On Second Thought, The NCAA Should Have Given USC The Death Penalty

↵Is it possible the NCAA  can go back and retroactively give USC the death penalty? No? That's a shame, because the spreading arrogant defiance of the NCAA decision is both unprecedented and very annoying. The disease started with AD Mike Garrett: ↵

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↵⇥“As I read the decision by the NCAA … I read between the lines and there was nothing but a lot of envy. They wish they all were Trojans.“ ↵⇥

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↵Garrett is a former athlete and has a well-worn reputation as loose cannon. Even though Tim Floyd's incredibly self-serving defense was, well, incredibly-self serving, his description of Garrett's interaction with him after O.J. Mayo's sketchiness went from bleedingly obvious to bleedingly obvious and documented… ↵

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↵⇥The day the story broke, my athletic director called me and asked me where I was. I happened to be in New Orleans after being there for seven months. He asked me if I'd read the story. I said, 'Yes. And I did not do what I'm accused of doing.' Two, 'Where are you?' 'I'm in New Orleans.' The third thing he said was, 'You need to get your ass back to Los Angeles, so I can decide what I'm going to do with you.' ↵⇥

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↵…gives you an indication of Mike Garrett's worldview. His reaction is not much of a surprise, and he's probably so fired after USC's likely futile appeals are exhausted. ↵

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↵On the other hand, if the USC "Board of Counselors"—which is the group of people who are Garrett's bosses—reacts like this: ↵

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↵⇥“There’s a difference between cheating and breaking the rules. This was breaking the rules. It’s ludicrous to say USC was cheating. ↵⇥

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↵⇥“It’s comical that everyone cares about what happens at USC. If this were any other Pac-10 school, no one would care this much. ↵⇥

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↵⇥“The people who are boosters and really involved in the program are of the same mindset I am. Face it, most people in the Pac-10 would take the nine years we had in exchange for what happened (Thursday).” ↵⇥

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↵Then maybe they think Garrett actually did a good job. The idea that maybe you shouldn't run a program that ignores your own compliance department when it says "do NOT recruit OJ Mayo" has apparently not occurred to anyone connected with USC in any way. ↵

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↵Here's were I flex my fingers and delete four sentences because I'm fuming. My anger muscle is all used up because of the Malian Anti-Foul Fiasco, but man… USC's reaction to the NCAA sanctions is downright insolent. Contrast it to Michigan's minor practice overages, which were met with self-immolating press conferences in which a Dark Day was proclaimed because of 15-minute stretching overages and some quality control assistants performing strength workouts they erroneously believed were kosher. USC has learned nothing and shows no remorse. When you're up for sentencing after conviction, that matters to the justice system. It's too bad it won't matter here. ↵

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↵(HT: Sports by Brooks.) ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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