USC officially will be done with NCAA sanctions on Tuesday, so the Los Angeles Times published a package this weekend looking back and projecting forward, talking to -- or getting turned down for interviews by -- some of the key players in the most egregious miscarriage of justice in the history of NCAA enforcement.
It's not inaccurate to say the NCAA's indefensible and farcical ruling against USC football is a notable part of the organization's humiliating and entirely justified downward momentum over the past four or so years, both in terms of public perception and in the courtroom, as well as the movement for autonomy among the Big Five conferences.
The NCAA is incapable of fairly and consistently policing its member organizations. That's as good a reason as any to diminish its power.
From the Times:
The inimitable Chris Dufresne says it's time for USC to look ahead and recover its position among college football's elite.
Former USC coach Pete Carroll, who just won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, defends himself and the program and says he would have never left if he knew the severity of the NCAA penalties.
Ex-USC assistant Todd McNair's lawsuit against the NCAA is going forward and his case is very strong.
USC athletic director Pat Haden looks back and forward.
The one bright side to the experience is USC's compliance department is much better.
Whatever happened to former AD Mike Garrett?
And what's the deal between USC and Reggie Bush?
Oh, and just what were those sanctions again?
As many of you know, I've ranted and raved about the USC case numerous times through the years -- such as this and this and this. While some have implied that the source of my strong feelings on the matter emerges from some sort of USC/Pac-12 bias, that's simply inaccurate. It's always been about facts and fairness. Truth is, it's been a pretty easy argument to win -- over and over again.
That said: This feels like a great week for the Pac-12 blog. I am weary of the whole mess. Too often it disturbed my typical Zen-like equilibrium.
USC has spent the last four years getting justifiably mad. The Trojans best course going forward is to get even.