Lane Kiffin must be pretty down in the dumps. After his awkward departure from Tennessee in January, the coach has had to deal with the backlash of the NCAA’s investigation of the Reggie Bush scandal, you know, when Pete Carroll was the team’s coach. Carroll was able to get out of dodge, and over to the greener pastures of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, while Kiffin was hired to be his fall guy. The NCAA laid the metaphorical smack-down on the Trojan’s football program to the tune of a two year postseason ban, four years of probation, the loss of scholarships, while being forced to forfeit every victory during the 2004 season. Players that are currently under scholarship are allowed to transfer without penalty, and recruits are given that same ability.
One recruit who’s taking advantage of that ability is Seantrel Henderson, the nation’s top ranked offensive tackle. Henderson, who’s listed somewhere between 295-330 lbs depending on who’s reporting, will be let go out of his letter of intent and reopen his recruiting. Someone else who wishes he could reopen his recruiting? Lane Kiffin.
Henderson, an incoming freshman and one of the nation’s top recruits, signed with USC after initially delaying past national signing day over concerns the program might face NCAA sanctions, which indeed occurred.
Henderson also strongly considered Miami, Ohio State and Minnesota during the recruiting process. –ESPN LA
That’s bad news for the Trojans, who are going to need all the talent they can get after losing a bunch of scholarships over the next couple seasons, but not all news is terrible at USC. The school is set to appeal the sanctions that the NCAA placed upon them.
USC appealed only certain aspects of this month’s ruling. Among the penalties were a two-year bowl ban, four years of probation, scholarship losses and removal of several victories. The school will accept a bowl ban for the upcoming season and certain scholarship penalties in football, but believes the full sanctions were unduly harsh.
USC asked for the two-year postseason ban to be reduced to one year. The school also wants the NCAA’s scholarship reductions in football from 2011 to 2013 to be reduced to five lost scholarships in each season, rather than 10. –ESPN LA
That would help the Trojans avoid the fate of SMU suffered in the late 1980s. But, to be fair, USC has some unfair advantages that SMU didn’t to aid it’s rise to prominence. I count eleven in this picture alone.