When the news came out earlier this week that the NCAA would be reducing some of the scholarship sanctions they leveled against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, USC athletic director Pat Haden hoped the decision meant that Trojans would have the opportunity to see their sanctions reduced, too. Unfortunately for Haden and USC fans, the NCAA denied the Trojans the right to appeal the sanctions on Friday, issuing the following terse statement: “There is no comparison between USC and Penn State. USC’s appeal was denied, and there is no further consideration being given” (ESPN).
The sanctions against USC are set to expire in 2014 anyway, but the NCAA’s decision is still a blow to a powerhouse program that has struggled ever since being forced to reduce scholarships due to the controversy surrounding former Trojan Reggie Bush. The Trojans have only been allowed to keep 75 scholarship players on their roster the past few season, a number 10 fewer than is normally allowed. While they will be allowed to sign 24 players in the 2014 recruiting class, they will not be allowed to have an 85-player team until the 2015 season begins.