.