Miami Ruling Ended My Love Affair With College Football.

I have to say I’ve seen this coming. I’ve seen it coming, but it’s just hard to believe it could actually happen. It’s like the feeling you get growing up and moving into the “adult world” and realizing there’s no set of oracles to consult. Adults, companies, doctors and lawyers make idiotic decisions, just like they did when they were still kids.

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I was the loudest voice when USC was sanctioned by the NCAA. It was too harsh, but at the time, public sentiment was in favor of it because, frankly, most people hate USC. I get why. We historically win a lot of bowls and we do it with a lot of bravado. We have beautiful Song Girls and they look a lot like the rest of the beautiful girls on campus. We’re by the mountains, we’re by the beach and as students, when people claim it’s in the hood, you laugh. You can spend $3000 buying a bottle at Hakkasan in Las Vegas and you won’t meet a better looking girl than you will on 2-for-1 night at the 9-0. To make it worse, we ended up becoming a top 25 school, which really pissed off every Big Ten and SEC school that hated us because with the exception of Michigan and Notre Dame, it’s hard to get consistently good football at a top tier school.

Basically, I get the schadenfreude that went on when we got pinched. Fuck that guy in the Beemer with a hot girl in the front seat eating Wagyu Ribeye with his steak and eggs. Fuck that guy because most of us won’t be that guy. I’m that guy. You are that guy. But most aren’t.

And I blame no one for that.

I blame the NCAA for pinning a baseless case on USC that’s lead to everything from injuries to coaching changes, just not to a losing record. We took our lumps and then we waited.

The more the NCAA was questioned for having less policy than a middle school slumber party attended by girls that hate each other, for having less ethics than, say, Nevin Shapiro and his billion dollar Ponzi scheme and the only less impartial stance than your own mother, the more I realized that until they are eradicated as an organization, there is zero hope for College Football.

Zero.

We watched them get bought, extorted, strong-armed by every school that got caught for something, anything. Nothing would happen.

Cam Newton shopping his services? Play in that bowl. Students can’t be blamed for their parents unless they are Reggie Bush’s parents.

Buckeyes selling team memorabilia? Play in that bowl. It’d totally ruin our ratings to neuter a team of that stature so close to a game. Suspend them early next year when they play cash cow games at home against Ohio and Youngstown State. When you do give them scholarship reductions, make it a player a year. Let Urban Meyer talk about how hard it is.

When Oregon pays a recruiting service that’s only service is influence over athletes from a small area of Texas and then cannot provide any of the recruiting documents that never existed in the first place, the NCAA tells them the Ducks’ proposed self-sanctions aren’t enough. Then they wait a year and slap their wrists barely.

The NCAA decided to harshly penalize Penn State for covering up a decades long sex scandal performed by one of their coaches in their own player locker rooms because it was covered up to protect football. Once the school started to fight back, the NCAA caved. Rape is better than a player’s parents taking money from an agent unrelated to USC operating out of a city some 120 miles south of campus.

All of this, and I still waited for Miami.

For those living under a rock, Miami had dozens and dozens of documented counts of improper benefits coming from Nevin Shapiro, a man now in jail for running a billion dollar ponzi scheme. These benefits weren’t the famous Ohio State hundred dollar handshakes. He was taking players out on yachts, feeding them booze and cocaine, buying them prostitutes and if necessary, paying for their abortions. How close was this man’s booster ties to the school? Well, not many of us get to do this:

I mean, I do, but I never paid players. I was a booster by actually BOOSTING MORALE.

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This case took four years to investigate. It took for years to investigate this man’s connection to the program and the events in question. It took me 30 seconds to Google Image search:

It goes on forever.  And what did Shapiro say when he laid this case on a table for the NCAA?

“I became a booster in late 2001, and by early 2002, I was giving kids gifts. From the start, I wasn’t really challenged. And once I got going, it just got bigger and bigger. I just did what I wanted and didn’t pay much mind toward the potential repercussions.”

…and later…

“I did it because I could,” he said. “And because nobody stepped in to stop me.”

That is lack of institutional control. Yet, it was the Athletic Director who oversaw Miami during the Nevin Shapiro years who was chosen to literally lead the committee on infractions against USC. Through a vendetta of USC becoming the premier power in college football, he dropped the hammer without concrete evidence. A lack of evidence that has Todd McNair’s suit against the NCAA looking like a slam dunk, currently in appeal in an effort to delay the inevitable unsealing of emails that state clearly the NCAA had “malicious intent” to pin something on USC. That already happened, the cadence just isn’t working out fast enough to protect our players who have to play with a team half the size as their opponents because the NCAA doesn’t have the guts to admit they overstepped. Overleaped. They killed a fly with a flamethrower, only the fly didn’t die. It hasn’t had a losing record yet.

Miami got off with no bowl ban, some random probations and the loss of 9 total scholarships over three years because of their “unprecedented” self sanctioning.

So there’s your answer, America. No matter how badly you fuck up, no matter how much an agent of the football team provides sex, drugs and diamonds to players, as long as you admit you were wrong and sit out a bowl game or two, you are good.

USC’s crime was telling the NCAA to fuck off. Now their crime is not suing.

The NCAA has never offered a statement on how Paul Dee, may he fester in peace, was allowed to influence, lead and ultimately coordinate the assault on USC as head of a committee the NCAA put together. There’s never been an inquiry into it. There’s been no look at their decision because the case is closed.

We can’t play with a full team. We have no built in process to force them to answer questions about Paul Dee and about how now a decade later, USC’s case is the extreme outlier thanks to the NCAA’s tail-between-the-legs approach to peeling back their sanctions on Penn State.

The NCAA is on the run. They can’t sell their “student athletes” jerseys on their site anymore. They aren’t licensing their name out. They are boarding up the doors, but for me it might be too late. Until they are gone, I can’t go beyond hoping my college beats the other college on a particular Saturday (or Thursday or Friday so they can make more money in media sales).

I can’t tell anyone in good faith that being an NCAA champion means a damn thing. Not at all. That’s because it doesn’t. It’s like being employee of the month at a bank that played the sub-prime mortgage game and almost tanked our economic system. It’s like being executive chef at a D rated restaurant.

I love USC far, far too much to root for that. So let me be clear. I’m done with college football, but not with watching USC play it. I’ll get excited to see them play their opponent and hope they win, so our team beats their team. That’s pure. Even purer when we actually can field a full team.

But I am done even caring about Rose Bowls. If we play in a Rose Bowl, great. I’ll be excited about playing whoever they trot out against us. But until the NCAA apologizes, gives a real answer about Paul Dee or is nailed for everything they are, I just don’t care what awards we win.

Not a huge deviation from what I’ve always said, but I am furious. It’s confirmation of your worst fears. There’s no one running the ship. And we need to sue for something. I don’t even know what, but if you can sue someone for handing you hot coffee and you spill it on yourself, we can sue the NCAA for what they’ve spilled on us without a hint of wanting to toss us a towel to dry off. O’Bannon is going to win and be the coolest Bruin ever, what Prefontaine is to Oregon, and we’ll get a victory. Somehow. But I want a fucking answer from them about Paul Dee. I want an answer about their process. And since I likely won’t get it, I’m watching the bare minimum of football on television. My Trojans.  Stop telling me this is an amateur sport. The only amateurs are the NCAA.

I am interested in football.

I am interested in USC football.

I am not interested in NCAA football.

And that’s because if there was ever a chance for them to make sense, it was with Miami. Game, set, don’t-give-a-fuck.

Fight on.

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46 Comments

Filed under USC Football

46 Responses to Miami Ruling Ended My Love Affair With College Football.

  1. andy

    As Miami said to the NCAA: “Stop; that tickles!”

  2. Helen Of Troy

    My God! I love you kid!

    Thank you for being so spot on on how I feel…I’m done with NCAA CFB

    Fight On!

    • Trojan Princess

      I love this kid too…he speaks for US. I quit buying SI, Sporting News, ESPN years ago. Haven’t watched a single CFB game other than my Trojans.

      All the sportswriters that were dancing on our grave and reporting untruths can F* off like Dee and rot in hell.

    • TrojanPhoenix

      AMEN. I am sharing the hell out of this- this guy is spot on.

  3. Jim

    Amen brother, I hope the Admin at USC will finally step up and Fight On. File Pat, file.

  4. Scott Morris

    You’ve said all there is to say. FTFO and F the NCAA.

  5. jpltrojan

    It’s not a nebulous institution called the NCAA that’s propagating the insanity it’s our university presidents and chancellors.
    As long as those individuals continue to allow the mess to hold sway over the game nothing will change.
    At USC it starts with Max Nikias.

    • admin

      If you are a Miami fan gloating, we’ve already served the time basically. It’s your fundamental joy about “beating the system” that’s off. You are accepting the system.

  6. lisa schall

    Amen–a masterpiece!

  7. Win4Ever

    Only two conclusions can be made:
    1. The NCAA/Paul Dee “had it out” for USC (evidence to support this) or…
    2. The NCAA deems one guy taking money as an offense more severe than several parties involved in child rape, drug abuse, solicitation of prostitutes, abortions
    Both should disturb everyone whether or not you like USC. Fight On!

  8. Win4Ever

    Bearfighter,

    There is much upside to switching to the NFL:
    Trojans lead all schools in most players drafted all time
    Trojans lead all schools in most first round players drafted all time
    Trojans lead all schools in most Pro Bowlers
    Trojans lead all schools with most players currently on an NFL roster
    NFL Network named USC the #1 Football Factory of All time
    Pete Carroll transformed Mora Jr.’s Seahawks into a dominant force
    Pete Carroll embarrassed Jim Harbaugh in their last two meetings
    Andrew Luck is still ugly, but throws TDs to Havili
    Chip Kelly’s best QB might be Matt Barkley
    Leinart not currently playing, but still partying hard
    Reggie Bush outshines Adrian Peterson in Week 2
    Polamalu (Pitt) Cameron (Clev) are only good players on their respective teams
    Sanchez realizes Pete was right
    Rahim Moore, UCLA’s best NFL player, is reason Denver fell short in playoffs
    Aaron Hernandez didn’t go to USC

    • Balston

      It’s one thing to have the most players in the NFL, it’s another thing to produce a quarterback who has had ANY sort of recent success.

      • admin

        I love that you are ignoring the fact USC is the NFL, even now, to harp on a bunch of QBs that underperformed their astronomical expectations that only existed in people like your mind because USC was so dominant in college. How many Duck or Bruin QBs are crushing it right now. Or any Pac 12 QBs? Luck and…?

      • Win4Ever

        OK. Then I’d rather have the most players in the NFL than one elite NFL QB. Southern Miss had Brett Favre. That’s about it. They’re not an NFL factory. No one cares about Southern Miss.

        I’m not too worried about USC producing great NFL QBs. They’ve only been really trying to produce QBs in the last 10 years. They will produce NFL elite QBs soon. Meanwhile, I’m more excited about dominant defensive players USC produces.

  9. Jack de Lowe

    The problem here is that all of what the author writes in completely true, it’s not going to make a bit of difference.
    What can we do to change USC’s situation – nothing. And unless a ajor effort is undertaken to do something about the ncaa, nothing is going to change there. It reminds me of drunk fraternity boys who have the ‘right’ to blackball, yet when they are caught with their pants down their rich daddys bail them out.

  10. taryn travis

    I’ve been looking forward to reading what you have to say. Thank you for always being able to articulate what we blood-sweat-and-tears fans are feeling.

  11. A Logical Canes Fan

    … as a Miami fan, I would love to get heartily into this debate, but it’s very obvious you’re understandably frustrated, as most sports fans would be if the roles were reversed.

    You’re venom towards the corrupt NCAA is understandable, but your bashing of Miami and implication that the Hurricanes somehow got off light is utter bullshit.

    This process has taken 26 months. During that time, UM gave up three post-season games (wisely, I might add) and recruited with an arm behind its back, losing countless athletes to other major universities.

    Top local and in-state players like Teddy Bridgewater, Matthew Thomas, Denver Kirkland, Vernon Hargreaves III, some that were looking Miami’s way and others that were verbally committed. Where nine scholarships sounds small, the hit Miami took in a over this span is immeasurable.

    Direct your venom at the NCAA and look within at former athletic director Mike Garrett, the moron who chose this as his statement in June 2010:

    “I read between the lines and there was nothing but a lot of envy, and they wish they all were Trojans. As I told my staff, I said, ‘You know, I feel invigorated by all this stuff … with the penalty we got today I know we’re bigger than life.’ ”

    If that was his attitude after the sanction, how do you think he and his administrators handled the NCAA in house during the investigation?

    Our judicial system rewards good behavior with early release. Act a fool and you get more time lumped on to your sentence. This isn’t rocket science.

    Life. Politics. Business. It’s all about playing the game. Going on some rant about the message sent, fair vs. unfair, et al—you could attribute that to everything in the world and pointing blame at how one was treated versus another, yet not taking behavior into account … you’re leaving out a huge part of the story.

    We all learned this in grade school when the kid who was acting out was made an example of in front of the entire class. Pretty basic stuff here, yet your egotistical AD somehow missed it.

    The NCAA is corrupt. It’s a joke. Nothing about the process is fair, every decision is arbitrary and they’re a full of shit organization—proven by their handling of just about every recent case. But taking issues with schools that fought back? That’s misguided.

    Also, you attack Miami and Penn State but nowhere in this piece do you mention North Carolina—arguably the most egregious offender of all, as their entire investigation was marred in academic fraud and agents paying players and coaches to sway said players to their agencies?

    No disagreement that USC was hit overly hard, but point some of that venom at Garrett and his idiotic handling of the process and put less focus on how other schools’ cases were handled.

    Lastly, it has nothing to do with some bullshit “you wish you were us” nonsense. There’s more parity and money in this game than ever.

    What Los Angeles and Miami have to offer, smaller college towns have their perks, as well. Some dude in the south doesn’t give two shits about your Wagyu Ribeye and 6-series drop-top Beemer, instead preferring good BBQ, lifted trucks, women equally as beautiful (with a Southern drawl, no less) and the charm that comes with life in an authentic college town.

    In other words, not everyone wants to be you or USC. Especially right now.

    Good luck on your journey back and hopefully college football will correct its errant ways between now and then.

    Fight on. It’s your only hope.

    • admin

      I appreciate the take, even if it has a lot of “he doth protest too much” going on. Thing is, Paul Dee was just as egocentric as Garrett, bestowed with great power all the while being the epitome of “lack of institutional control” at his own school. The counts/athletes involved aren’t comparable and Mike Garrett didn’t lead the committee against the U.

      We agree on the NCAA. You’ve made good points on the points of mine you cherry picked and I dig it. You just can’t ignore Paul Dee playing judge, jury and executioner at the same time he allowed/failed to monitor a booster that had field access and was breaking all “rules” all the time.

      • Rev. Ernest Flores

        Don’t forget that the Canes’ fan missed on the fact that USC cooperated with the ncaa and it’s documented in the report against USC. The lie that USC didn’t cooperate or was arrogant is hogwash even if widely spread. The fact is Paul Dee had it in for USC and so did his committee members, most of whom were from schools USC had spanked on the football field in the recent past. The media also did its part, ESPN with their hefty SEC contract in particular, in putting pressure on the ncaa to act tough with USC.

  12. YourJimmiesAreRussled

    []_[] mad? Talk about a conceited article. No wonder USC is full of douchebags.

    • admin

      Thank you for reminding me why I never applied to your prestigious university. For fun, explain “no wonder” USC is full of douchebags. Because of what? Blog posts? Also, do you know the definition of conceited? That sentence isn’t aware of it, but maybe you are. Actually, apologies Miami students, this guy definitely didn’t get in.

    • Win4Ever

      I got a full ride to Miami after passing my Spelling test in the 3rd grade.

      I decided to challenge myself, wait until I was 18, and go to USC instead.

  13. SCRower

    Great write up. As I posted on the 247 site, I just don’t get the NCAA’s argument that self-imposing get’s you lighter sanctions. It should be self-reporting. Miami was exposed and they cried like a little bitch, wahhh we got caught, we won’t go to bowl games because we were bad. If the NCAA had any balls what-so-ever they wouldn’t consider self-imposed sanctions. It would just be considered time served under the sanctions determined by the NCAA.

  14. John

    Actually, Leibeck vs. Macdonalds was a very reasonable decision. See the documentary ‘Hot Coffee’

  15. frankliep

    Miami self imposed 2 bowl games self imposed a ban on playing in acc title game why is everyone crying about what Reggie an Oj did was wrong problem was usc did nothing about it which was why they got punished hard

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  17. Kevin

    USC lost 2 bowl games and 30 scholarships for the punishment of a single player who received impermissible benefits. Paul Dee determined that this ratio was right and just. How many players were implicated at Miami again? Using Paul Dee’s rationale on his own runaway program, Miami wouldn’t be able to field a team for the next century.

  18. DMoney

    Hahaha. Just like Mike Garrett. “They’re just jealous that they couldn’t be Trojans”. Myopia at it’s finest. USC got caught and still couldn’t admit that it did anything wrong. And THEN hired Lane Kiffen. You all should be attacking Garrett. Pure silliness. Did I really just read a post that bragged about Reggie Bush outshining AP in a random week early in the season?

    The NCAA is a joke, but that is completely independent of USC taking it’s medicine for playing the game all wrong.

    • admin

      Kiffin, which you can’t even spell, has nothing to do with how and why we were sanctioned. Until I hear an educated Miami response about Paul Dee, it’s all just gloating that you made a deal with the devil.

    • Win4Ever

      Read the report. USC didn’t get caught doing anything. That’s the whole point. USC got axed for not knowing Reggie took money. Can’t you read? Yes, Garrett was a little arrogant but his overall message was that he and others like Carroll had no idea Reggie did this. What was he supposed to do? Lie and admit to something he didn’t know happened? Bend over and not fight the accusations?

      • admin

        they won’t be able to read this or understand that their “mike garrett” who had their “nevin shapiro” on the field with the team and in a billion photos was the same person who lead the infractions committee.

    • Win4Ever

      I feel like will Ferrell in Zoolander. Am I on crazy pills?! How do miami fans not know that it is a fact, admitted by the NCAA, that USC had no clue Reggie was taking money? Are these people suggesting that when one is wrongfully accused of crime, that one should just admit to something they didn’t do and not utilize the judicial processes to fight the bogus accusations?

      • admin

        that is the gist. but hey, this beats arguing split national titles with LSU fans.

        • Win4Ever

          The two most hated entities of college football: the NCAA and the BCS. Those that would argue that the BCS is more credible than the AP or that the NCAA was fair vs USC but not fair vs everyone else, have gone full retard Simple Jack-style.

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  20. DN18

    Can the USC alumni and season ticket holders get a lawsuit going against the NCAA for loss in season ticket values? Since many of the tickets are re-sold by season ticket holders for values that are determined by demand, there is definitely a direct link between the NCAA sanctions and the loss in value of those tickets.

  21. Balston

    You pick now to stop being a college football fan? You stop posting when your team stops winning? You ain’t nothin’ but a fairweather fan.

    …is what I wanted to say. But you’re right.

    • admin

      I’ve been posting this season, I said before the season started I was going to only write on topics I found interesting. After 3 years of Kiffin jokes and the same old responses making fun of specific cities, I am transitioning. I donate to my college, I speak at events. If I am a fairweather fan, I frankly don’t have the time to be the kind of fan you must be of whatever team is so lucky to have you.

    • Win4Ever

      He’s not saying that he is done watching USC. He’s making a solid point there’s not much fun within college football anymore? It’s being run by a bunch of tyrants. If your country is overrun by an oppressive despot, would you be too excited about it?

      If it wasn’t clear when UNC got a slap on the wrist for having an agent disguised as an asst coach, it should be clear now that USC was treated unfairly.

      If it wasn’t clear when South Carolina got a slap on the wrist for having boosters give impermissible benefits to their football players, it should be clear now that USC was treated unfairly.

      If it wasn’t clear when Oregon got a slap on the wrist for illegally paying a recruiting service thousands of dollars, it should be clear now that USC was treated unfairly.

      If it wasn’t clear when Penn State had their sanctions heavily reduced for covering up child rape, it should be clear now that USC was treated unfairly.

      And now Miami’s slap on the wrist.

      We have an organization that, on record, treated us unfairly, and has no regrets. Why should USC fans be excited about college football?

      • TrojanPhoenix

        Man, that was a solid comment. I’m adding that in the comment thread under this story on my FB. Hope you don’t mind. Clear, concise, and convincing. A+

  22. Pingback: Miami Ruling Ended My Love Affair With College Football. | Lost Angeles | Life...Camera...ACTION!!!

  23. Marie

    Masterful. Thank you for this AND for teaching me how to be a true fan.

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