Southern California president Max Nikias, athletic director Pat Haden and four other university representatives spent more than four hours talking with the infractions appeals committee Saturday in hopes of reducing some sanctions imposed against the Trojans' storied football program.
A decision is expected in four to eight weeks.
“All I will say is that I want to thank the NCAA for giving us an opportunity before the appeals committee to have a good and fair hearing,” Nikias said after the meeting at an Indianapolis hotel. “Now we have to wait for the ruling.”
The Trojans want the NCAA to reduce a two-year bowl ban to one year. They’re also hoping the NCAA will limit football scholarship reductions to five in each of the next three years instead of the scheduled 10.
The NCAA imposed penalties June 10 after ruling Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and basketball player O.J. Mayo received improper benefits. USC also was cited for a lack of institutional control. Bush gave back his Heisman Trophy.
Since requiring schools to prove “abuse of discretion” after a rules change instituted in 2008, only one appeal has been successful. The other 10 failed.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the rules do not allow school officials to present any new information in the appeals phase.
Two weeks after the June ruling, USC officials said they would appeal some of the penalties, calling them excessive. The Trojans were given four years probation, had to vacate 14 wins and were required to banish Bush from the program.
Critics of the original ruling say the NCAA’s recent decisions involving football programs at Auburn and Ohio State should play in the Trojans’ favor.
EAST BEATS WEST
Syracuse running back Delone Carter ran for a touchdown and was selected the offensive MVP in the East’s 25-8 victory over the West in the East-West Shrine Game in Orlando, Fla.
The East dominated the yearly showcase for college seniors looking to impress NFL scouts, scoring 19 of its points in the first half and forcing three fumbles.
Richmond defensive tackle Martin Parker had a pair of sacks and a forced fumble to take defensive MVP honors for the East.
UCLA hired Mike Johnson as offensive coordinator, the same position he had this season with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Johnson replaces Norm Chow, who was hired Saturday as offensive coordinator at Utah, his alma mater. Two Oklahoma freshmen were arrested in separate incidents. Receiver Kenneth Stills faces a driving under the influence complaint, while defensive back Tony Jefferson faces a municipal violation of interfering with official process in the same Norman, Okla., location. Michigan director of football operations Scott Draper resigned after 19 years with the program. Bail was reduced to $1.5 million for Travis “Taurus” Brown, who was arrested in the shooting of Southern Mississippi linebackers Martez Smith and Tim Grean, and defensive lineman Deddrick Jones. All three players survived, though Smith is paralyzed from the waist down.