USC AD Pat Haden: 'I will go to my grave' thinking NCAA was unfair
JUN 09, 2014 1:30p ET
In 2010, the USC Trojans were hit with unprecedented sanctions by the NCAA.
Included in the sanctions were a two-year bowl ban and 30 scholarship reductions across a three-year period.
The NCAA began investigating USC in 2006, ultimately determining running back Reggie Bush and his family received money and other perks from sports marketers while he played for the Trojans during 2004 and 2005.
From the Los Angeles Times:
USC fought the NCAA over allegations against Bush because school officials, including football coach Pete Carroll, said there was no way they could have known the running back and his family were benefiting from free rent and other perks in suburban San Diego, so far from the university's downtown Los Angeles campus. But the NCAA was convinced that USC — specifically running backs coach Todd McNair — knew or should have known about the rules violations.
USC was tagged with the "lack of institutional control" label and then hammered by the NCAA.
How does athletic director Pat Haden feel about the NCAA's actions?
“I will go to my grave thinking they were unfair,” Haden told the Times. “I'd be surprised if that kind of penalty will ever be imposed again.”
The source of Haden's frustrations, and those of others associated with USC and the Pac-12, could be tied to the results of two other NCAA investigations that didn't yield anywhere near the same penalties USC received. From the Times:
[Larry] Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, said the NCAA's reputation suffered because other football programs found guilty of major violations were far less severely punished.
Ohio State players received free tattoos in exchange for jerseys and other items, and it was determined that then-coach Jim Tressel lied to NCAA investigators. The operator of a scouting service was paid $25,000 purportedly to steer players toward Oregon. And a Miami booster lavished Hurricanes athletes with cash and other perks.
The results of those cases: Ohio State lost nine football scholarships, Oregon two, and Miami — after the NCAA enforcement staff and administration botched parts of that investigation — lost nine.
“Anyone looking at this thing objectively saw a lot of inconsistency in the way the cases were handled,” Scott said.