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USC Appeal Denied; Scholarship Sanctions Against Trojans Will Begin In 2012

As reported last night, the NCAA has ruled earlier than expected on USC's appeal to the Committee on Infractions' ruling against the university, denying the Trojans on all points of plea. The levied penalties against the Trojans football program, including four years of probation, two years of postseason play exclusion, vacated wins, scholarship reductions, and fines, will all stand. The Trojans have already served one year of their bowl ban; scholarship sanctions will begin in the 2012-2013 academic year. The NCAA's official release has a complete explanation of all penalties upheld, and also contains a stiff rebuttal to the university's earlier charges of abuses of power on the part of the COI:

In its appeal, the university requested the penalties be reduced, asserting they were not supported by the facts and were excessive to an extent that they constituted an abuse of discretion. It also contended that the findings of violations should be set aside as contrary to the evidence. [...] The appeals committee also upheld all penalties in the case, noting there was no basis to conclude the Committee on Infractions departed from prior decisions.

CBS' Bryan Fischer has a copy of USC's statement in response to the appeal, which comes with all expected vitriol:

We respectfully, but vehemently, disagree with the findings of the NCAA’s Infractions Appeals Committee. Our position was that the Committee on Infractions abused its discretion and imposed penalties last June that were excessive and inconsistent with established case precedent.

Some fun/depressing tidbits on this case, via the NCAA's official compliance blogger: By the time the Trojans are off probation, they'll have freshmen suited up who were in the third grade when the investigation began. As of today's wrap, this has been a live case for five years, one month, and just shy of one week. It's easily felt twice that long, hasn't it?

Catch up and commiserate with USC fans at SB Nation's Conquest Chronicles.