USC has been quite the story in college basketball over the past few weeks, as the Trojans have won eight in a row, highlighted by a wins over now-scandal ridden Tennessee and UNLV and have looked like a completely different team with point guard Mike Gerrity and forward Leonard Washington in the lineup.
That all ended on Sunday, January 3, hours after the Trojans defeated Arizona State to join Oregon atop the Pac-10 with a 2-0 record. CBS Sports' Seth Davis reported on Twitter that the USC had self-imposed sanctions after finding NCAA rules were violated during O.J. Mayo's recruitment to the school. A visit to the university's athletics website confirmed this information, as a statement on the matter appears on the front page.
Here's a summary of the actions the school took.
- The men's basketball team will not participate in the 2009-10 postseason, including the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles.
- Men's basketball loses one scholarship in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years.
- The program also will suffer on the recruiting trail, as one fewer coach will be allowed to participate in off-campus recruiting this summer, and the number of recruiting days for men's basketball in 2010-11 was cut from 130 to 110.
Mayo's involvement with Rodney Guillory led to further action regarding the record book.
In addition, because of Mayo's involvement with Rodney Guillory, whom under NCAA rules became a USC booster due to his role in Mayo's recruitment, USC will vacate all wins during the 2007-2008 regular season, which was when Mayo competed while ineligible. USC will also return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 Conference for its participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.
The NCAA has yet to weigh in on the matter, but it would be hard to imagine that they could do much more to USC than this.
USC head coach says in the statement that his team will take these actions in stride.
"As their coach, I will do everything in my power to make our program better on and off the court every day," he said. "Our job as a team now is to move forward in a positive manner. We have 16 games left to play this season. I have no doubt that our players will prepare and play well in those games. While it is unfortunate that our players won't have the chance to compete in the post-season, that just makes every game for us now a post-season game."
Visit our Trojans blog, Conquest Chronicles, for more on this story.