It won't be easy, but Trojans can bounce back from NCAA sanctions
If I'm USC football coach
I kid, of course. The NCAA probably wouldn't appreciate my little ruse and might simply extend the ban. Plus, the idea of proselytizing for football's sake might affect the Trojans' eligibility in the afterlife.
Even if USC's appeals fail and the entirely appropriate penalties (two-year postseason ban and a whopping 30 lost scholarships over three years) stand, this isn't going to plunge the Trojans back into the
Bush may yet lose his Heisman, but no one is going to track down the Trojans and collect their rings. A few years ago, I interviewed former Florida receiver
Make no mistake, the next few years will be difficult. Thirty lost scholarships is painful. Kiffin and his staff not only will have to convince players to come to USC with no hope of a bowl in 2011, but they also lose any room for error. If they overestimate a prospect's abilities, they'll damage the program further.
But, like the last two programs (Alabama and Miami) that returned to glory after getting smashed by the NCAA, the Trojans enjoy several advantages. USC still sits atop a gold mine of talent. No matter what the circumstances, proximity to home remains
Also like Alabama and Miami, the Trojans have a successful track record of producing NFL players. These days, top recruits want the easiest path to the NFL, not to a title. A USC backup quarterback (
Consider the last time the NCAA banned a program from postseason play for two years and took away more than 20 scholarships. That program was Alabama, which had allowed a booster to essentially purchase the services of Memphis, Tenn., defensive tackle
Refresh my memory, who is the reigning national champion?
Alabama. The Crimson Tide went through three coaches (
It also should be noted that in December 1995, the NCAA banned Miami from postseason play and docked the Hurricanes 24 scholarships over two years as punishment for the program's Pell Grant scandal. Coach
Can USC bounce back that quickly even with the draconian scholarship limits? Yes. It won't be easy, but it can be done.