Conquest Chronicles understands, based on multiple sources, that the NCAA has denied USC's appeal, much as Pat Haden and many others predicted they likely would. As we get more information on the ruling, we'll be keeping an eye out for reaction from with the football program, any impact on scholarships for 2011, and so on. The official stories should start to appear late today.
I can't say I'm surprised, but I am disappointed. I suppose the lessons learned here are:
- Trust no-one
- Assume the worst and set surveillance accordingly
- Have your football coach write books about God and leadership
- When you're caught, HIRE FORMER NCAA COMPLIANCE GURUS.
We respectfully, but vehemently, disagree with the findings of the NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee. Our position was that the Committee on Infractions abused its discretion and imposed penalties last June that were excessive and inconsistent with established case precedent.
Pat Haden, USC's athletic director, said: "I was part of the USC team that met with the Infractions Appeals Committee on January 22nd. Although I am gravely disappointed, I can assure our student-athletes, coaches and fans that we made every possible argument -- forcefully and vigorously -- for modifying unjust penalties."
USC President C. L. Max Nikias added: "We are extremely disappointed in this result. We are very concerned that the historical value of case precedent and the right to fair process in the NCAA adjudicative process, both in terms of the ability of an institution to defend itself or prove an abuse of discretion on appeal, have been substantially eroded. Further, the decisions of the COI and IAC have set a standard that leaves little, if any, room to discipline more egregious violations that will be addressed by the NCAA in the future without irreparably damaging athletic programs across the country. Notwithstanding this troubling concern and our grave disappointment, we will look forward to the future."
There are rumblings that legal action is not out of the question, but nothing official yet. After all, the AD is not the last word on this subject - but I'll believe it when I see it.