Miami NCAA Rulings Leave USC As The Hard Luck Loser

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

After a drawn-out process that continued to loom over the current state of affairs for Al Golden's University of Miami program, the NCAA has dropped their verdict around Miami booster Nevin Shapiro and his involvement in providing lavishing gifts and perks to numerous Hurricane athletes.

The Miami Hurricanes, who are currently 6-0 and rank 7th overall in the BCS standings, will be allowed to play for this year's national title as the NCAA will not levy any bowl sanctions. Following two years of self-imposed bowl bans and other protective measures, the NCAA has docked Miami football nine scholarships over the next three years.

Over on the Southern California campus, USC Athletic Director Pat Haden commented over the NCAA's verdict in rather expected yet disappointed fashion, nearly three years following the 30-scholarship ban applied to the Trojans.

In a release clarifying its verdict, the NCAA stated that: "The University of Miami lacked institutional control when it did not monitor the activities of a major booster, the men's basketball and football coaching staffs, student-athletes and prospects for a decade, according to findings by the Division I Committee on Infractions."

What seems to have irked fans, alumni and leadership the most however, was the lack of scholarship reductions divvied on Miami. This coming after the university worked in accordance with the NCAA, in midst of numerous mistakes made by the organization, in its investigation riddled with illicit activity and faulty fact finding.

One of the major points of disapproval rests over the scholarship bans, or lack their of in certain cases, that have been handed down to other more cooperative universities. Thanks in parts to the actions of former Athletic Director Mike Garrett during USC's own investigation, the Trojans remain in dire straits with only 74 scholarship players on the roster.

Many have argued, including Kiffin and Pat Haden alike, that the past two-plus seasons have been especially challenging given the fact that the major wave of scholarship bans have begun to take its most wicked tole on the programs depth.

In the most recent game against Notre Dame for example, USC beat writer Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News states that sanctions laid down to prominent universities just don't seem to add up on the national landscape.

In fact earlier this season following a retraction of scholarships from the NCAA against Penn State, Athletic Director Pat Haden and David Roberts, USC's vice president for athletic compliance, met with NCAA officials on September 27th and discussed the possible reduction of scholarship losses that were imposed on the Trojans in 2010.

While reports surface around Oregon, Ohio State and Miami in terms of scholarship sanctions and bowl bans, the fact remains USC should now and will forever be viewed as the testing case for compliance with the NCAA, an organization that continues to receive flack for its handling of plenty of other cases in collegiate athletics.

Since this discussion will ever remain at the forefront of USC Football, its fair to ask what to make of these rulings and can the NCAA ever be treated with any sense of respect or legitimacy in terms of its handling of major investigations.

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