The Padres got shut out for the 10th time this season 3-0 (although this one was different. they didn't lose because they could not hit; they lost because they could hit with RISP). The First Round of the 2011 MLB Draft was yesterday. I'll discuss those items a bit on tonight's Podcast.
This post is about the Sanctions handed down by the NCAA against USC.
First, I must inform you I am not a Trojan fan. In college I had on my door a bumper sticker that read "My 2 Favorite Teams Are The Bruins and Whoever Is Playing USC". But even someone like me who relishes any Trojan athletic defeat thinks the NCAA got it wrong here.
Yes Reggie Bush was ineligible in 2004. Forcing him to surrender his Heisman trophy was appropriate (in my opinion). Forcing USC to vacate the 2004 National Championship? What purpose does that serve in 2011?
None of the players from that 2004 team remain at USC (I assume they all either graduated by 2008 or were asked to find gainful employment elsewhere). None of the coaches from that 2004 team remain, and the AD who presided over it was fired. So who, exactly, is the NCAA punishing? Making this decision even more ridiculous, USC retains the national championship voted to them by the AP.
Those of us with a memory know USC destroyed Oklahoma in the BCS title game. Men In Black is a fun movie, but the ability to wipe all our memories has not yet been developed (or at least acknowledged as existing by government).
You want to punish USC? You gotta hit them where it might actually hurt - the pocketbook. How about making the school and the Pac-10 Conference return the money they received for the BCS bowl appearance? How about telling them, 'Hey, the next time you are ranked #1 or #2 in whatever-system-we-will-be-using-to-determine-these-things you will not be allowed to play in the national championship game because of this"? How about, if the NCAA ever comes to their senses and goes to a playoff system, telling USC "Hey you made the field, but because of 2004 you have now forfeited your first game"?
Or, how about the next (pick a number) x-times they play in a BCS game they receive none of the money they would be normally entitled to?
Cutting scholarships and barring TV appearances hit them in the wallet, and will most likely hamper their return to 'greatness' for some time to come. I would like to see some additional sanctions handed down that take effect in the future vice trying to re-write history.
Vacating the 2004 National Championship? That's a paper cut. It might sting a little at first, but really no one notices. So why do it.