- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2009


“I’m scared to death of the wives… and I have the yips going on.” - U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples of his greatest fear entering the October event

TAKE YOUR PICK: Will the NCAA punish Southern Cal after issues with O.J. Mayo’s recruitment surfaced so soon after the Reggie Bush debacle?

Yes — How can it not? It seems fairly obvious that the school’s most recent superstars in football and basketball were on the pay-for-play program, so the suits from Indianapolis should be swarming all over Troy like vultures on a carcass. With both cases painstakingly documented by print, electronic and broadcast media, the NCAA almost has to take some measure against the program to avoid losing what little credibility it has left as the governing body in college sports.

No — If Myles Brand and Co. didn’t pop the Trojans for the Heisman winner’s housing windfall, what makes anyone think the NCAA will jump on Southern Cal now? Bush was the most high-profile player for the nation’s most high-profile team; Mayo was a one-and-done guy on a team that barely scraped into the NCAA tournament. Brand and Co. turned a blind eye to the Bush embarrassment to spare their sacred Pac-10 cow. The Mayo situation is an insignificant scandal by comparison.

Our take — The Trojans will get some sort of slap on the wrist. It’s almost a guarantee now that the FBI is involved and basketball coach Tim Floyd has been fingered for funneling cash to Mayo through promoter Rodney Guillory. The best anyone could say before Floyd was implicated was that the program was guilty of near-laughable ignorance; athletic director Mike Garrett was never as elusive in his playing days as he has been in somehow avoiding dismissal on grounds of a lack of institutional control. But when Floyd was impugned earlier this month, ignorance no longer became the school’s shield. The program won’t receive anything like the death penalty. After all, this is the NCAA’s West Coast crown jewel. But Garrett and Floyd likely will be sacrificed, along with a handful of football scholarships and at least one or two in hoops.

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