Posted September 26, 2013

USC AD Pat Haden meets with the NCAA after Penn State’s reduced sanctions

NCAA Reform, NCAA Sanctions, USC Trojans
Pat Haden

USC AD Pat Haden met with NCAA officials this week, including president Mark Emmert. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The NCAA announced on Tuesday that it would gradually restore scholarships to Penn State after the school “clearly demonstrated its commitment to restoring integrity in its athletics program.” It seems as though USC AD Pat Haden interpreted the move as his chance to make a case to lessen the sanctions currently affecting the Trojans. Haden and vice president for athletic compliance Dave Roberts met with NCAA officials, including president Mark Emmert, in Indianapolis this week. Haden released a statement regarding the discussions:

“After learning of the NCAA’s actions on Tuesday (Sept. 24) regarding Penn State and the lessening of the sanctions that were imposed on that institution, when viewed in the context of the events that have shaken intercollegiate athletics over the past year, we felt compelled to discuss USC’s sanctions in a new light. As I have stated on numerous occasions, I believe the penalties imposed on our football program in 2010 were unprecedented and inconsistent with NCAA precedent in prior cases. I also believe the sanctions have resulted in unintended consequences both for our football program and our student-athletes.  Although the sanctions reduced our total football scholarship limit to 75 (down from 85), attrition resulting from injuries and transfers has resulted in less than 60 recruited scholarship student-athletes suiting up for our games. The current situation is certainly not what was envisioned, nor is it in the best interests of our student-athletes’ welfare.

[...]

“During our meetings with the NCAA’s leaders over the last two days, we discussed enforcement and sanction issues impacting both the NCAA membership at large and USC specifically. We proposed creative ‘outside the box’ solutions to the scholarship issues resulting from the injuries and transfers experienced by our football team over the past three seasons. After candid discussions, the NCAA asked us to provide additional information and indicated it would study our suggestions. Because time is of the essence regarding these issues, we have asked for the NCAA’s response as soon as practical.”

At first blush, it’s probably unlikely the NCAA will reduce the penalties on USC, but it’s clear Haden smelled blood in the water after the Penn State ruling. This is why Tuesday’s announcement — while certainly positive for the future of Penn State football — might have longer-term consequences for the NCAA. Other schools could call foul on their own rulings, and the organization has now established a precedent in which it has proven willing to overturn prior decisions, although the Penn State situation was extremely different than standard fare sanctions cases.

SI.com’s Stewart Mandel gave his take on the NCAA’s Penn State decision earlier this week.

The NCAA is going down a slippery slope by reversing course while trying to maintain that it wasn’t ever at fault in the first place. Still, give Haden credit here. USC’s AD saw an opportunity, and he’s trying to capitalize.

27 comments
Ciscos
Ciscos

Well now that we know the NCAA denied USC's request, the school should sincerely seek legal action against the NCAA. I don't expect for them too, but they should.

Ciscos
Ciscos

The writer hit the nail on the head. The NCAA has now established a precedence with Penn State that obligates them, by virtue of keeping whatever shred of credibility they still have, in reducing or overturning prior rulings that were above and beyond reason.

Since they decided to reduce Penn State's penalty, then correcting wrongs needs to start with USC.  The penalty against USC was above and beyond reason.  USC should be expecting a response from the NCAA within days, not weeks - and asap.

If not, then the NCAA goes back to being that filler on the Comedy Central Network.

ShawnKey
ShawnKey

USC was the victim of a "vendetta". Yes punishment was necessary, but the level was and remains unacceptable. And maybe the NCAA should start hitting the colleges in the pocket by 1. Not suspending players who weren't involved, and 2. allowing the teams to play in bowl games and taking the revenues from those post game appearances as the penalty. Punish the bank account, not the potential scholarship players.

ElvisHitler
ElvisHitler

Basically NCAA goes easy on those that sexually abuse children. What a disgrace, Penn St should have got the death penalty.

Cool
Cool

Hey Pat.. just a little helpful advice here.  If you had fired the cheating scum bag coach, you currently have under contract, before going to the NCAA you probably would have had a better chance. With the ongoing investigation of his works while at Tennessee probably don't settle well with the NCAA.

Don8
Don8

Uh C.J.: Miami should get the death penalty.

BY
BY

USC's violations were jaywalking in comparison to Penn State's.

hight
hight

usc got shafted in comparison to what the penn state, miami etc have gotten.  it was the ncaa's first shark attack and they have now become inconsistent.  the ncaa is a mess and it knows it.  i'll bet haden will get something out of this.

CJ - Be the Ball
CJ - Be the Ball

I don't think Hayden deserves any credit. He fought the NCAA tooth & nail during the investigation, as opposed to Penn St who cooperated 100%.  Pete Carrol did not have tight control of the program as evidenced by the routine presence of agents in the SC locker room before and after games (among other things).  The penalties they received were more harsh because of their arrogance and defiance.  Maybe they should have thought about the welfare of student athletes before they acted.

danboz11
danboz11

@ElvisHitler Yea since none of the existing are officials are even there, that makes sense.

Cool
Cool

@BY Penn State had an out of control asst coach who had activities outside of college football that were illegal.  No players, those who are actually under NCAA control, were involved in it.  An old coach made a poor decision and probably didn't handle the illegal activity (that had nothing to do with college football) well and the top brass at the school didn't do any better.  But again, no matter how terrible of a crime, no matter how vile the crime, it had nothing to do with college football or it's players.  USC violations had everything to do with the players and the acceptance of payouts and blatant violations of rules.  As far as I know, there are no rules about pedophiles in the NCAA rule book... and do you know why that is?  Because it has nothing to do with college football.   USC  has clearly not learned it's lesson, has kept a coach who is known to have violated NCAA rules while at Tennessee and is probably breaking a few at USC.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@CJ - Be the Ball ~ CJ, just wanted to point out in your post, that Pat Haden wasn't the AD at USC then. It was Mike Garrett. And Mike Garrett and the University itself was fully and completely cooperative with the NCAA COI. The only one who wasn't was Bush.

eddie767
eddie767

@CJ - Be the Ball Penn St.did not cooperate until they heard "Death Penalty". Then,they still didn't admit to everything. So,the NCAA thought they should punish a whole generation of players. They overstepped and are now trying to look good.

LeeMorrell
LeeMorrell

@CJ - Be the Ball If the penalties were more harsh because of arrogance and defiance, doesn't that expose the NCAA's equal arrogance and defiance?  To punish harshly simply because they can as opposed to having a real reason is the height of arrogance.  Yes, USC deserved punishment...but they tossed them in prison for boosting a pack of Trident...

Baconpizza
Baconpizza

You're wrong on pretty much every level. Haden wasn't the AD at the time, it was Mike Garrett.  Also, the primary cause of their sanctions was a wannabe agent's pursuit of Reggie Bush, resulting in the purchasing of a house for his stepfather over 2 hours away from the USC campus.  In Carroll's 9 years at USC, this was the only incident of a player receiving benefits, and the NCAA never proved how much USC knew about it, simply citing it as "a lack of institutional control." 

One the flipside, Penn State coaches and faculty members were proven to have harbored a pedophile for decades. Please, tell me which is worse. 

One last thing, do a little research on Paul Dee before responding.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@Cool @BY ~ Cool, did you ever read the COI investigation? From your post it doesn't sound like it.  Your statements concerning USC, posted as facts, are blatantly incorrect. There's no reason to go point by point with you in your post, but I encourage you to spend some time reading it.  Was Bush guilty, yup. But the degree of guilt didn't correspond with the penalty given. In addition, factoring noted bias by the members of the COI, and you have an investigation that closely resembles vomit.

The reason why the NCAA took action against Penn State had everything to do with college football. It had everything to do with the PROGRAM.  That's what the NCAA monitors, it's the program and all those that fall under it's umbrella. That mean's coaches to graduate assistant coaches to the clerk typist in the office.  I don't see the need to insult you or your post, but it's clear your understanding of the NCAA and the rules governing college sports, is sorely lacking.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@Cool @BY  

A coach doing bad stuff in the football facility, and using his status as a football coach to commit more crimes.  

Um, yes, I'd say that had to do with football, all right.

Iowa
Iowa

@eddie767 @CJ - Be the Ball As opposed to Penn State allowing more than a dozen young boys to have their lives damaged by a pedophile. Would say the pain a couple college athletes felt of not getting to go to a bowl game is quite minor in comparison.

TCUfan
TCUfan

@Baconpizza " In Carroll's 9 years at USC, this was the only incident of a player receiving benefits"

Well, proven incident.

Cool
Cool

@Ciscos @Cool @MidwestGolfFan @BY A Burger King employee robs a bank during a lunch break... and now the whole chain must take responsibility for their employee's actions?  I guess it also means that it is now all about burgers, and fries, and perhaps even shakes.. because of one employee's actions.  How dare Burger King not have monitoring devices on their employees... I don't think I will ever be able to eat another burger again. 

Ciscos
Ciscos

@Cool @MidwestGolfFan @BY ~ Cool, as I said in my earlier post, it has everything to do with college football, because it affected the program. The coach is part of the program. Hence, although the NCAA overreached, they were within their rights to do so. 

And for me to say that, as a person that doesn't like the NCAA, is difficult.

Cool
Cool

@MidwestGolfFan @Cool @BY Sex acts no matter where they are, unless on the field, during a game, have nothing to do with college football.  No players were involved, no players deserved to be punished for what a coach did...   The law took care of the crime, the NCAA made a power play with no jurisdiction.  I hate to tell you how things really are, but that is how the ball bounces.

Baconpizza
Baconpizza

@TCUfan @Baconpizza  

The program was under the microscope and this was the only incident they found.  Call it what you want, but those are the facts.