The University of Southern California has a history of attracting some of the best college athletes available. Each year USC consistently is able to recruit top notch talent to play for their teams, especially in football. USC seems to also be consistently involved with controversies and scandals. Here are the top 6 USC Sport scandals in the history of this academically great University.
Reggie Bush Returns Heisman Trophy
Star running back Reggie Bush had moved on from playing for USC to playing professionally in the National Football League. It was revealed that Reggie Bush had received improper benefits and cash assistance while a player at USC, which violated NCAA rules. Reggie Bush was forced to relinquish the coveted Heisman Trophy. Reggie Bush announced that he would relinquish the Heisman Trophy, but 9 months after the announcement Bush has still not turned the actual trophy back into the Heisman Trust. USC did return their copy of the Heisman to the Heisman Trust. The biggest scandal is that Bush had to return the Heisman, but the current scandal is that Bush still has posession of the tropy.
Pete Carroll Skips Town
Arguably one of best coaches in modern college football, Pete Carroll left a nice gig as the USC head coach to avoid the NCAA investigations that were starting to come down on the USC football program. Pete Carroll left for a job with the NFL in Seattle. Carroll has stated that the job change had nothing to do with the NCAA investigations.
USC Forced to Forfeit 2004 National Championship
Reggie Bush was declared ineligible to play and the BCS recently came out and revoked the National Championship status of USC for the 2004 football season because of the results of the NCAA investigation. It seems that almost all of the current and past USC football scandals are all directly related to each other, but he USC football program is not the only USC sport teams to be embroiled in controversy.
One of the ironic things to occur is that USC could have won the 2004 championship game without Reggie Bush. USC beat Oklahoma 55-19. Although USC could have won the championship game that year without Reggie Bush, it is doubtful and very highly unlikely that USC would have even had the chance to play in the National Championship game without the skills of Reggie Bush.
O.J. Mayo Scandal
It seems that pretty much if you have the name O.J. and are a star athlete then eventually you will either kill your wife or receive improper benefits that violate NCAA Sanctions. O.J. Mayo is no O.J. Simpson, but he did receive enough improper benefits that it came to the attention of the NCAA. USC voluntarily put their basketball on probation and also volunteered not to play in any post season play. This was implemented by USC to keep the wrath of the NCAA investigators off their back.
O.J. Simpson Returns to USC
O.J. Simpson was a star running back at the University of California where he won the coveted Heisman trophy before he played in the NFL. Simpson eventually was charged with a double murder and was the main participant in the so called “trial of the century”. O.J. Simpson later wrote describing how he would have killed them that night. Very few people doubt that Simpson was the killer of two people.
In 2002 the father of one of the players for USC invited O.J. Simpson to a practice at USC. After the practice Coach Carroll invited Simpson to come out on the field and pose for pictures with the team.
Ting Steroid Controversy
In 2006 USC player Brandon Ting tested positive for steroids. Brandon Ting then quit the USC football team, and then a few days later his twin brother Ryan Ting voluntarily quit the team claiming he wanted to focus on his academic studies. Ryan Ting was not tested for steroids because he quit the team. The father of the Ting twins is Arthur Ting, a surgeon who has been subpoenaed twice to testify before a grand jury regarding the Barry Bonds steroid controversy.
Other Scandals and Controversies
There are numerous other scandals and controversies involving the athletic department at the University of Southern California. Each year there are numerous minor NCAA violations at colleges across the Country, but USC seems to be embroiled in more major controversies then other schools.
USC is rapidly learning that they and their athletic staff can no longer turn a blind eye to possible NCAA violations. Is this the end of future of major violations for USC sport teams? Possibly this is towards the end of future major violations, but doubtful. Controversy always seems to ride with USC where there is not even a need for controversy.
USC has a unique skill of being able to seemingly cultivate a minor problem into a major scandal by lying, covering up the facts, and simply looking the other way. By the time the NCAA catches wind of a potential problem and begins its’ investigation it is usually able to uncover not only the rule violations by their players, but also people with the coaching and athletic departments who knew of the situation but did not advise the school officials or NCAA officials.
Scandals and major ethics violations are not limited to USC, but it does seem to have most of the headlines over the last few years. Numerous USC athletes have been involved in fights, cheating on tests, taking cash assistance in violation of NCAA regulations, and numerous other violations of both the NCAA code as well as violating State and Federal crimes.
There are many athletes at USC who are honest and not in violation of any NCAA rules, however when a College such as the University of Southern California has enough problems it will cause harm to not only the innocent players of the school but to players at other schools who played by the rules.
College football is wrought with problems, but USC seems to have more controversies that are considered major then other schools that may be facing semi-similar actions. USC officials are slowly learning that to preserve their dignity and financial support from Alumni they will need to play by the rules.