Last night USC finally issued a statement in regards to the Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo Investigations.
The statements by Todd Dickey, USC's senior vice president for administration, and Athletic Director Mike Garrett were short and to the point. They said exactly what many of us wanted them to say for months now. A statement that addresses the allegations, that also lets the fan base and critics know that they are on it. It did not have to be elaborate and it wasn't. It did not have to offer any details and it didn't.
The sad thing is that this should have been done six to twelve months ago. While the effort is a welcomed sight now the impact may be minimal as USC has let the speculation of the scandal get out of control to the point that these statements appear to be a late effort in damage control and the appearance of caving into the media's clamoring for answers. USC has the right to defend itself in the court of public opinion even if that defense is inadequate in the eyes of our detractors, rivals or media members.
Of course, many questions still remain and Dickey's statement in regards to USC seeking to interview the main accusers contradicts reports that USC never made the effort at all. Expect to see a back and forth from Lake's attorney disputing this. But at least USC put their side of the story on the table. It won't be enough of course in the MSM's eyes, they will want more but that is immaterial. SC made a statement, which many of us wanted, and now they will go back into the bunker and ride it out. I have no idea what they are doing behind the scenes nor does it matter to me. They made a statement acknowledging the issue and that is all many of us asked.
Let the splitting of hairs now begin...
In Paul Pringle's story in the LAT two weeks ago Pringle states the following...
Meanwhile, USC also has not tried to question Louis Johnson, who has accused Floyd and Mayo, though it did sit in on NCAA interviews with him, said Johnson's attorney, David Murphy.
"It did seem kind of bizarre that they didn't seek to speak to my client directly," Murphy said of the school. "As far as I know, there has not been a single phone call."
In Dickey's atatement he says the following...
The statement that USC has not interviewed Louis Johnson is also false. Mr. Johnson has twice been interviewed jointly by USC, the NCAA, and the Pac-10. Any suggestion that USC has not taken these allegations seriously and investigated them thoroughly is simply wrong.
I am not sure how important is for USC to ask the questions if the NCAA and Pac-10 reps are there conducting the interview. The questions would probably be the same and I have a hard time believing that USC did not at least huddle with NCAA and Pac-10 investigators before the interview to offer up questions to get the answers to what they wanted to know. I would suspect that if there was something way out of the norm in the interview that SC would have jumped in and asked a direct question.
Like I said...the splitting of hairs.
These statements needed to be made but they should have been made a while ago. How they impact where we are today is the question that will be open to speculation for the foreseeable future.