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Blog Entry

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

Posted on: May 27, 2011 6:42 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2011 12:34 pm
 

 Because of what it says was an "administrative error", the NCAA said Friday it initially misinformed USC about the school's ability to appeal what are a significant portion of its major penalties related in the Reggie Bush case, CBSSports.com has learned.

 USC was given a form last summer incorrectly indicating it had the ability to appeal an unethical conduct charge against former assistant Todd McNair. The NCAA said that once the error was discovered, USC was notified.

 That didn't stop USC from still appealing McNair's penalty. That attempt was admonished by the NCAA when its appeals report was released on Thursday. It said the point was "moot" and that USC "did not have standing" to appeal. The NCAA said Friday that USC knew it could not appeal McNair's penalty before submitting its official written appeal. USC appeared before the NCAA appeals committee to state its case in January.

 On April 29, McNair himself lost his personal appeal to the NCAA to have the charge removed from his record. He intends to sue the NCAA. USC officials could not be reached for comment.

 According to a source, USC was given a notice of appeals form that gave it the opportunity to appeal McNair's finding. That apparently was the "administrative error". The school chose to appeal McNair's penalty, and returned the form to the NCAA which accepted it. Approximately two months later, the source said, the NCAA ruled that USC could not appeal McNair's penalty.

 The NCAA built a significant portion of the case against USC in its assertion that McNair knew about the relationship between Reggie Bush and would-be marketer/convicted felon Lloyd Lake. Bush took thousands of dollars in cash and extra benefits from Lake, according to the NCAA.

 The point is not that USC or McNair would have necessarily won relief from the NCAA if the mistake was not made. The appeals report makes no mention of an error by the NCAA.  In refusing to consider the appeal, the NCAA cited bylaws 32.10.1.1 and 32.10.1.2 that seemingly have little or nothing to do with the right to appeal. (See Page 17)

 32.10.1.1 says only that a school may not request an in-person appearance before the appeals committee unless the institution had made an in-person appearance before the infractions committee. 32.10.1.2 says only that an individual can appeal:

 "An involved individual may appeal the Committee on Infractions' findings and/or show cause order imposed for violations of NCAA legislation in which he or she is named."

 That's where it gets murky. When this brought this up to the NCAA,  a spokesperson said  "generally speaking" a school cannot appeal findings imposed on an individual. So already we've got  1) an administrative error by the NCAA; 2) questionable interpretations by the Legislative Review and Interpretations Committee and 3) a slammed-door in USC's face changed to "generally speaking."

 CBSSports.com was able to find an Alabama case from 1995 -- 16 years ago -- when the school was allowed to appeal a faculty rep's penalties. When that bit of information was emailed to the NCAA, CBSSports.com was told that the appeals process was much different in 1995. Back then appeals had to be heard together. That was changed in January 1996 to separate the appeals between school and individual to make the process more fair.

 Then CBSSports.com came across a 1994 case where a Texas State baseball coach found guilty of unethical conduct was able to appeal as an individual. An NCAA spokesperson explained that the coach's ability to appeal was dependent on the school filing a notice of appeal.

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: NCAA, Reggie Bush, USC
 
Comments

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:59 pm
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

Except it wasn't only one player, he was just the biggest name in the group.

Which is still one player.


I don't remember exactly, and don't care enough to look it up, but wasn't the OJ Mayo fiasco rolled into this as well,

Yes, which shows even further, that there is no rhyme or reason to the NCAA. The violation involving Mayo was in the basketball program, involved what according to the NCAA is a much worse violation (Head Coach Tim Floyd actually paying a player himself) yet the football program received the harsher punishment.

along with Leinart's roommate (don't even remember his name)?

It was Dwayne Jarrett and no, it was not included. This was a violation that no one actually knew was a violation. Dwayne Jarrett and Matt Leinart were best friends. Matt Leinarts father was paying the rent for off-campus housing for his son and Leinart allowed Jarrett to live there with him. Once this was learned to be a violation, Jarrett had to move out and was suspended pending repayment to Leinarts father (who neither needed nor wanted the money) and the issue was dropped. The reason that no one was aware it was a violation is because this happens all of the time with students who are not athletes.

USC in particular refused to cooperate with the investigation, and are now paying a stiffer penalty for it.

Then why did the NCAA say that USC was cooperative with the investigation?


Make no mistake, I think USC was completely guilty, I don't think this was even close to all of the illegal activity going on in that program, and I think Carroll knew exactly what was going on.

Well, the NCAA investigated for 4 years and was only able to find the one situation and even at that, couldn't prove Coach Carroll or anyone else, knew anything. Also, no former Trojans have come forward to say they received anything. In fact, there hasn't even been one to come forward and say that they knew what Bush and his family received.

As for the appeal. USC was told initially that McNairs appeal could be included with USC's appeal, they were given the form, USC filled it out, submitted it and the NCAA accepted it. Then they came back 2 months later and said "Oops, we made a mistake, you can't include it". Then they tried to say that USC knew all along that they couldn't include it.



Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2011 3:10 pm
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

Just in.....Fuher of the NCAA, Dean Wormer had placed USC on Double Secret Probation as he said it best "I hate those guys"



Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2011 3:07 pm
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

In other words:

The NCAA has no idea what it's doing. It just makes up rules as it goes along to fit its needs.



Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:47 pm
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

Some school needs to sue the NCAA so they stop be a secret police organization. There is just no basis to make school lose 2 bowl games etc. The NCAA doesn't apply it punishment for rule breaking the same. Until they do start defining and apply rules and punishments equally sue them over that. The NCAA needs a complete overhaul of it's rules and everything else. They need to be simpler to understand.

I expect Ohio State to be punished the same as USC or worse. That head coach new rules violated. He knows also what is going on with players and the car dealers etc. If OSU is not given the same or worse then USC it shows NCAA is nuts.

No one proved anyone at USC besides maybe one coach new anything. One year no bowls etc was enough not 2.


I am not for any of these school I just don't like how NCAA does things. It has to change.



Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2011 1:28 pm
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

But there was no lack of institutional control if it was only one player.

I agree that USC should man up and accept the penalties except that the penalties don't fit the crime.  One player took what he shouldn't have and one coach supposedly knew about it ( still haven't seen or heard any evidence about McNair ).


Except it wasn't only one player, he was just the biggest name in the group.  I don't remember exactly, and don't care enough to look it up, but wasn't the OJ Mayo fiasco rolled into this as well, along with Leinart's roommate (don't even remember his name)?


I believe the NCAA arbitrarily decides who they want to punish.  Carroll thumbed his nose at them a couple of years ago and now the players he left behind are suffering.

I agree completely on all of this.  The NCAA has always been arbitrary.  Back in the '80s, while SMU was setting itself up for the death penalty, every school in the old SWC got hit with penalties, except one.  Texas "somehow" kept its program completely clean, while even Rice was cheating.  SMU got the death penalty, but Jackie Sherrill's Aggies got nothing more than a scolding.  I'm not saying that SMU was clean, far from it.  I'm saying SMU got the death penalty for the same exact things that Texas and Texas A&M were doing.

However, the one thing that hurt SMU in that case was the same thing that hurt USC in this one, arrogance.  SMU and USC both pretty much dared the NCAA to do its worst.  USC in particular refused to cooperate with the investigation, and are now paying a stiffer penalty for it.  I don't have an issue with that, as long as it's reasonable, and the concept applies to everyone.  I'm just hoping that Tressel in particular, and Ohio St as his employer, receive the same consideration as SMU and USC for being arrogant.  Not the same penalties (although Tressel has no business keeping his job), but the same process.

The NCAA has proven time and again, you can do whatever you want.  As long as you come to them afterward saying how sorry you were, they'll give you a light slap on the wrist.  Most schools have gone through that, including mine.  Some of them have done that, even while they were committing new infractions.  Yet the NCAA still gives the love taps, because the school pretends humility.

I don't have the quote handy, but someone asked how McNair can be eligible for appeal, but USC isn't.  On one hand, I would say that USC should have cooperated during the initial investigation, and it would have improved their chances of getting an appeal.  One of the sections quoted hints at that.  However, I agree with what you're saying.  If the NCAA turned around and told McNair "you know what, you're right, we screwed up, so sorry" then USC would still suffer for what he supposedly did?  That's BS.  Make no mistake, I think USC was completely guilty, I don't think this was even close to all of the illegal activity going on in that program, and I think Carroll knew exactly what was going on.  But USC should have a right to appeal.

If the NCAA wants to say "you didn't cooperate during the investigation, so you get no appeal", that's fine too.  Make that a formal bylaw, put in writing, and use clear language.  Stop with the purposely vague rules that are meant to have different meanings depending on which school is doing the cheating.



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2011 1:04 pm
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

To USC fans and I'm sure Ohio State. Take it and deal with it. I'm a BAMA fan and we were hammered back in the 90s. Lose to your rival for the next 6-7 years, win about 7 games a year. It sucks and it will suck. I know you think your program can take it but believe me. They don't hit you this hard if it's not a big deal. This sets a program back at least 5 years. I'm not saying you don't deserve it, I'm just letting you know what's coming.



Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:30 am
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

I agree that USC should man up and accept the penalties except that the penalties don't fit the crime.  One player took what he shouldn't have and one coach supposedly knew about it ( still haven't seen or heard any evidence about McNair ).  I believe the NCAA arbitrarily decides who they want to punish.  Carroll thumbed his nose at them a couple of years ago and now the players he left behind are suffering.  I don't get it.  PS  I'm a UCLA fan so I like it when the Toejams get spanked but how about some consistency there NCAA

Wow, when a Bruin is sticking up for the Trojans, you KNOW that something is desperately wrong in NCAAland. Well, stated and very fairly looked at dilligator.



Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:23 am
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

This sounds to me like someone inside the NCAA gave USC the wrong form by mistake and then corrected their mistake pretty quickly.

I don't know what you consider "pretty quickly", but correcting something 2 months later, is not "pretty quickly".

 Let me guess, you guys want USC or McNair to get a special rule exemption?

Uh, no. What USC asked for was a reduction in the sanctions so that they are more in line with previous precedent for similar violations. Perhaps you haven't read about that it's only been what, almost 2 years since the sanctions were announced and it's only been all over the internet and news, perhaps you've just been really busy and just now took a minute to look at this. Besides, special rule exceptions only apply when there is a bowl game involved, just ask Cam Newton and the tattoo 5.

Isn't it USC's responsibility to also know the rules?

USC didn't violate any rules and as you see from the article, the rule had changed.

We all make mistakes.  We can't have a manager looking over everyone's shoulder for each task.

Really?!? Interesting that you make that point because what the NCAA nailed USC for, was NOT having someone looking over the shoulders of a player and his family who were "making mistakes" over 2 hours from campus. I guess the NCAA is exempt from it's own rules.

BTW, JustMyOP, here's another piece of info. for you. The NCAA also told USC that we would be allowed to be present for the testimony of any witnesses and that we would be allowed to cross examine any witnesses against us. The NCAA then disallowed that and the testimony was given without USC present and USC was not allowed to cross examine.

There was also tremendous conflict of interest on the committee in the sanctions part of the decision because the representative from Notre Dame (you know, our most bitter rival) only recused herself from the part of the sanction ruling that did not stand to directly benefit Notre Dame (bowl ban), but not the part that does stand to directly benefit them (schollie reduction).

We do not have a problem serving the punishment, wrong was done in our program (whether anyone knew or not) and we are willing to serve the punishment (what choice do we have?). The issue is that the process in which the punishment was determined was unfair and we were not provided the very things that the NCAA told congress they provide.

I hope this brings you up to speed.



Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:13 am
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

NCAA's monopolitic "rules". 


Does anyone here even think before they write... "Monopolitic rules"? The NCAA's rules have nothing to do with creating or maintaining a monopoly. The NCAA does not have a monopoly, there are plenty of other options for the public to consume non-essential services such as enjoying sports. The athletes have multiple options to to pursue outside of the NCAA, where they can get paid if they want. 


Trying to connect higher education, college athletics and slavery is a tired and pathetic argument. Very unoriginal and covered much better in other forums. Your theory that slavery could have survived in real industries through such an affiliation is asinine.


Quite simply it is a very complex system that if it required real change (which I'm not sure it does) really can't be addressed by today's media trend to use 140 character tweets, rather than a lot real investigation. And the average fan is not qualified to discuss. Sorry to be so blunt, but that's the truth.


People need to open their eyes are realize that the fans watch college sports for the university names on the front of the jersey and not the name of the people on the back. The players come and go but the brands established by the university live on. The quality of play in NCAA basketball has been horrible compared to years past when great players played 3 or 4 years yet the ratings and TV contracts are at all time highs. 


Time to stop jock sniffing and think reasonably about what is feasible (equal scholarships for all sports) and what is not (paying players). 



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:37 am
 

USC appeal affected by NCAA mistake

I have to agree that these penalties seem excessive (full disclosure, I'm a Vol fan).  I think two aspects of the penalties were personal.  The NCAA didn't like Mike Garrett, who handled the whole process as poorly as possible with his arrogance.  I also suspect that Kiffin's unpopularity with the NCAA played a part, though it shouldn't.  Yes, USC should have gotten penalties, but I think the NCAA painted themselves into a corner with this one.  Bush was one ineligible player that Pete Carroll may not have been aware of.  Also, the assistant coach who was aware got a show cause judgement.  What will the NCAA do with Ohio St, where 5 players were ineliglbe and Tressel knew and lied about it?  How does Tressel escape a show cause?  How can they give Ohio St a more lenient penalty than USC?   


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