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  • Can't have nice things. My humble opinion on how SC should proceed

    I was lamenting last night about The Curse that has hounded SC basketball since Sam Berry dropped dead and the storm that knocked out the phone lines and prevented Minnesota from offering John Wooden the job he wanted before he said yes to UCLA, but this deal is not just an SC thing, SC was just first on the list. In the end, that may be a good thing.

    The two players in question, once enough info is gathered, should be be suspended or ruled ineligible, whatever term is more appropriate, for the year. Even if at the $$$ levels talked about they could pay back the money and regain eligibility, SC needs to make a statement that this isn't business as usual. From a basketball standpoint, we do not want to be wondering every week if/when the players will be back. Go with the team they got and do the best they can.

    The biggest fear, of course, is that this is the tip of the iceberg, and as Freeh goes through his investigation more players and coaches become involved. I hope Freeh's people are on campus today, because regardless of what it means it would be nice for him to have his work done before the season starts. Lynn Swann may be coaching the team, but that is better than this thing dragging out.

  • #2
    Originally posted by USCJohnMac View Post
    The two players in question, once enough info is gathered, should be be suspended or ruled ineligible, whatever term is more appropriate, for the year. Even if at the $$$ levels talked about they could pay back the money and regain eligibility, SC needs to make a statement that this isn't business as usual.
    You don't have to suspend them for any specific time period.

    The suspension should be indefinite. And then, once all monies are repaid, you make a report to the NCAA, and ask the NCAA to restore eligibility .... however long that takes.


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    • #3
      The issue I have with the indefinite suspension is there is the constant question of "when will they be back?" It will get asked over and over again, and that will be a distraction.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by USCJohnMac View Post
        The issue I have with the indefinite suspension is there is the constant question of "when will they be back?" It will get asked over and over again, and that will be a distraction.
        My guess is the NCAA will make a decision quickly on something like this for the players. Players having to pay back benefits happens quite frequently. Shaqquan Aaron is a perfect example.

        The better question is, does USC know which families took money? Will Bland or the FBI let USC know?

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        • #5
          It really looks like the factual allegations pertaining to USC are small potatoes compared to what the FBI uncovered with the other schools. So it is very unfortunate to be grouped in with this larger story. From the details that I had access to as of last night, it just looks like Bland is a low-life with very bad judgment to boot: He jumped at the opportunity to risk a $350k salary and his career to grab some envelopes with what . . . $13k? Apparently with designs on bigger paydays in the future. Bland's quotes in the FBI document seem to suggest this was the beginning for him. If this is all that happened I do not really do not have a problem believing he was doing this behind Coach Enfield's back because it would be hard to fathom Enfield being willing to risk his salary and career so that his assistant can get personally get these little kickbacks.

          I have always been a bit skeptical about these assistants who are so-called "elite recruiters." I guess I always assumed they were elite recruiter because they were willing to get a bit into the muck with the sleaziest of the AAU coaches. But now we've invited a snake into the house and we got bit.

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          • #6
            The thing to remember about the players involved is firstly, there's no indication that either player knew anything about the payments. All we know is that one of their relatives was involved. We don't even know how close this relative was to the player (whether that matters or not). More importantly however, neither of these players' family went out looking for a payday. It was Bland who targetted them and brought them into this whole endeavor (for his own selfish reasons). Of course they went along with it (which they were wrong to do) but they wouldn't be involved in this mess if a USC coach, someone they trusted inherently, hadn't dragged them into it. In my opinion, it would be wrong for USC to just turn their backs on these players or use them to "make a statement" for a problem their employee caused. And I'm not saying USC is to blame for Bland's selfish actions but I do think they need to take some responsibility where the players are concerned. If it's possible for the players to regain their eligibility and remain at USC (if that's what the players wish to do), then USC should take all the steps necessary to ensure this happens.

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            • USCJohnMac
              USCJohnMac commented
              Editing a comment
              You make some excellent points regarding the players. If it can be 1) nailed down quickly that they did not know and 2) the NCAA signs off on it then I am in full agreement. SC cannot, however, given the NCAAs past track record assume that they will receive the benefit of any doubt, so they need to be ulta careful.
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