Pac 12

NCAA Drops Hammer: USC Trojans to Receive 2-Year Postseason Ban

| by Alex Groberman

According to reports by ESPN, the USC football program will receive a two-year postseason ban, among other sanctions on Thursday.

Both ESPN the Magazine’s Bruce Feldman and ESPN’s Shelley Smith have confirmed that the USC Trojans will be banned from the NCAA postseason for two years, will receive a reduction in scholarships and a forfeiture of wins from, at the very least, the 2004 season.

USC will respond to the NCAA findings on Thursday through an issued statement. As of now, there is no press conference scheduled by the school.

The NCAA infractions committee had its hearing February. At that time, USC presented a response to the allegations of misdoings on the part of the Trojans’ men’s football and basketball teams. USC football players will be informed of the sanctions during a mandatory meeting on Thursday morning.

USC will have a chance to appeal the punishment.

The Trojans have been under investigation for their dealings with Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush, who played for the team from 2003-05. Once the investigation is complete, Bush could be stripped of his award if it is proven that he accepted improper benefits from a sports marketer.

If USC is found guilty of certain major violations, they could be ruled “repeat violators.” According to NCAA rules: "An institution shall be considered a 'repeat' violator if the Committee on Infractions finds that a major violation has occurred within five years of the starting date of a major penalty."

The school was last sanctioned in 2001.

Investigations of possible violations by the Trojans’ men’s basketball program are also being conducted. This, of course, is despite the fact that the school already admitted wrongdoing with the basketball program and sanctioned itself. The school’s self-imposed sanctions included a postseason ban, reduction of scholarships, and the vacating of all wins from 2007-08.