Pat Haden: ‘We have always felt our penalties were too harsh’
LOS ANGELES — Sanctions were a huge topic of discussion in the college football world on Tuesday.
Everywhere except at USC.
On campus, the Trojans decided to keep their public comments to a minimum.
Once again, the NCAA had announced it’s punishment against one of its member football programs and once again, the penalties were severely less than what was handed down to USC in 2010.
“We have always felt our penalties were too harsh,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said via Twitter. “This decision only bolsters that view.”
On Tuesday, the NCAA announced Miami would lose nine scholarships over three seasons. The Hurricanes are coming off a self-imposed two-year bowl ban.
When asked what he thought about the penalties handed down against Miami, USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron didn’t have much to say.
“We’ve been working all day on Utah, obviously,” Orgeron said following Tuesday’s practice. “I know (athletic director) Pat Haden issued a statement. That’s all I’m going to say and support whatever Pat says.”
Of the other big time football programs handed down sanctions in the aftermath of USC, Oregon lost two scholarships over two seasons. Ohio State loss nine scholarships over three years, as did Miami on Tuesday.
Combined, that’s 20 less scholarships among the three programs.
On Sept. 27, the NCAA turned down USC’s request for ‘consideration’ regarding the sanctions in place on the Trojans’ football program. Days before, Haden met with officials in hopes of a reduction after the NCAA restored some of Penn State’s lost scholarships.
Penn State, heavily penalized in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, will now be allowed to increase its scholarship total from 70 to 75 for the 2014-15 academic year, from 75 to 80 in 2015-16 and back to 85 scholarships in 2016-17.
USC, meanwhile, is in the middle of 30 less scholarships in three seasons.
Ironically enough, thin doesn’t begin to describe the state of the USC football team as they took the field for practice on Tuesday.
There were a number of players missing due to injury. For starters, the team went through drills on Tuesday with two scholarship wide receivers and no scholarship tight ends.
Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble have already been ruled out for Saturday’s game. Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick is expected to be in the lineup, Orgeron says, despite being a non-participant Tuesday.
Freshman running back Justin Davis was out with an ankle injury. Orgeron announced offensive lineman Marcus Simmons will need season ending knee surgery. The result of an injury suffered in the team’s Monday practice that Orgeron referred to as a “freak deal.”
-USA Today contributed to this report