USC, as we knew it, is buried

Published 4:17 pm Thursday, June 17, 2010

For many, this was a day that was long time coming. The NCAA finally called ‘foul’ on the University of Southern California football program, issuing strict penalties against the school for the four select words that no collegiate president wants to hear: “lack of institutional control.”

Alabama fans have long claimed college football’s governing body has had it out for the school, ever since a former player was brought for $200,000, which resulted in a two-year postseason ban and 21 lost scholarships.

Well, ‘Bama fans can finally put that notion to rest: USC got hit much harder then the Tide.

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The Trojans were hit with a two-year bowl ban as well, but will lose 30 scholarships and have to vacate wins from 2004 and 2005 because running back Reggie Bush was getting paid to play. Which means, according to the NCAA, the Trojans’ Orange Bowl win against Oklahoma, (which won USC the ’04 BCS title), never happened.

Neither did nearly the entire ’05 football season. And Bush might be relieved of the Heisman Trophy he won that year as well.

Typically, the main culprits responsible for these charges are eastbound and down.

Bush is making millions with the New Orleans Saints, while former coach Pete Carroll signed a $33 million dollar deal to coach the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year.

Left to suffer the NCAA’s wrath are players that were still in high school when Carroll was running the program like an NFL franchise.

And Lane Kiffin.

Which, considering the smugness that is Lane Kiffin, it’s quite funny to see the former Tennessee coach taken down a peg. (I mean, does anyone outside of Los Angeles and a few select media personalities like this guy and think he’s a good football coach?)

Of course, there’s the appeals process that has to play out, but USC’s football program has essentially been handicapped for the next few years.

Kiffin will have to be extremely selective of the players he recruits and deal with the fact that many of the nation’s top high school football players are not going to want to play for a program suffering through a two-year bowl ban.

USC will always get talent, simply because of where the school is located and its tradition, but say goodbye to top five recruiting classes year-in and year-out.

Eventually, though, USC will recover. Time is friendly to the probation-saddled football team.

But the common sentiment of most in Alabama?

Ding dong. The witch is dead.