USC to be banned from bowl games, lose scholarships

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Head coach Lane Kiffin gives instructions in the offensive huddle during the USC Trojans spring game on May 1, 2010 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

The NCAA will ban the USC football team from bowl games for two years and strip it of 20 scholarships for rules violations, the Los Angeles Times reported today, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.

The NCAA may limit recruiting contacts and order USC to forfeit victories, The Times reported. USC officials would not confirm that the school had received the NCAA's report.

Asked if USC had heard from the NCAA, Athletic Director Mike Garrett told The Times, "We are looking at things right now. That's about all I can say."

USC sources, who asked for anonymity, told The Times they were bracing for the worst. One told The Times the school probably would appeal.

Asked if the sanctions were appropriate, a source told The Times, "It depends how you look at it. It is if you're a UCLA fan."

The NCAA investigated USC for four years over allegations centered on former football player Reggie Bush and former basketball player O.J. Mayo.

A report surfaced in April 2006 that Bush's mother, brother and stepfather had lived in a San Diego-area home that was owned by a would-be marketer who planned to be part of a group that represented Bush when he turned pro.

Bush and his family are accused of accepting thousands in cash and failing to pay rent on a home owned by a marketer while he was playing for USC in 2004 and 2005.

The Mayo inquiry began in May 2008 after a former associate told ESPN that Mayo received cash and other benefits from Rodney Guillory, an event promoter who helped guide Mayo to USC.

In April 2009, the NCAA combined its investigations of Bush with Mayo into a single probe of the Trojans' athletic program.

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