USC announced Friday that cornerback Isiah Wiley is academically ineligible and will be forced to sit out the entire season. Linebacker Marquis Simmons and cornerback Brian Baucham were cleared of academic issues and will be able to play.
Wiley was a big part of the USC defense a year ago as a junior transfer when he got forced into the starting role after injuries to Torin Harris and Anthony Brown left the cornerback position vacant. He finished the season with 39 tackles and a fumble recovery.
It is a big blow for the USC defense as Wiley's best play coincided with USC's best play down the stretch last season -- including an 11-tackle game against Stanford. Wiley had been playing well in practice and was expected to start with Nickell Robey at the corners.
Without Wiley, the USC depth chart shakes up a bit and Harris is expected to take his place at cornerback, with Brown backing up Harris. Baucham, who was on coach Lane Kiffin's short list of potential ineligible players, will be thrown into the cornerback mix as well.