USC files appeal with NCAA over sanctions

USC officials filed an appeal today asking the NCAA to lessen the penalties imposed on its football program for improper benefits being received by former running back Reggie Bush.

Earlier this month, the NCAA handed down stiff penalties against the university, ruling that USC showed a lack of institutional control over its athletes and had no procedures in place to monitor compliance with NCAA rules.

Among the penalties imposed by the NCAA were a two-year ban on postseason play by the Trojan football team. The team was also stripped of 10 scholarships for the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

The team was also stripped of all of its wins from games in which Bush played beginning in December 2004.

The appeal filed by the university today specifically asks that the post-season ban be reduced to one year. It also asks the NCAA restore five scholarships for each of the years for which penalties were imposed.

"The university recognizes that violations of NCAA rules did occur, especially involving impermissible benefits going to student athletes as well as their friends and families, from unscrupulous sports agents and sports marketers,'' said Todd Dickey, USC's senior vice president for administration.

"And we take full responsibility for those violations given that they happened on our watch.

"However, we disagree with many of the findings in the report from the NCAA Committee on Infractions and assert that the penalties imposed are too severe for the violations identified and are inconsistent with precedent in similar cases.

"We are hopeful that the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee will agree with our position on appeal and reduce the penalties,'' he said.