As I begin writing this it is just after midnight here on the west coast, and tons of people out there, haters and Trojan fans alike, are currently writing obituaries for the USC football program. Granted, if the ESPN and LA Times reports are accurate thus far, I can't totally blame them. They're certainly justified in throwing some dirt in our faces. It happens. Yes,the sanctions are going to hurt the program. No question about that. Will they effectively destroy USC football as we know it? Absolutely not. As junior wide receiver Brandon Carswell said earlier this evening on twitter:
Hey look at it we still play football at USC,for us on scholly still free school, for everyone we are still trojan family, awesome
It may seem a little corny, but Carswell makes a good point. One of the strongest assets of USC remains its strong alumni base, affectionately known as The Trojan Family. What's my point? This thing isn't over. An investigation that took four years isn't suddenly going to be over in one night.
We still have not yet heard from either USC or the NCAA. No official statements have been issued. No press conferences have been held. No drawn out video conferences from Mike Garrett have been published on USCTrojans.com either. All we have is the word of Bruce Feldman and Gary Klein (both are reliable reporters and do fantastic work but neither represent either institution). In short, we're still waiting for the NCAA report even though we have some idea what it will say.
With that said, there's still going to be an appeals process. With the amount of money USC has, one would have to think that they're going to spend a ton of it on legal fees for an NCAA appeal in order to lessen the blow. Will anything come of it? Will there be a reversal? I have no clue. Oklahoma won its appeal a few years back. Alabama lost theirs a year ago so it's tough to say. But that process won't be quick. No dealings with the NCAA are. Why would this be any different? SCPlaybook.com's Dan Greenspan jokingly put that any appeal would make Bush vs. Gore look like small claims court. Wait, he might be serious.
We're in for a fight regardless. This won't be a situation where we all sit back and say "glad it's all over now." Sorry if you were looking forward to that, because in all honesty, that's not going to happen. USC is a powerful institution both academically and athletically. With its athletic revenue riding on football, it isn't going to let the NCAA make an example of them in order to just promote its own agenda unless serious violations did in fact occur. And who even knows what the actual findings are at this point.
There remains a lot of uncertainty right now. Will the current sanctions hold up or will they be lessened? Could the reports be erroneous? I wish I could say. But in reality, all I know is that I'm sitting in front of my computer with the rest of the Trojan Family by my side, and to be perfectly honest, I'm glad to be here with you all as we await more information from USC and the NCAA. We're in this for the long haul. It ain't over yet.
And as we like to say here, story currently developing...