The USC Trojans found themselves in a world of mess following the NCAA sanctions levied against the program in the wake of the Reggie Bush scandal. The NCAA violations occurred waaaaay back in 2004, but kids just entering the program are the ones taking the brunt of the punishment as USC deals with a loss of scholarships, a bowl ban and a variety of other penalties.
Former USC Trojan and current Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu weighed in on the sanctions, and was of the same mindset many are with regards to current players being punished for actions that took place in the past
"You want to take away the trophies? Take away the trophies, but take these kids off probation"
Via Scott Enyeart.
He's right. To put it in perspective, kids entering the program this year were in middle school when Bush was allegedly taking money. The players from that period are gone, Pete Carroll is coaching in the NFL and even the athletic director at the time is out the door.
While cleaning house doesn't excuse the violations and improper benefits, this is the situation the NCAA is faced with when it takes half a decade to investigate and dole out punishment. And the only way it feels it can punish and discourage the same behavior from happening again, both at USC and elsewhere, is to bring the hammer on the program years later.
It's the players in the program now that are getting the shaft for the actions of few years before they were even considering a college choice. There has got to be a better way.