If only half of what has been reported about Bush is true and USC skates on this one, there will be a nuclear eruption in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide program was hammered for rules violations in 2002 and the penalties came with a considerable amount of finger wagging from the NCAA. Who could forget infractions committee chairman Tom Yeager saying that the committee considered giving Alabama the death penalty? He said that Alabama was "absolutely staring down the barrel of a gun (death penalty)" but the committee settled on a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 21 scholarships over three years.
Will the NCAA have the same righteous indignation for misbehavior and lack of institutional control, if proven, that takes place on the West Coast?
It is going to get pretty nasty if USC just gets a slap on the wrist.
The "if only half..." portion is especially interesting considering the allegations against Reggie Bush aren't the only violations that are supposedly being investigated. The Mayo saga with the basketball program is involved here, too. I'm not going to say I'm an expert on every allegation that has been leveled at the Trojans because, quite frankly, my attention span just isn't that strong and this thing has dragged on forever. Of course, that's the biggest issue that Alabama fans should be mad about; this thing has dragged on forever. Barnhart referenced the sanctions in '02, which I don't think anyone here would argue were unjust. Fulmer's deal with the devil still rankles us, sure, but we did the crime, etc. But what does have us up in arms are the recent sanctions imposed over the textbook scandal. Sure, we didn't lose any scholarships and vacated wins are, effectively, a slap on the wrist, but the NCAA's lack of consistency and refusal to acknowledge it's own precedents in denying our appeal despite the fact that Alabama discovered and reported the violations on it's own and cooperated fully with the SEC and NCAA to investigate the violations is enough to earn the ire of a fanbase without throwing in USC's stonewalling and fingers in the ears attitude towards the NCAA.
Now, do I believe that USC will skate? Probably not. As Pete noted not too long ago "if it took this long to decide, write, vet, and publish, this is a deliberate, cover-all-your-bases, upheld-on-appeal, old-school bludgeoning." Again, this thing has dragged on so long that common sense has to dictate the NCAA is locking this down airtight and only the most paranoid among us could honestly believe that the NCAA is dragging its heels because they are letting the Trojans off and aren't looking forward to the backlash. Of course, if that does turn out to be the case then Barnhart is right about the backlash from Alabama. See y'all in Beijing.