Given all the questions I’ve gotten on this, I figure this is worth its own headline blog as there are reports surfacing this afternoon that USC’s appeal of penalties handed down a year ago has been denied.
Here’s a story from Rivals.com detailing that news and what it means for the Trojans, noting that the official announcement from the NCAA is not due until tomorrow (Thursday).
Aside from the scholarship reductions detailed in the story, the most tangible impact is that it would mean USC is again ineligible for post-season competition in 2011 and could not play in the first Pac-12 title game were it to win the South Division.
Arizona State has been regarded as another favorite, with Utah also considered by some as having a shot at it, and the immediate fortunes of those two teams suddenly got a lot brighter with USC apparently out of the picture for 2011.
Bryan Fischer of CBSSports.com also Tweeted that that organization has also confirmed that USC’s appeal has been denied.
Washington will play at USC on Nov. 12. As was the case last year, games against USC count in the standings, USC itself simply is ineligible for winning the conference title or going to the post-season.
UPDATE, 3:40 p.m. — The reports on USC’s appeal being denied are now being confirmed everywhere.
ESPN.com also notes that the appeal means that USC upperclassmen will again be eligible to transfer anywhere without having to sit out a year.
That really didn’t result in the huge tidal wave of transfers a year ago that some surmised — almost all the upperclassmen who left USC a year ago in the wake of the initial announcement of the penalties were fairly inconsenquential — but you never know.
Obviously, it will be tricky for USC going forward handling the scholarship reduction, and that will just as obviously mean there should be 10 more players per year over that time available to other schools. UW’s task, as it will be for all other conference schools, will be to get in position to capitalize.
UPDATE, 4 P.M. — Here’s a blog entry from the LA Daily News noting how this could help UCLA and giving some further insight into USC’s scholarship situation.
Dr. Saturday also weighs in with a few thoughts, with some of his own insight into the scholarship situation, saying specifically to expect all the players USC signed a year ago to get in and that the reductions will mostly impact the Trojans going forward.
USA Today also wraps up what this all might mean.