We've gone on and on here at RBR about the USC saga and the looming release of the Committee on Infractions report, and while I may be speaking for myself here I think I've said just about all I can say on the subject. I'll close, though, with a couple of final notes.
First and foremost, the report may or may not be coming tomorrow, regardless of previous assertions that the report would be released on Friday, June 4th. Earlier this evening (hat tip to RBR reader squinky 86), however, USC assistant vice president of media relations James Grant explicitly denied those reports:
"There are set channels for these kind of things, and we haven’t heard anything. The media reports are all absolutely false. It’s already been three months. [The report] could come next week."
For what it is worth, the NCAA would neither confirm or deny either report, but read what their spokeswoman said:
An NCAA spokeswoman declined to comment on the infractions report’s ETA, saying only that the media would be alerted about 7 a.m. Pacific Time on the day the results are to be released.
So it may or may not come tomorrow, we'll just have to wait to find out. Based on what the NCAA spokeswoman said, however, if we have not heard anything out of the NCAA by roughly 9 a.m. Central Time tomorrow morning, you will know that it will be at least Monday before we hear anything.
In any event, regardless of when the report is released, my official prediction is still that USC gets hit very hard. Perhaps not as hard as Alabama in 2002 or Miami in the mid-1990's, mind you, but probably somewhere near that same general ballpark. I think Pete nailed it earlier this afternoon, responding to the Dan Wetzel column where he claimed that the NCAA report would well exceed 100 pages:
As a point of comparison, the public report in the Albert Means case was 37 pages. The public report in the Langham case was 20 pages.
Now, with a straight face, try to make an argument that a report almost 3x the length of the Albert Means case is going to result in a slap on the wrist for USC.
If you can do that, more power to you because I sure as hell cannot. If USC skates, I'll be very surprised and I'll be the first to admit that I have been wrong in the matter for several months.
And keep in mind that I don't have any real animus against USC, nor do I have any lingering desire to see every other major program get hammered by the NCAA after our sanctions over the past twenty years. Based on what limited evidence we have been presented so far, I tend to think that USC has committed some egregious infractions and they should be punished accordingly. As I said yesterday, however, there is a lot about this case that we have no real clue about, and to that end I will be the first to admit that if the rest of that knowledge vindicates USC, the Trojans should largely slide here. Again, no animus here, I just want to see them punished accordingly based on the severity of the violations, no more and no less.
Either way, I'd caution any Alabama fan to resist getting too worked up over this regardless of the outcome. Regardless of what happens, we have Nick Saban and we are currently standing atop the proverbial peak of Mount Everest looking down on the rest of the mere college football mortals. Meanwhile, USC just hired Lane Kiffin. Think about that. Besides, we really don't compete head-to-head with USC for any recruits, and we haven't played the Trojans in about twenty-five years (and may not again for another twenty-five either). Again, regardless of what happens with USC, don't get too worked up either way. We won't be significantly hindered by them skating, nor will we be significantly gain by them getting hammered. Besides, after the past year no Alabama fan has a legitimate right to get too upset over anything, much less USC and Lane Kiffin.
P.S. Thanks for all of the USC fans that stopped by yesterday, all of the discussion was great.