Photo credit: AP PHOTO – Nick Ut
Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott released a statement Sunday night regarding USC self- imposed penalties on the men’s basketball team.
“We have been working closely with USC and the NCAA in independent investigations of USC’s basketball program. USC’s decision to self-impose aggressive penalties on itself is clear recognition of how seriously the University takes this matter and the sincere commitment of the Athletic Department, University leadership and new Coach Kevin O’Neill to correct mistakes that were made in the past and to set the program on a track to maintain the highest standards expected of every institution in the Pac-10 and the NCAA.”
It sounds as if the Pac-10 will not take any further action.
Still, Tim Floyd (above, left) and O.J. Mayo (right) could prove to be a big embarrassment to the conference this season.
Mayo, who played just one season for USC, and Floyd, who resigned last spring, say they did nothing wrong. However, Mayo allegedly received cash, clothes and a flat-screen TV from an agent, according to published reports.
After an investigation, USC announced sanctions on its men’s basketball team which includes: forfeiting victories, curtailing recruiting, returning money and barring it from postseason play.
Here’s USC’s release and AD Mike Garrett’s video, which examines the penalites.
Most of the sanctions will hurt USC, but the conference may also be affected.
The Trojans (10-4, 2-0 Pac-10) have won eight straight games and if they’re really as good as they have been lately – and that’s a really big if – then it’s possible the Pac-10’s best team would be barred from the NCAA tournament.
We’ve speculated for months how many teams the conference would send to the tournament. Most predictions range between 1-4. Few believe the conference will send six as it has in past three years and five seems too optimistic.
Take away USC and it’s conceivable the Pac-10 tourney champion is the only team dancing in March.
ONE MORE NOTE ON THE PAC-10:
— It’s too early to make any definitive statements, but I didn’t see a dominant team after the opening weekend.
Oregon and USC are the only teams with 2-0 conference records. The Ducks needed help from the refs to escape Pullman with a double overtime victory and the Trojans could get sidetracked by the offcourt circus surrounding the team.
If the pundits are right and it’s a down year for the Pac-10, then you’ve got to wonder how many wins will be enough to claim the conference crown.
Since the conference expanded to 10 teams in 1978, the worst record for a Pac-10 champ was 13-5 in 1984-84. Strangely enough that was the year UW and USC tied for the conference title.
Considering how awful the non-conference season was for the Pac-10, it would be fitting if the conference champion had a 10-8 or worse record.
And finally, the Los Angeles Times is asking readers to chime in on USC’s self-imposed sanctions. As of Sunday night, 31 percent thought the penalties were too harsh.
Considering UW’s history, I thought it would be interesting to get a gauge on what Husky fans thought.
January 3, 2010 at 10:00 PM
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.