LOS ANGELES — Southern California acknowledges its football program committed NCAA violations while building a West Coast dynasty over the past decade. The Trojans simply believe last year’s nearly unprecedented punishment didn’t fit the crime.
Athletic director Pat Haden wasn’t surprised to learn Thursday that the NCAA disagrees.
The NCAA flatly rejected USC’s appeal to reduce sanctions imposed on its storied football program, keeping in place the harshest penalties leveled against a school in a quarter-century.
USC must serve the second year of its two-year postseason ban this fall, making the Trojans ineligible for the first Pac-12 title game or a bowl game. USC also will lose 30 scholarships over the next three years, giving them just 15 available scholarships per season — 10 below the normal yearly limit — until 2015.
Haden led a chorus of exasperated resignation at Heritage Hall after the NCAA’s final ruling on its punitive sanctions for a variety of misdeeds surrounding Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush.