USC Appeals Sanctions, Asks for Some Scholarships Back

The school asks that penalties handed down this month be reduced

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Friday, Jun 25, 2010  |  Updated 2:57 PM PDT
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The investigation took years. The appeal came within a few weeks.

Insisting that the university was being too harshly  punished, USC officials filed an appeal Friday with the NCAA, just weeks after the penalties were handed down. The school asked the NCAA to lessen the penalties imposed on its football program for improper benefits being received by former star running back Reggie Bush and his family.

On June 10, the NCAA handed down stiff penalties against the  university, ruling that USC showed a lack of institutional control over its  athletes and had no procedures in place to monitor compliance with NCAA rules.

Among the penalties imposed by the NCAA were a two-year ban on  postseason play by the Trojan football team. The team was also stripped of 10  scholarships for the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

The team was also stripped of all of its wins from games in which Bush  played beginning in December 2004.

The appeal filed by the university specifically asks that the post-season ban be reduced to one year. It also asks the NCAA restore five  scholarships for each of the years for which penalties were imposed.

"The university recognizes that violations of NCAA rules did occur,  especially involving impermissible benefits going to student athletes as well  as their friends and families, from unscrupulous sports agents and sports  marketers," said Todd Dickey, USC's senior vice president for administration. "And we take full responsibility for those violations given that they happened  on our watch.

"However, we disagree with many of the findings in the report from the  NCAA Committee on Infractions and assert that the penalties imposed are too  severe for the violations identified and are inconsistent with precedent in  similar cases.

"We are hopeful that the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee will agree  with our position on appeal and reduce the penalties."

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