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Source: USC May Challenge NCAA’s Ability to Sanction Them

It’s been over three months since the NCAA Infractions Committee met with USC officials for a hearing. The typical lapse between an infractions hearing and the sanctions handed down by the NCAA is six to 10 weeks, but this case has taken much longer. The LA Times suggests the long wait is due to logistics and there’s no question the NCAA wants to get it right. Why might they be taking extra time to ensure their sanctions are well reasoned? They could be facing an unprecedented legal response from USC in appeals if the penalties are too harsh.

Even though the Trojans are optimistic as they await word from the NCAA, I’m told they have a backup plan in case things don’t work out as well as hoped. Sources close to the USC athletic program and familiar with the legal proceedings say the school’s attorneys are planning to challenge the NCAA’s ability to sanction them. The source noted that USC has the legal and financial resources to put up this type of “groundbreaking” effort.

The obvious question at this point is: under what grounds could USC possibly challenge the NCAA’s sovereignty in the matter? It’s possible that USC would file their appeal under the umbrella of the public policy doctrine, if not something else. Should USC appeal the sanctions handed down by the NCAA under these grounds, they wouldn’t be the only ones challenging the NCAA’s power; Ed O’Bannon is leading a class-action suit against the NCAA regarding the use of former athletes images and likenesses for profit.



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  • justbuster

    Interesting thought. Let’s see if I have this right, USC wants to challange the NCAA right to sanction them. Didn’t USC freely enter the NCAA and agree with their right to sanction them when they joined? As to legal expenses, the NCAA has pockets as deep as all of it’s members. Division 1FSB has over one hundred, Division 1AA probably has an equal number, when you get to Division 2, 3, and 4 the number rises to well over two thousand. Hmm, one against two thousand? I vote for ‘death’.

  • justbuster

    Another thought occured a moment ago( getting rather old), should USC file any sort of suit, the principles, Mr. Bush, Mr Carroll, various asst. coaches, etc. wopuld be liable to be required to testfy under oath. with all the ‘hush’ money that Mr. Bush has shelled out to avoid testamony under oath, I doubt that this story will go forward.

  • SpinMax

    What is so difficult about this? Some smart reporters knocked on the door of an agent’s house and lo and behold
    Reggie Bush’s family is in there. Now they are in court fighting over all this cash they were giving him in exchange
    for being his agent when he went pro. WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS?! He was an ineligible player and therefore
    records and awards(heisman) and wins are forfeit. Every other school has to do this. And when other schools fight
    the charges, they are punished twice as hard. At this point, they should be punished 10x over. This is ridiculous
    and corrupt

  • JS

    The NCAA Committee on Infractions will probably release it’s findings and sanctions when it meets again in June. They’ll have to, as there are new fish to fry with Michigan, Kansas, and Connecticut.

  • mr obvious

    This is crock. The right to sanction is obvious. Nor would USC ever subject itself to civil discovery. Whatever the NCAA finds will be much less than it would with subpoena power. USC is in panic mode because its attempt to intimidate the NCAA is failing and the penalties will either be somewhat bad or really harsh. Floating this bs story to ‘friends of the program’ is just another bad decision. USC should have come clean and taken its medicine. But they just can’t.

  • Plain and Simple

    If there’s any institution out there right now that has the money and the legal power to take on the NCAA would be USC. I say USC go for it! I’m behind you 100%. The bottom line is the penalties NCAA has handed down; do not justified the findings in this case at all period! And I also feel that they should have separted both cases (OJ Mayo and Bush) and gave them separate penalties and not combined. OJ Mayo only played at USC for one year, and it’s evident that he took money and the coach was aware of it. Why would a player like that pass up several great Basketball schools and come too USC if he was not getting any benefits from coming there. It just does not make any sense at all. USC is known for it’s football program, not it’s basketball program.