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  • #31
    Oh, one last thing. Whoever the freshman is whose family "may" have taken the $5K? That needs to be repaid right now - not tomorrow - right now. With that repayment, the penalty to the University may be limited to a suspension to the incoming freshman. If the other player is Melton, he's done. He cannot play, he cannot practice. But there is no issue of amateurism because Bland didn't take the payment until July 29 of this year and the meeting (without Bland) where the family took the $5K was done at the end of August. So he's been professional in the eyes of the NCAA for a grand total of less than a month. We don't know about the freshman's timing, because as I said previously, no allegation of receipt was even made.

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    • #32
      Man, this really sucks. What a slimey business.

      The $13k bribe doesn't seem as big of a concern for the program. Bland should definitely be gone, but I don't see how USC gets punished for a coach taking a bribe to exert "influence".

      It's the alleged payments to the players' families that have me very concerned. Even if the payments don't meet the threshold for a federal case, I don't see how that limits the NCAA from sanctioning the program if there is proof that payments were made and facilitated by staff? And to think they are just going to let players off because money was returned seems a little far-fetched. How would this limit this action in the future if all you needed to do was return the money when you were caught?

      More likely defense seems to be that players had no knowledge of payments.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by TrojanGrad View Post

        Even if the payments don't meet the threshold for a federal case, I don't see how that limits the NCAA from sanctioning the program if there is proof that payments were made and facilitated by staff? And to think they are just going to let players off because money was returned seems a little far-fetched. How would this limit this action in the future if all you needed to do was return the money when you were caught?

        More likely defense seems to be that players had no knowledge of payments.
        Yes, you are right TrojanGrad. No question the NCAA can and likely will sanction the program. There is relatively long-standing precedent for players being able to repay funds received that would have otherwise rendered them ineligible. This is from the NCAA's website FAQ on amateurism certifications:

        If the answers indicate a possible violation of amateurism standards, the amateurism certification staff works with the college or university to determine the facts. If a violation of amateurism standards occurred, a penalty will be imposed based on the severity of the violations. Penalties include repayment of money, sitting out a specified number of games or, in rare cases, permanent ineligibility. Schools may appeal amateurism certification decisions.

        Back in the days of John Wall, when this was an issue that was considered, word was that the specified number of games would not exceed 10% of a player's season. But I have not checked the NCAA Manual on this issue to see if that is still true.

        So if USC quickly worked with the incoming player to repay the money and amend the amateurism questionnaire, the news may not be bad. But USC may choose to cut and run. It will depend on what the Freeh investigation uncovers, I'm sure.

        Finally, if you read the facts of the indictment, it is alleged (and quite obviously on tape) that the mother of the sophomore player says her son is mature enough to handle the business side of things and can discuss these matters. From that, it is fair to infer that the player almost certainly knows. Unsure on the freshman because of the insufficient pleading. But the timing is SO recent, it's possible that the players didn't know. Not bloody likely. .


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        • #34
          At these numbers and if it is first offense it seems a short walk for the players not to be deemed permanently ineligible. To address the elephant in the room, I see the problem for the program and fans is being barred from the tournament by the NCAA or self imposed sanctions. That would truly stink.

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          • #35
            Well I imagine we'll know the school's position on this in short order with practice starting soon. No way they allow the kids in question to practice if they're not comfortable this is sorted out.

            What makes this situation really gross is Bland's apparent lack of interest in the well-being of the players. This wasn't about helping their careers or getting their families paid. It was about getting himself paid first and foremost.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by kingusc49 View Post

              Finally, if you read the facts of the indictment, it is alleged (and quite obviously on tape) that the mother of the sophomore player says her son is mature enough to handle the business side of things and can discuss these matters. From that, it is fair to infer that the player almost certainly knows. Unsure on the freshman because of the insufficient pleading. But the timing is SO recent, it's possible that the players didn't know. Not bloody likely. .

              I think you're mixing up the two players. Player-8 is the "rising freshman" involved in the $4,000 payment and Player-9 is the "rising sophomore" involved in the $5,000 payment. The meeting with Player-8's relative was the first one and the relative actually said "ONCE Player-8 was old enough to understand the business side of things" he would meet with them but right now it was Player-8's mother who would "be the one kind of managing his day to day". So that actually indicates the player did NOT know yet about any of this. There also doesn't appear to be any recording or observation of the relative actually even taking the $4,000. The money was handed to Dawkins who then "walked off with Player-8's relative". There's no mention of Dawkins then giving the money to the relative but I guess you can just assume he did, dut no clear confirmation of that happening, in this document at least.

              As you mentioned, there's also no observation or confirmation of the $5,000 ever actually being given to the relative of Player-9 either. It appears the informant was only present for the beginning of this meeting and all that he saw discussed with Player-9's relative was the plan for Player-9 to enter the NBA Draft this coming year and the relative confirming that they'd spoken with Bland an hour beforehand. Also, again, there's no mention of Player-9 knowing anything about this meeting.

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              • kingusc49
                kingusc49 commented
                Editing a comment
                You're right. I confused the two.

            • #37
              One thing that is confusing is that the players are referred to as "current" USC basketball players: a rising freshman, who had recently committed to USC (Player-8) and a rising sophomore (Player-9) but it later says that Player-8 is only 17 at the time. O'Bannon was 18 at the time, as was Usher and Uyaelunmo was 19. None of USC's incoming freshman were 17. Could Player-8 instead be one of the current commits from the 2018 class? They're not a "current" USC player but they had just "recently committed" and Cherry & Porter were 17 at the time (Brooks was 18). I know Cherry is very close with Bland, who he describes as almost family and Bland seems very confident in the document that he can secure Player-8 for the agents. Cherry's not a current USC player and O'Bannon's not 17 so it's definitely confusing. I hate throwing Cherry's name into the speculation but everyone is just assuming the freshman is O'Bannon and it might not actually be the case.

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              • #38
                Originally posted by TBU View Post
                One thing that is confusing is that the players are referred to as "current" USC basketball players: a rising freshman, who had recently committed to USC (Player-8) and a rising sophomore (Player-9) but it later says that Player-8 is only 17 at the time. O'Bannon was 18 at the time, as was Usher and Uyaelunmo was 19. None of USC's incoming freshman were 17. Could Player-8 instead be one of the current commits from the 2018 class? They're not a "current" USC player but they had just "recently committed" and Cherry & Porter were 17 at the time (Brooks was 18). I know Cherry is very close with Bland, who he describes as almost family and Bland seems very confident in the document that he can secure Player-8 for the agents. Cherry's not a current USC player and O'Bannon's not 17 so it's definitely confusing. I hate throwing Cherry's name into the speculation but everyone is just assuming the freshman is O'Bannon and it might not actually be the case.
                This would make things much, much, worse because now it starts to look like a pay for play scenario.

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                • #39
                  Originally posted by phear_sc View Post

                  This would make things much, much, worse because now it starts to look like a pay for play scenario.
                  Yeah it wouldn't be great if it was a recruit. It may help a little that the recruit hasn't made it to USC yet, therefore USC hasn't actually gained anything from it. Also the first meeting between Bland and these agents appears to have been in July, so after Cherry had already committed to USC but I'm guessing the NCAA won't care about that fact. At the very least, I think they'll probably prevent him from attending USC. That would be a pretty big blow, not only because of how talented he is but also because he seems to have been the main guy convincing our other commits to join him at SC. Could him going elsewhere lead to other commits also choosing to look elsewhere? Maybe. Again, I don't know if Player-8 is Cherry, it may not be at all, I'm just musing on the possible consequences IF it is him and not O'Bannon as most assume.

                  On that note, O'Bannon's mom tweeted this in response to someone tweeting that the 2 players were O'Bannon and Melton:

                  @MamaLovev76
                  Replying to @scbtnd @zhelfand
                  You should do your research before you start dropping names

                  Could that be an indication that it's not actually O'Bannon? Metu also 'liked' her tweet, which could mean something, as he likely knows which players are involved, or it could also mean nothing at all.
                  Last edited by TBU; 09-26-2017, 10:58 PM.

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                  • #40
                    TBU, welcome to the board. I don't know who you are but it appears to me that you have hit on something about the players involved. Looking at O'Bannon's mom's tweet, her son is not involved. Good job,keep posting.

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                    • #41
                      what a sh!t show. This now feels like I have been rudely awaken from a beautiful dream. I feel really bad for all the innocent kids who are going to miss out on a great run.

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                      • #42
                        The description of the other player, besides Melton, does not fit O’Bannon.

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                        • #43
                          Definitely isn't Chuck. Like someone already mentioned, his Family knows better not to ask for any handouts. A moderator who runs another USC site tried to reach out to the current recruits who are currently committed to USC and J'Raan Brooks is the only one that came forward and said he's still fully pledged to USC.

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                          • #44
                            Of all the programs listed, USC's violations are by far the least serious. We are very lucky that this has only been going on for about 3 months and no games were played in that time-period.

                            I wouldn't be shocked if Bland gets his charges dropped. There is actually no evidence he took the money or that the 2 players family took any money. All the complaint says is that Dawkins left the room with Bland and Dawkin's had the 13k envelope, not Bland.

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                            • #45
                              Originally posted by TrojanMindSC View Post
                              Of all the programs listed, USC's violations are by far the least serious. We are very lucky that this has only been going on for about 3 months and no games were played in that time-period.

                              I wouldn't be shocked if Bland gets his charges dropped. There is actually no evidence he took the money or that the 2 players family took any money. All the complaint says is that Dawkins left the room with Bland and Dawkin's had the 13k envelope, not Bland.
                              They won't be dropped. But he was definitely caught in the lair late. He should sing like Aretha. Flip like Mary Lou Retton. He'll get one hell of a deal.

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