The title of the post is pretty much what everyone else is saying in regards to USC's decision to self-impose sanctions on the basketball program.
Just a few general thoughts on this...
It is a pretty tough pill to swallow when you think about the kids who had absolutely nothing to do with this whole mess.
I have read a number of columns and articles that have stated that the team is shocked and dismayed at USC's decision to self-impose sanctions. As I said yesterday how did anyone not see this coming? Maybe because we hadn't heard anything about this for such a long time that people forgot this was out there.
I certainly don't accept that.
I do feel bad for our guys. They are left holding the bag for something that many of them weren't even around for. But how could they not know this was a possibility? If the team wasn't playing so good after all it went through after all of the events from over the summer would this be such a big deal to us? I still think the timing is perfect. Do it before the season and it barely would have registered...we all expected the team to have a rough go of things. Do it towards the end of the season when the team is on this run looks bad as well. People would have scream why now?! Doing it now sends a message to the NCAA, regardless of how late it is, that SC takes the apparent wrongdoing here seriously, determined there was an issue and punished itself for it.
Yes, it is a little like closing the barn door after the horses have already left but it is what it is. The NCAA can't go after Mayo, the only thing they could do to Floyd is to censure/ban him from the college coaching ranks...not likely. So until we hear from the NCAA...this is just the appetizer.
Mark Whicker has an interesting take...
Greater justice would be served by the removal of scholarships, and the Trojans did divest themselves of one scholarship in each of the next two seasons. That actually hurts the institution while leaving the current players alone.
And USC deserves these self-implemented slaps because of the concept of "institutional control." The NCAA's gendarmes can't be everywhere and the system, contradictory as it is, must rule itself. It was no secret Mayo was a mercenary and it was also no secret that Floyd was capable of moving the goalposts.If a USC official had just said, "Uh, Tim, do you really think this is such a good idea?" that would have been a step toward institutional control.
The reason so many of us chuckle at all of this is because Mike Garrett had the audacity to video tape a message about things SC did wrong when he was is just as guilty as Floyd for allowing Guillory into the basketball offices.
Again, Garrett knew all about Guillory be cause of his involvement with the suspension of Jeff Trepangier. When Whicker says "If a USC official had just said, "Uh, Tim, do you really think this is such a good idea?" that would have been a step toward institutional control." He is talking directly to Garrett...
Mike Garrett had a personal hand in making sure that Mayo was "cleared" by the NCAA yet he never knew about Guillory? That is why this is such a joke. He could have simply told Tim Floyd a resounding NO!
I can see where Whicker is going in regards to reducing schollies instead of banning the team from post season play but the NCAA could and would do the very same thing so to me its a wash...it still affects the players negatively. One thing that does intrigue me is the labeling of Guillory as a booster. I am not an aficionado of the NCAA rule book so this is new one to me but it makes sense and makes it that much more of a bigger deal to me because once again the compliance office should have been more careful when Guillory slithered through the door with Mayo. The word "booster" seldom has a positive connotation when the term "Possible Sanctions" is mentioned. It also take the legs out of the argument many SC fans like to use when trying to defend the school that no boosters were involved. It may be on the fringe but it is not a loose interpretation.
When you look at this decision carefully it isn't really a bold move. Like I said you would have to be blind to not see this coming. That it happened now when the team is on hot run produces the desired effect as evidenced by the comments and stories I have read everywhere in the 18 hours. USC attempting to get out in front of this now is only to dull the thud of whatever the NCAA hands down.
It is pretty clear that all of this is meant to protect the football program but I am not sure if that is a realistic goal. Again, not surprising as this has always been what this is about.
Seeing how USC now has a taste for delivering up sacrificial lambs maybe the next best message SC could do as an offering to the gods is to show Joe McKnight the door. He may be innocent but notice we still haven't heard much more about that? It may be time to cut ties and move on...
Yes, I am being sarcastic...
For the most part.